Quitting drugs and alcohol is a good start
The path to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction isn’t just about ‘quitting’. Most recovery experts will tell you that making huge life changes while trying to manage substance abuse can be detrimental to recovery. Huge changes like major purchases, moving, and altering the trajectory of romantic relationships should probably wait until you’ve been sober for some time. It’s important to start small and work your way up to bigger changes, but the good news is there are smaller, more manageable life changes that can aid your road to recovery.
Eat better and get some more exercise
Adopting a healthier diet not only helps you replace bad habits with good ones, but it teaches discipline and promotes better mental health as well. A strong body means and strong mind, and a strong mind is needed to help battle addiction. Exercise is great because it not only helps to occupy your time, but it helps the body and mind feel good through the production of its own happy chemicals. Another added benefit of exercise, according to Narconon, is it “will tend to put you in the company of other people who are dedicated to living healthy lifestyles, which will help to support you in your new life.”
Pick up a new hobby
For many of the same reasons exercise is beneficial to those in recovery, starting a new hobby – anything from cooking to gardening, woodworking to collecting – not only helps you occupy the void left by quitting a substance, but also introduces you to communities of people that share your interests. Many hobbyists also share a journey to recovery.
The great thing about hobbies is that they are something that can be shared among like-minded individuals and can be bonded over.
Reevaluate your relationships
You need support on your road to recovery – but you need the right kind of support.
Hopefully, you will make new friends through new hobbies and support groups, but you do have to come to terms with the fact that not all of your old connections are healthy for you anymore. Talk to your friends and family, and let them know that you are unable to sustain relationships that may trigger a relapse. If your friends can’t accommodate your new life, it might be time to make a choice to distance yourself.
Practice a mindfulness exercise
Recovery is hard, and it’s taxing on anyone’s mental health. One of the best ways to prepare your mind for what’s coming is to take some time to practice some sort of mindfulness exercise. Just a few minutes a day of meditation, prayer, or focus breathing can relieve stress and reduce the risks of a relapse.
Making some small but meaningful life changes can seriously improve your odds of success when it comes to overcoming addiction. For more on how to make life changes that last, consult this fine article from the American Psychological Association.