Successfully completing a rehabilitation program is one of the most difficult things a person can do, but it’s an amazing accomplishment. Now, if you are wondering how life is going to be post-recovery, we understand. The future can be uncertain when you’ve gotten used to living a life of active addiction. But if you have the willpower to successfully complete an addiction recovery program, you can be confident that you have the ability to overcome any obstacles life throws at you moving forward. However, in order to do that, you must learn the essentials for living a sober life. Consider them as your tools for starting a new chapter and in order for you to be successful at it, here’s what you need to know.
The Four Dimensions of a Life in Recovery
Before you start developing the basic life skills you need, it is important that you maintain a safe, healthy and substance-free lifestyle. You must also learn about the four important dimensions that will support you during this recovery stage. They are as follows:
- Health – during your recovery, you must learn how to make informed, healthy decisions that support your new lifestyle. This means you must avoid or abstain from drugs and alcohol use, keep a healthy diet and have an exercise routine. Being able to properly manage your stress, anxiety, depression and other emotional issues is also a part of your recovery.
- Home – you must have a safe and stable home life. This basically means you need to have a place where you will feel secure in living out your beliefs, where you are supported by your family, as well as a place where you can live comfortably.
- Purpose – taking part in activities in daily living is important for many recovering addicts. This means you can go to work, attend a creative class or activity that you like and even volunteer, as these are all part of a meaningful and purposeful living.
- Community – maintaining healthy relationships with people who will provide you with the love, support and friendship that you need during recovery is important.
Once you have all four dimensions, then your recovery is going to be much easier. These can also contribute to establishing a stable and healthy wellbeing.
The Essentials You Need
Living a sober life requires recovering addicts to learn life skills that will allow them to transition back into society much easier. While the recovery phase and journey varies with each individual, having the essential skills during this time will help you become a better, independent and healthy person as you open a new chapter in your life. Here’s what you need to learn:
Develop a routine
Establishing a daily routine early on during recovery is a good idea. This way you can determine the difference between using drugs and staying away from them. Completing certain routines on schedule helps establish a structure as well as familiarity that you need to keep moving. Not only that, routines allow you to develop decision-making, take actions on situations and save time. Develop a routine that is simple so that you have some sort of structure, while still keeping it flexible for the unexpected.
Learning about proper self-care is essential as you transition into your new life. This means you have to eat healthy, get enough sleep and use the coping techniques taught to you in order to fight anxiety, depression and other negative thoughts that you may encounter while trying to live sober. If you can, take time to take care of yourself. Go to a spa, get that massage if you are stressing out, do an activity you enjoy, etc.. These little things can lift your spirits up. So do them and make sure that you make time in your schedule for it.
Set goals and work hard to achieve them
Making goals is one of the top essential skills you need to learn while in recovery. Keep in mind that the years of substance abuse could have left you feeling useless and hopeless. Without any goals in mind, you might look back and feel the same. Goals help you to keep moving forward. They also prevent you from returning to your old habits, and recovery is the best time to set your goals and pursue them till they’re achieved. Your goals don’t have to be very big. Start with small ones if you want. For example, set on running every day or volunteering for an organization of your choice. Having goals can keep you occupied and away from temptations of using again.
Manage your finances
Another important skill that you need to know is how to manage your finances. Planning and management can be difficult for a recovering addict, as you may have gone into debt buying drugs and alcohol, selling possessions to get more money for drugs and alcohol, getting into trouble and having legal fees, etc. In order to be an independent recovering addict, you must know how to manage your money properly. Buying food, paying rent, bills and other essential needs are all part of your transition. Knowing how to budget, save and plan for your future expenses are all important to learn while you are living sober.
Keeping a clean living space
Cleaning and maintaining a clean living space is a discipline that you must practice everyday. Keeping your place clean and tidy teaches you the importance of wants vs. needs. It will also come in handy if you are going to live with other people as it teaches you also to respect others, especially if you are living back with family members.
Having healthy relationships
Keeping healthy relationships is one of the goals you must achieve as a recovering addict. This does not limit you to just your relationship with a partner. In fact, you must develop a healthy relationship with your friends and family as well. It is also important that you learn how to communicate clearly and openly, express your emotions in a healthy way, listen to what others tell you and identify the triggers in social situations.
Manage your time
While in recovery, it is important that you know how to use your time well. Filling it with activities, goals and work is a good way to avoid boredom. Keeping a planner and scheduling your moves/activities can help you avoid relapse and at the same time enjoy achieving the goals you have in mind.
Keeping a job is one of the best things for people in recovery. Finding and securing a job is an accomplishment that will help you earn a living and be a productive member of society. Learning about creating resumes, sending applications, and presenting yourself for a job interview are among the things that you must learn so you can transition in life like a normal individual again.
Living a sober life is not always easy, but if you have learned all of these, you can adjust to life accordingly. Finding an experienced and licensed facility to help you acquire all these skills is important. Doing so can help you settle in as you transition back into society far better than you did before. Links
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.