Why social support matters, as well as other ways to keep a positive perspective during recovery.
Going through recovery and staying sober is no small feat. It involves a lot of hard work, focus, and forces to confront a lot of your personal demons. The recovery process also has its good moments, where you begin to know what it's like to lead a healthy, well balanced life with good relationships and fulfilling experiences.
These positive aspects make all the hard work and pain of recovery truly worth it. In time, you will begin to feel the healing process begin to work and create real changes in your life. You'll find yourself living in a way that you never dreamed was possible back when addiction had a hold on you.
No matter how well your recovery is progressing, it's a good idea to be prepared for any setbacks. This means a relapse. Relapse is a very real and possible obstacle to anyone's recovery, even for those who have been doing especially well or have been sober for years. This is why it's important to build strong foundations for your recovery and to be aware of the things you can do to deal with any issues that arise.
Two very big things to focus on that will strengthen your recovery are staying connected with others and nourishing a positive outlook on being sober. Sounds simple, but you'd be surprised at how many people overlook these things and end up running into problems. Of course, no one is perfect and overcoming obstacles is a necessary part of growing and bringing change into your life. But just having the right tools available to you will make all the difference in what you get out of these hurdles.
Here are a few ways to stay connected and positive:
- Maintaining relationships with others. This can take the form of simply making an effort to stay in touch with friends, reaching out to others who need friendship, and being there for people when they need someone. Make spending time with people a priority in your life and you'll find that you start feeling healthier and more balanced. Be sure to that the relationships you choose to nurture are positive ones that support your priorities in recovery.
- Giving back to others. Another great way to make connections is by being of service to others. This can take the form of volunteering, mentoring, or helping out at 12 step meetings. Don't make the service about you or your needs. Simply provide the services out of the spirit of your own generosity.
- Taking care of your own health and well being. It can be easy to neglect our own physical and emotional needs when we're focused on recovery. Making sure that we stay healthy both inside and out is actually an important tool for staying positive. Be sure to get regular exercise, a good diet, and take care of emotional health by seeing a therapist or practicing a stress relieving practice like meditation.
- Find a hobby you truly enjoy. This can be painting, horseback riding, or any other activity that you've always wanted to try or never had enough time for. Make the time for it every week and immerse yourself in the activity. You'll find that your stress levels will drop and that you're left feeling good about yourself.
- Practicing gratitude. Just making gratefulness a regular part of your practice will help nourish an overall greater sense of positivity. Being aware of all the good you have in your life also makes it easier to cope with negative people or events as they arise.