The life changes that a person makes while in recovery can help them to maintain their sobriety even in times of stress and temptation. Developing healthier habits and coping strategies is the best way for a person suffering from addiction to make their sobriety comfortable and permanent. These are some of the most important healthy habits for people to adopt while in recovery.
1. Talking to a Support System
One of the first things that an addict must learn in recovery is to learn to rely on others for help. While dealing with addiction, people can become isolated and secretive instead of sharing their problems with friends. A recovery program gives patients the opportunity to develop a support system of peers and mentors who can be there in times of need. Addicts must develop the habit of talking to people when life gets overwhelming instead of withdrawing into their addiction. Friends and mentors can help relieve stress and provide valuable advice or encouragement.
2. Developing Positive Self-Esteem
A major trigger for many addicts can be depression and feelings of worthlessness. Low self-esteem can be a problem that leads people to seek refuge or escape in their substance abuse. In recovery, it is important for addicts to develop a habit of thinking more positively about themselves. They must learn to love and accept themselves as they are and begin to think more positively about life in general. Positive self-image is a part of the better mental health that is necessary to maintain sobriety especially in the early months after rehab.
3. Staying Physically Active
Quitting drugs and alcohol is already a huge improvement to health but regular exercise can be another way to maintain healthy habits for the body. Exercising can help boost a person's energy mood and confidence while keeping them busy. Working out regularly can also be a great stress reliever to help addicts cope with emotional triggers. Many studies have shown that exercise helps to reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol and provides addicts with more positive self-esteem.
4. Avoid Addiction Replacements
A common problem for people in recovery is a tendency to keep their addictive habits but transfer them to something else. For people that struggle with alcohol or drugs they might take up smoking while trying to recover as a type of addiction replacement. Although they may think these other habits are just a way to keep them on track with their sobriety, it is simply another problem that they will have to deal with later. Instead of replacing one addiction with another, it is better for addicts to focus on more positive habits that improve their quality of life.
5. Volunteer and Help Others
Many recovery programs and twelve step meetings emphasize the importance of addicts learning to be generous and offering their help to others. Doing charity and volunteer work is a great way for people to forget about themselves and their own problems and instead be there for someone in need. Volunteering regularly can be a healthy habit for an addict that instills better values and a greater sense of community. For newly recovered addicts, volunteering can help them learn more responsibility and prepare them to start working again when they return home.