Committing to a rehabilitation program and successfully seeing it through to the very end is one of the biggest, most challenging achievements you can ever experience. So, before you proceed, take the time to congratulate yourself on making it so far. That being said, it’s important to remember that just because you’re out of rehab and back to your normal life doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of the woods.
Life after rehab is full of stressors and triggers that will test your strength and commitment to stay sober in every possible way. However, keeping yourself occupied can help you stay on track. Below, are some of the healthiest approaches to staying busy after rehab and how each one can help you increase your chances of sustained sobriety.
Many recovering addicts relapse solely out of boredom. Filling your time with positive hobbies can decrease your risk of relapse, so take the time to figure out what sparks your interest. It could be writing, painting, reading, knitting, gardening, or basically anything that keeps your hands and mind busy. You should also consider signing up for classes and activities that will get you out of the house like joining a book club, for instance. This can give you something to look forward to while also allowing you to make new connections and expand your social circle.
Aftercare Programs and Support Groups
Staying sober following rehabilitation is infinitely harder without a support system. Connecting with others who can offer expert guidance and support can play a key role in your recovery. This is why the addiction counselors at https://www.rehabclinic.org.uk/ strongly recommend enrolling in an aftercare program. Not only will an aftercare system help you ease back into your sober life, but it will also allow the staff to actively monitor your progress. This, in turn, can significantly reduce your chances of relapsing.
Sharing your experience with other recovering addicts through a local support group or an online one will help you realize that you’re not alone which can inspire you to keep going. Moreover, spending time with those who understand your struggles —whether it’s through an aftercare program or a support group— means that you’ll have less spare time for things to go wrong. It also fosters personal and emotional connections which are two key components of recovery.
Meditation and Spiritual Practices
While finding comfort in the company of others is an important part of sobriety, you can’t be around people 24 hours a day. At first, being alone can be difficult. During these times, your deepest fears, and your darkest thoughts can get the best of you. This is why keeping your mind occupied is crucial. The goal is to train your mind to focus on healthier things so you can begin to change your life for the better. To do that, you’ll need to practice mindfulness. This can be achieved through various approaches that include breathing exercises, meditation, and other spiritual practices like prayers. Frequently engaging in an activity that helps your mind refocus on other areas will help you find balance, and can also decrease your need or desire to go back to substance abuse.
Arguably, the best way to stay busy is to keep both your body and mind occupied, and exercise can help you do just that. Besides the known physical benefits, regular exercise also provides a multitude of psychological benefits that include: relieving stress, ward off negative thoughts and emotions, and alleviating cravings. When you engage in any form of physical activity such as running, cycling, swimming, etc., your body releases endorphins. These chemicals trigger an overall sense of wellbeing and euphoria, often accompanied by a positive outlook on life— which you’ll definitely need to stay sober.
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Another way to keep yourself busy is by doing some volunteer work. Volunteering requires you to think about someone other than yourself which can effectively take your mind off of your own seemingly inescapable thoughts and problems and make you feel more in control. Plus, helping others or contributing to a worthwhile cause in any way can give you a greater sense of purpose and meaning. As a result, this can make you less inclined to abuse drugs or alcohol.
As you can see, staying busy after rehabilitation is a big part of your recovery as it can help you cope with the daily stressors and triggers that can fuel your addiction. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how you choose to spend your time, all that matters is that you pick up some healthy habits and hobbies that can keep you busy and engaged while allowing you to focus on your recovery.