After completing treatment for alcohol substance abuse, a person leaves the facility with newfound hope and mental clarity. However, as they integrate back into daily life outside of treatment walls, life can get tricky to navigate as drinking triggers begin to resurface.
Detoxing and finishing rehab are only the beginning steps to lasting recovery. This is a vital understanding that people with drinking problems must grasp. Sobriety is a daily choice and commitment, and this is important to remember as someone enters back into their old environments.
“Men and women who are new to recovery face challenges that for normal people seem small and easy to cope with, but for the alcoholic or the drug addict are almost overwhelming. This is why the newly-recovered person needs structure and support in the beginning, and why it is vital for them to accept that they are not like normal people — that they have a very real problem for which abstinence and vigilance are only part of the solution.” – The Huffington Post
Staying sober takes dedication, hard work, and grace, especially after treatment when you are out on your own in the world. It is easy to feel tempted or to allow your brain to rationalize or talk you into why drinking is a good idea.
This article will prepare those who are considering rehab or completing it with some best practices for ensuring long-term recovery following rehab. We will discuss daily habits that can help sobriety last and relapse risks to avoid in these six tips for lasting recovery.
Continue with therapy
It’s important to keep seeking therapy because emotions tend to run high after rehab. Therapists and counselors can help combat negative emotions, low self-esteem, and anxiety using cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help you process and retrain your brain.
Find a community or support group that resonates with you
Community and a sense of connection is an absolute must for someone entering back into the world after rehab. There are several options to choose from such as:
- 12-step programs.
- Church groups such as Celebrate Recovery or a Bible study.
- Alcoholics Anonymous.
- Local sober meet ups.
Another way to get more involved and feel supported is by being of service and finding a way to give back with a contribution. Local charities are a great way to feel connected as well.
Develop a daily spiritual practice
A spiritual practice is anything that helps you be in the experience of the present moment and gratitude more. Exercises, yoga, starting your day with affirmations or being in nature are some great practices to incorporate that will help you align spiritually to yourself and others.
Practice meditation and prayer every day
By finding quiet time to yourself each day you can have a place to go to surrender your worries. Finding your balance and re-centering each day can help tremendously with staying calm and collected.
Headspace is a great app for guided meditations and is gaining some notoriety as a tool for sobriety as it has been found to help anxiety, panic attacks and to practice mindfulness.
Get adequate amounts of sleep and nutrition
The foods we eat and the amount of sleep we get have a great impact on how we make decisions. Keeping our energy levels at the best they can be by fueling up with nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, and proteins can mitigate cravings and increase vitality. Getting eight hours of good quality sleep is also a major component of recovery, as it helps with stress levels and mood.
Pay attention to your mindset
Awareness, honesty, and acceptance in sobriety are foundational to lasting recovery. Being aware of your thoughts and honest with yourself when you are having urges or negative emotions will help you to avoid relapse. People most often relapse because their mind talks them into drinking again. Staying in a positive mindset is critical, and if you do become emotional, it’s important to practice acceptance instead of denial or avoidance.
Rehab is not a quick fix for alcoholism, but it is a wonderful step in the right direction for learning how to live a life without alcohol. There are many strategies and ways to get and stay sober, but finding a treatment program and creating a solid aftercare plan are crucial to sustainability. Contact us today to learn more about our programs, so you can get and stay on the road to recovery now.
Written by: Carly Benson
As an avid traveler, yogi, and confessed self-help junkie, Carly writes about her adventures in life and sobriety on MiraclesAreBrewing.com where she offers inspirational concepts for enlightenment.
8 Ways To Prevent Relapse, The Huffington Post, Dr. Howard Samuels, <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-howard-samuels/relapse-prevention_b_3326444.html>, July 2013
How Headspace Supports My Sobriety, Headspace.com, Rhett Burch, <https://www.headspace.com/blog/2015/03/26/how-headspace-supports-my-sobriety/>, Oct 2014