After completing a rehabilitation program, the work is hardly over. In fact, receiving treatment is among the first steps in the recovery process. Recovery is a lifelong journey, and sustaining long term recovery can come with challenges. While it can be difficult, there are many things you can do to maintain your sobriety and enjoy life without substance use. That’s why we’ve outlined four strategies you can use to succeed in long-term recovery.
Maintain Healthy Relationships
Many of those who struggled with substance abuse can find it difficult to maintain healthy, positive relationships with others. The emotions and internal struggles that accompany early recovery can be difficult to manage, and it’s not uncommon for them to affect your relationships. It is important to make an effort to develop healthy relationship skills. For instance, working on coping mechanisms or conflict resolution skills can help you to manage disagreements or rough patches in your friendships or romantic relationships.
You should also seek out relationships that are conducive to your recovery. If you were involved with toxic people in the past, it is in your best interest to prioritize people who are as invested in bettering themselves as you are. A support system is essential to a successful recovery, so making sure that you surround yourself with supportive people will ensure that your relationships don’t pose a threat to your sobriety.
Keep A Healthy Lifestyle
Leading a healthy lifestyle is a great way to ensure your success in recovery. Developing a daily routine of productive behaviors and keeping your physical health in good condition can be beneficial in many ways. Some things you can do to make healthy lifestyle changes are:
- Eat healthy - It is common for some people in recovery to engage in junk food or sweets. Eating nutritional foods and fueling your body can help you to not only avoid health complications, but it can help you to feel less sluggish and more motivated. Getting your nutrients from lean meats (or alternatives), grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy (or alternatives) can help you to have a balanced diet. Try to limit foods high in saturated fats, foods with added sugars, and foods with added salts. You should also make sure that you stay hydrated and drink enough water each day.
- Exercise often - Daily exercise can improve both your physical and mental health. Going for a run, weightlifting, doing yoga, and more are all ways that you can stay active. Exercising affects neurochemicals in your brain that directly relate to your mood and mental state. In fact, aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, walking, and more have been proven(opens in a new tab) to reduce anxiety and depression. Finally, exercise can help to curb boredom – which is one of the leading risk factors for relapse.
- Get enough sleep - Most adults need 7 hours of good quality sleep per night. Getting enough sleep has countless health benefits – both mentally and physically. When you are sleeping enough, you can reduce stress and improve your mood, lower your risk for serious health problems, think more clearly, and make good decisions.
A healthy lifestyle is an important part of having success in long-term recovery. If your body and mind are healthy, and you have developed a productive daily routine, you are less likely to relapse.
Attend Support Groups
Support groups can be incredibly helpful to those seeking long-term recovery. Speaking with individuals who are struggling with similar issues and understand what you are going through can be very therapeutic. A support system of any kind is beneficial to your recovery, and a support group offers exactly that.
Through attending a support group, you can get motivation and encouragement to face the obstacles you encounter during your recovery journey. With a shoulder to lean on and a sympathetic ear from those who can relate to you, you will be less likely to relapse.
Prioritize Self Care and Personal Growth
During recovery, it is important to actively pursue personal growth and prioritize self-care. Developing healthy habits to deal with emotions and stress are essential to a successful recovery. Further, increasing your emotional intelligence and learning to deal with your past traumas can be a milestone in your healing process. It could be helpful to see a therapist to work on putting your emotions into words, positive reactions to stress, and more.
While getting caught up in daily life and expectations, you cannot forget to take care of yourself. Set time aside to practice self-care, as it is important to your mental wellbeing. Take some time to do something for you that you enjoy, or try new hobbies that bring you peace and calm. For instance, Gateway Rehab offers yoga and zentangle which can assist you in practicing mindfulness. As long as you are taking care of yourself, you can continue your recovery journey successfully.
Achieving long-term recovery can be difficult, but if you practice putting yourself first, living a healthy life and maintaining a support system, the process will be much easier. Recovery is not a one time fix, it is a continuous journey. With lifestyle changes, growth, and guidance, the road to recovery can be one of hope and enjoyment. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Gateway Rehab offers inpatient and outpatient services, as well as substance abuse support programs.
At Gateway Rehab, our priority is to guide patients toward a life of sustained recovery. Our team recognizes that not every patient shares the same path to sobriety, and that is why we customize treatment options that address each individual’s personal needs and goals. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with addiction, we are here to help. Schedule your first appointment with one of our recovery centers today or call 1-800-472-1177 for more information.