More often than not, addiction begins with the desire to smother bad feelings. You want to feel better, or possibly nothing at all. Drugs likely worked for a short time, but then they became just another negative part of your identity. Since addiction tends to rob you of any self-worth, building solid self-esteem and respect is an important addition to any recovery journey.
To embrace a new life of sobriety, aim to rid your body and mind not just of drugs and alcohol, but the negative thinking patterns that come with them. Practicing self-love and appreciation on a regular basis will strengthen your self-confidence and your journey to recovery. For an optimal shot at long term sobriety, I recommend incorporating these ten practices to your recovery journey
1.Sweat it Out
Book a yoga class, do a HIIT session in your home, run around the block, whatever you prefer-just do it. Exercise rids your body of toxins, boosts metabolism, adrenaline and immune system (not to mention how great you’ll look once you make a habit of it). It’s especially good to get your mind off things when you’re feeling down or antsy, but it can be incorporated at any time and in whatever form works best for you.
2. Praise Yourself as Much as Possible
It might sound a little odd to constantly compliment yourself and boost your own ego, but it’s actually essential. Inadequacy is a common feeling for those suffering from addiction, and moving from that lesser state to one of acknowledgment will motivate you to keep your efforts strong. If you reach a goal of any kind, such as reaching a certain number of days sober, tell yourself you’re proud. Have a little celebration and give yourself the recognition you deserve.
3. Set Goals
If you want more reasons to be proud of accomplishing something, give yourself more to accomplish. The main goal in your journey to recovery is sobriety, of course, but recovery is about changing your entire lifestyle. Sobriety is a portion of the journey, a very important one, but not the only one. Make sure your goals are attainable so you’re not disappointed if your hard work doesn’t pay off and spread your goals out evenly across all areas of your life- work, friends, health, hobbies, etc. to stay balanced.
4. Learn to Say ‘No’
Embarking on the road to recovery is choosing to finally take care of yourself and your needs. Learn to understand what makes you happy and what makes you feel good, and only act on those. Let go of the guilt saying “no” often carries, whether it be with yourself or someone else. If something has the potential to hinder your recovery or your well being- simply don’t do it.
5. Freshen Up Your Fridge
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? In all seriousness though, eating healthy is the most effective form of medicine. You’ve already rid your body of drugs and alcohol, so go the extra mile and release all those built-up unwanted toxins your body is probably storing. You don’t have to only shop at Whole Foods or specialty stores just stock up on healthy fruits and veggies. Herbal teas for stress reduction or calming sensations work great too. You’ll wake up with a fresh mind and more energy if you lay off the pop tarts and cookies.
There’s nothing wrong with using technology, and in today’s day, it’s pretty much unavoidable. You should be able to binge watch Netflix or Youtube random videos without feeling guilty, but setting aside some time where you intentionally stay offline has a ton of benefits. Technology is a distraction from our deeper selves and giving yourself a couple hours a day or even one full day a week to have some uninterrupted solitude. Social media makes us compare our lives to others, even though we know what we see is only highlights. Turn your phone on airplane mode and shut down your computer, and learn to just be in the moment.
7. Reconnect with Loved Ones
Addiction has a way of tearing us away from those who are important and care for us the most. Substances often replace relationships, and once sober, rebuilding those relationships will strengthen your recovery and support system. Whether it be a phone call to an old friend or a dinner with family, give yourself the chance to reconnect.
8. Be Kind to Others
You always hear the saying, “treat others the way you would want to be treated” and it’s common for a reason. Helping others or simply just being kind makes us feel better about who we are as individuals. Not everybody will repay the favor, but that’s not an excuse to be a bad person. Sometimes the smallest of gestures can turn someone’s entire day around, and being the person who is responsible for that will surely boost the image you have of yourself. Whether it be volunteering or simply smiling at someone on the street, pay attention to the time and manners you pay to others.
9. Find a Happy Place
Where is the one place you feel totally at ease, calm, and free to be yourself? Maybe it’s the ocean or a coffee shop. Maybe it’s walking through the woods or reading a good book in bed. Don’t have one? Perfect! This gives you a reason to go out and try new things. Once you find your safe haven, spend time there, especially when things get tough. We all need a place where we don’t have to worry about anything but the present moment and our state of mind.
10. Be Patient
Recovery is a process, as is any kind of personal growth. Self-love is evolving and needs to be practiced daily. It may take a lifetime to master, but every little bit make a positive impact on your life. If you have a bad day, accept that and try harder tomorrow. No one is perfect, and we can’t expect to be the best version of ourselves every single day. We can, however, expect to do our best to try, and always stand taller when we get knocked down.
Recovery Is Possible
If you or a loved one is seeking sobriety, take the first step to creating a happy and healthy life. With help from the professionals at Elevations Health, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible. So call us today at 1-866-200-3224 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Elevation Health.