As addiction recovery patients re-enter society, maintaining their sobriety should remain as their primary goal. Everything you have accomplished from work to re-establishing personal relationships will eventually topple if you are unable to maintain consistent, long-term sobriety. This is not to suggest an all-or-nothing approach to continued sobriety. Relapses happen and the stigma surrounding what is essentially a mistake needs to be reversed rather than re-emphasized. However, the truth for those with addictive disorders is that sobriety is the foundation from which their new life will be built. Without it, the house you labored over to build a-new in rehab and since in early recovery will most certainly crumble and fall.
Meeting the demands of work, socializing, and maintaining personal relationships can be a daunting challenge for even those without addictive disorders or co-occurring mental health issues; for individuals in addiction recovery, these pressures seemingly double as it is just another concern added to the complex web of attempting to maintain their sobriety. That is why so many individuals will find themselves succumbing to the stressors from work or from the pressures of maintaining ongoing personal relationships; without knowing or even being aware that they are neglecting their self-care, addiction recovery patients begin to lapse on the routine and structure they had previously learned in rehab or at their outpatient treatment services.
Although individuals in addiction recovery may not actively choose to ignore positive and healthier methods of self-care, many will get lost in the confusion and disarray of everyday life and unfortunately place the importance of self-care on the back burner while they attempt to manage the relative immediate needs of daily living. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of self-care in the ongoing treatment of addictive disorders with co-occurring mental issues, and before we address tips for ensuring that self-care remains a priority in recovery, we will first explain exactly what we mean by the term self-care.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care will be different depending on each individual, but for the most part, the process of self-care will involve two steps. The first step is that addiction recovery patients will need to mentally check-in with themselves consistently to gauge their feelings of comfort in their sobriety, and the second action, directly following the first, would be to take the necessary time out of your schedule to conduct any chosen methods of self-care. Self-care is all about creating an environment that is conducive to the preventative measures that promote a moderate lifestyle while continuing the actions necessary for maintaining sobriety.
The direct actions of self-care can be as varied as doing the dishes when you feel particularly depressed (active and tangible goal-oriented accomplishments can greatly reduce depressive disorders) or scheduling out regular meditation sessions to start your day. Whatever the process is that signifies self-care for you as an individual, the main takeaway should be that you need to allow the necessary time to accomplish it. Continuing self-care can be as simple as a scheduling issue; discovering which methods are effective at providing self-care may be more of a trial-and-error process that we will discuss in the following section.
The Balancing Act of Work, Relationships, and Sobriety
For individuals in addiction recovery, prioritizing self-care as you re-enter society will most certainly feel like a balancing act. There is no definitive guide to this process, but here are some tips that can help keep that balance in favor of maintaining long-term sobriety.
- Keep a Journal or Schedule Planner: Keeping a journal may initially be offputting, but writing about your daily activities or thoughts can act as a form of therapy while also allowing those with addictive disorders to become more self-aware of their needs in the recovery process. Journaling is where you can work out which and what methods of self-care are effective for your particular recovery process. Also, recording your daily routine is one of the best ways to tangibly see if you are potentially lapsing on those methods of self-care that are so beneficial to your recovery. Even if it is as little as a daily planner, recording and taking the time to schedule an active routine can help to promote continued sobriety.
- Enact a Routine: Routine is your friend when it comes to addiction recovery and being able to plan a regular daily pattern will go a long way in maintaining sobriety. This can involve exercise or even just eating at regular times, and it would also prove beneficial to addiction recovery patients to have a regular work schedule. Even if it is not a traditional nine-to-five job, having a routine for each week will promote the consistency necessary for continuing sobriety. This will also make it easier to schedule out a time for your chosen methods of self-care.
- Attend Regular Meetings: Recovery meetings are one of the best methods of self-care that prioritize sobriety maintenance while also providing a source for socialization during what can be an isolating time especially for those in early recovery. Recovery meetings are also free to attend which makes all but eliminates any potential downsides.
- Be Patient: Give yourself time because, even if it does not feel like it, you are recovering from a major illness. This involves making time in your day for self-care, but it also requires that you be patient with yourself. Sobriety should be your main priority in early recovery which means you might have to back off from responsibilities from work or even developing personal relationships. This is a walk before you can run scenario, and rest assured, there will be plenty of time to take on the pressures of work and personal relationships once you have a better grasp on your newfound sobriety.
If you or someone you love is seeking treatment for an addictive disorder with co-occurring mental heal issues, then Choice House has dual-diagnosis treatment services that can help. Through a variety of therapeutic modalities, we offer men the chance to build a new foundation of love, understanding, and empathy as they achieve and learn how to maintain sobriety. Our treatment programs include a 90-day inpatient service, an intensive outpatient program, and the opportunity to take up residency at our sober living campus. We are located in the Boulder County area of Colorado with the Rocky Mountain National Park literally in our backyard. Taking full advantage of the Rocky Mountain nature preserve, we utilize a unique outdoor wilderness therapy where can reconnect with themselves, nature, and fellow recovery patients through physical activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking. We believe that the bonds of friendship developed through our outdoor therapy will last a lifetime and prove vital to the recovery process long after clients have left our facilities. Those residing at our sober living campus also benefit from our facilities being near the bustling city of Louisville which is just a short 20-minute drive away. Patients can better transition to their sober lifestyles by maintaining employment and keeping active social lives while still under the guidance and supervision of Choice House staff. For more information regarding Choice House’s facilities or addiction recovery treatment services, please give us a call at (720) 577-4422.