Starting out on the road of recovery can be filled with challenges. You’ve taken the most important step when you stopped drinking or using drugs but everything in your life is now new. You may be seeking out new friends, starting a new job or developing a new daily routine. All while working hard to prevent having a relapse. Each one of these situations can produce stress. Combined together, you have a recipe for anxious moments. This puts women in early sobriety at greater risk for relapse. It is estimated that 90 percent of those recovering from substance abuse have a relapse. While your primary desire may be to stay sober, even the strongest people must develop skills to prevent relapses and deal with stress. Professionals recommend that you change your social circle and the places you go to. This makes sense when you consider that if you want to create a new path for yourself, you need to leave the old path behind. To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled some tips based on scientific research.
Change Your World
When you are embarking on the journey to discover what recovery means to you, you are essentially creating a new world for yourself. You’re creating new patterns and people in your life. Developing new friendships and changing where you spend your time will play a large role in preventing relapse and smoothing your transition into a new way of life. You may find yourself spending more time with your family by planning special outings or evenings together. For others, developing a structured daily routine helps ease anxiety and helps to avoid situations that could let to a relapse.
Develop Solid Relationships
When you enter recovery, it may seem like a new world. Having friends who understand the transition you are going through is important. They can help when you are frightened or uncertain. Having a friend to call on when you are angry or down will help keep you moving forward. Participating in a support group surrounds yourself with people who understand the pitfalls that await individuals in early recovery. In fact, people who have enjoyed recovery for many years will share that they still face challenges. Anyone who is new in recovery can learn from their coping strategies and apply them in their own lives.
Periods, often years, of using can take a toll on your body. Incorporating regular exercise into your daily regime will pay off by improving your health and your emotions. Exercise is well documented to relieve stress and balance mood. This supports your desire to constantly improve yourself while preventing triggers that lead to relapse.
Prioritize Self Care
Caring for ourselves is not a priority for women. We are raised to nurture others but often don’t nurture ourselves. Things like a luxurious bath or a long walk are generally not things we think about in a fast-paced world. They are, however, exactly the things that will keep you sane as you move through recovery, process raw emotions and figure out your future. Taking care of yourself can relieve stress and anxiety. You can also use these moments to just ‘check in with yourself’ and see how you are doing. Small quiet moments doing things that nurture yourself keeps you in touch with your emotions and makes you aware of any triggers lurking to take you off the right path. Spend some time with self-care because no one else will.
Write it Out
While, at times, you may feel shame or guilt over your past actions, if you allow them to, those emotions will hinder your recovery. One way to progress and work through the emotions that are crowding you is to search for ways to manage swirling thoughts. Professionals recommend writing about your feelings. Getting them on paper gets them out of your head and lets you process.
When you leave female addiction treatment, you’ve already begun recovery. To maintain your new outlook, get a job. Many people leaving treatment will either be unemployed or underemployed. This is a good time to look for a new job. Not only will you have a method of income, but you’ll also meet new people and discover new skills. Take care of yourself, though, as stress related to a new job can trigger a relapse.
Make Honesty a Priority
As you journey along the path of recovery, prioritizing honesty with yourself and others helps everyone. By sharing your story with others in your support group, you’re sharing the common struggles that you all have.
These are just a few ideas to keep you going in early recovery. You’ll find some strategies work better than others to prevent triggers and keep you sane. The important thing is to keep working at it. You’re worth it!
Call us today to continue on the strong path of recovery. We pride ourselves in always being able to help.