Addiction has a way of detouring just about every successful path we're traveling down. It can ruin relationships, devastate our finances, put our job at risk, destroy our mental health, and essentially leave us lost. But it doesn't have to be that way forever. In fact, working a treatment plan while incorporating other healthy life changes can get us back on a happy and healthier track.
#1 Find A Healthy Outlet
Finding new, healthier ways to spend your free time is a great way to move forward in recovery. A new hobby or activity can be an invaluable coping tool on your recovery journey, and offers positive ways to use your time.
When it comes to determining what you should do, think about what sparks joy in you. Take these steps to find something you're passionate about.
1. Face your fears aka try something you may not have considered.
2. Decide if you want to do it solo or with a group.
3. Calculate a budget.
4. Ask your friends for ideas.
5. Consider something you loved as a kid, say drawing or exploring the outdoors.
6. If the first thing you try isn't a fit, keep trying.
#2 Focus On Your Finances
Financial worries can be a big factor in getting back on track. It might be time to take on a side gig to help make ends meet, but be sure to choose something you enjoy doing so it doesn't add to your stress levels. You can freelance almost any talent or skill these days: tutoring, dog walking, driving, web design, writing, legal services you name it.
Make sure that you begin your new undertaking in a professional manner. By covering business basics, you'll not only be set up for success, you'll feel more confident going into it. Gauge whether you live in one of the best states to start a business, and then develop a sound business plan so you can apply for funding if you need it; consider also establishing an LLC business. An LLC (limited liability company) protects your assets. Making choices like these will boost your self-assurance and provide you with financial stability.
#3 Make Exercise A Priority
According to Harvard Medical School, exercise during addiction recovery reduces stress,
boosts positive emotions and helps you gain clarity. And multiple studies have shown that exercise can reduce relapse during withdrawal periods. So how can you get started? The health experts at Mayo Clinic recommend five steps to get started with a fitness program.
1. Determine your present fitness level.
2. Design a balanced fitness routine by assessing your goals.
3. Assemble your equipment.
4. Get started slowly and gradually build up.
5. Track your progress. Seeing success visually keeps you goal-oriented.
#4 Find New Ways To Cope With Stress
Chances are stress was a significant reason you started using drugs or alcohol, but it's also important to remember it's a major cause of relapse. With this in mind, you're going to need to find meaningful ways to combat letting stress win. To conquer stress, make time for the following.
1. Give up being a people pleaser.
2. Focus on gratitude and not attitude.
3. Learn how to turn stress off.
4. Try journaling.
5. Also try deep breathing exercises.
6. Consider animal therapy.
#5 Take Up Urge Surfing
Instead of trying to combat urges with the old toughing it out approach, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that you lean into your cravings. This is known as urge surfing. Urge surfing doesn't eliminate the craving. Instead, it allows you to focus on the urge in a new way. By learning what the craving feels like, you become more aware of the exact physical changes and can better master learning to ride them out. There are three fundamental components of urge surfing.
1. Pay particular attention to how your body experiences the cravings. For example, where does your craving originate physically? How does it make you feel?
2. Focus on the specific area that is experiencing the urge. Is it feelings of tension? Is it hard to breathe? What physical changes are occurring in the origination area.
3. Repeat focusing on each area that experienced the urge.
Being an addiction warrior requires fighting the addiction on multiple fronts. And studies show that those that can successfully incorporate multiple strategies are most often the victors. Use these five essentials to help get your life back on track and claim your warrior status.
Self-care is also a necessary component of the recovery process, and this starts with exercise, mind-body health, and quality nutrition. Live Life Well provides a wealth of content related to all things wellness to help you live a healthy, joyful lifestyle.