Living with substance abuse can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health, and when you go into recovery you may find that there are demons you must face that you never imagined you’d have the strength for. It can be a long road, and it’s never easy to travel. Finding healthy ways to cope with sober life, repairing relationships, and finding a new path where education or a career is concerned are all things that you’ll need to think about and face at some point, and doing so while staying clean can be overwhelming.
It’s important to find safe ways to cope and to learn how to deal with staying motivated. Here are some of the best tips on how to do just that.
You might already belong to a substance abuse support group, but it may be helpful to seek the help of friends or family, too. Find a trusted loved one you can talk to when things get rough, or consider finding a counselor or therapist who can help you get through it.
Use art therapy
Get creative and use art therapy to help you work through your emotions. This can be many things, including painting, writing, dancing, playing an instrument, or even gardening. Using your creative mind to work through feelings and find new ways to express yourself is important, and it can help you stay occupied if you’re thinking about using.
Getting active is a big part of recovery; daily exercise can help not only with getting in shape, but in boosting self-esteem and mood, too. If you have a pet, get him involved in your exercise routine to make it more fun; if not, consider getting a part-time job as a dog walker or boarder. This will allow you to stay busy, bond with a sweet animal, and make extra money at the same time.
You may have trouble with your appetite after living with substance abuse, and it’s important to talk to your doctor about what sort of diet is best for you to ensure you’re getting what you need. Work out a meal plan for each day of the week so you won’t be tempted by fast food, and don’t sabotage yourself; keep healthy snacks at home rather than cookies and soda. Make up small resealable bags full of carrot sticks, grapes, string cheese, pretzels, and other goodies and keep them handy for small breaks throughout the day.
Seek new friends
It can be hard to make positive changes in your life when you have the same people around you from the past. Make an effort to forge new relationships with people who can have a positive influence on your growth and well-being and stay away from those who might be a bad influence.
Taking care of yourself can mean anything from exercising daily to treating yourself to a long, hot bath at the end of the day. Find something that makes you happy in a healthy way and practice it as much as possible. Making sure your emotional and physical needs are taken care of is a big part of recovery.
Remember to take things slowly and don’t be hard on yourself if you have a relapse. Many who are in recovery find that taking one day at a time is the only way to find their way back to a healthy lifestyle.