Five top tips for the first year of addiction recovery - The Evesham Observer

Five top tips for the first year of addiction recovery

Evesham Editorial 28th May, 2024   0

Addiction is incredibly challenging and while acknowledging you have a problem with the likes of alcohol or drugs is one of the most difficult and greatest steps to take, going through treatment and recovery can provide its equally challenging moments.

When visiting an addiction treatment centre, the counsellors and therapists you work with provide you with the tools to enter recovery, but that alone won’t necessarily keep you successfully in rehab, it can take much more than that.

So, if you’re in your first year of recovery, here are five top tips to help you stay on track with it…

Establish a Strong Support System

One thing you need to prioritise is getting a strong support network in place. There will be good times and there will be bad in that first year, and to get encouragement and guidance through every step of the way can be hugely instrumental in staying on track.

Support networks can come from anywhere, whether it be community groups, the likes of Alcoholics Anonymous, or even various online platforms with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being fantastic places to find comfort and inspiration.

Create a Structured Routine

Routine is also a hugely important part of navigating recovery successfully. You’ll learn that in rehab and a well structured routine can significantly reduce stress and, as a result, minimise trigger points that could lead to relapse.

Plan output days, have a weekly schedule and drop in your work time, periods for exercise, meal plans and more. This also includes set bed times and wake up calls to ensure a good night’s sleep, ready to take on the challenges of the next day.

Focus on Physical Health

Physical health plays a significant role in recovery. Substance abuse can take a toll on your body, so it’s important to prioritise your physical well-being. Start by incorporating regular exercise into your routine. Physical activity releases endorphins, which improve your mood and help reduce stress and anxiety.

Nutrition is also crucial. Aim to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Proper nutrition helps repair the damage caused by substance abuse and provides the energy needed to support your recovery. Additionally, ensure you get enough sleep, as rest is vital for both physical and mental health.

Develop Coping Strategies

Utilising the coping mechanisms learnt in rehab is also hugely important. Keep a log of trigger points and the best ways to navigate those and return to the log regularly to ensure you know what to do in case they occur.

The likes of mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and physical exercise can all be really helpful, enabling you to tackle the challenges you face head on and efficiently.

Celebrate Milestones and Progress

Finally, recovery is a journey, and it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements along the way. Setting small, achievable goals and recognising when you meet them can boost your motivation and self-esteem. These goals can be related to your recovery, such as reaching a certain number of days sober, or personal achievements, like developing a new skill or hobby.

Celebrate your progress in healthy, rewarding ways. This could be treating yourself to a nice meal, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in an activity you enjoy. Celebrating milestones not only reinforces your commitment to recovery but also reminds you of how far you’ve come.

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