Aftercare is an essential part of your recovery process especially after you leave rehabilitation. From attending group meetings, joining support groups, changing your location, to surrounding yourself with better, healthier company, it is imperative that you set smart and achievable goals to aid you in your journey after rehab.
Maybe you want to kickstart your college education, or invest in a business, or even help raise awareness about the many dangers of addiction, etc. Setting long-term goals can help bring purpose and meaning to your life as these can greatly assist in ongoing therapy and keep you away from any risks of relapse.
Experts from charleston recovery center suggest that you set these productive goals to grow more after recovery and for continued sobriety.
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1. Evaluate Your Environment and Move to a Better Location if Necessary
One of the most common reasons for relapse is a poor environment. Places that you may associate with addiction, trauma, or even low points in your life, can cause old feelings and urges to resurface. Your old neighborhood or apartment may be a reminder of substance abuse.
Therefore, a new location can offer a new beginning. You no longer must worry about walking by old drug dealers, street corners, bars, or other locations where you may have spent time fulfilling your addictions or engaging in substance abuse. A fresh start can keep these powerful triggers at bay, especially if you are a recovering addict.
Moving to a new town, city, or even just a different neighborhood can help push that reset button in your life and you can capitalize on new opportunities, relationships, and benefit from a healthy, drug-free environment.
2. Continue Your Education, or Begin Afresh
If you were in college or planning to enroll before you stepped into rehab, you can continue that path and fulfill your dreams after recovery. To get your life back on track, continuing a lifelong passion and earning a degree can be a great motivator in the long term.
Filling in college applications, preparing for interviews, collecting transcripts, recommendations, etc., can be an exciting time in anyone’s life. More importantly, these can be excellent deterrents for recovering addicts. Your time will be well spent working on college essays instead of mulling over your past or facing risks of relapse.
3. Surround Yourself with Sober Company
Addictions can be a result of the influence and peer pressure. People who surround themselves with others who are suffering from substance abuse disorder are likely to develop the habit themselves.
One of the major steps to recovery from addiction is by surrounding yourself with sober friends and family. A solid, sober unit can be immensely helpful in keeping your urges at bay.
Friendships and relationships built on mutual drug addictions can be corrosive for your mental health as well as physical well-being. Instead, the sober company can motivate you to aim for better goals and stay healthy in the process.
4. Dedicate Time to Your Mental Health
It goes without saying that a healthy mind is a gateway to a happy life. After rehabilitation, returning to your old routine can be incredibly stressful and triggering. In some cases, it may even lead to severe depression and relapse.
To combat these urges, it is essential that you take the time to focus on your mental health and attend post-rehab therapy sessions to update your therapist about your condition and progress. Confiding in friends and family close to you can also help you feel stronger.
In addition to therapy, you should give yourself positive goals to fulfill each day, so you never have to think about past addictions and instead focus on your everyday tasks. Morning or evening meditation sessions can also help with your healing process, and help you be at peace.
Finally, take the time to exercise each day. Yoga is an excellent way to channel out the stress in your body and help your brain be at peace. This practice in patience can reduce anxiety and depression significantly. You will also be able to strengthen your will against negative urges.
Go for a swim, take your dog out for a walk, lift weights, practice yoga or meditation, do stretches, etc. These will lift your mood and help you combat risks of relapse.
5. Join a Support Group for the Long Haul
Most rehab centers and programs will require clients to attend therapy sessions after they finish the recovery process. Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) work to bring recovering addicts together so they can motivate one another to fight for a better life away from addictions.
You should also learn more about this non 12 step program that can help you in your long-term recovery journey. This approach focuses on holistic treatment options that help our clients understand their own psychological and mental health, and how those systems work. By doing so, individuals can move forward from addiction issues without continuing to work against their internal systems.
Support groups help recovering addicts feel less lonely and there is greater motivation to maintain sobriety and a healthy lifestyle. While it may be tempting to skip these meetings, they are an essential part of the healing process.
Support groups are for the long term. Participants can learn more about drug withdrawal, different addictions, the dangers of relapse, etc., through these meetings. It is also important to remember that your family and friends cannot substitute for these meetings.