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How to Build a Recovery Lifestyle that Works for You

Addicts in recovery often make the mistake of wanting things to get back to normal. The problem is that the lifestyle you had before treatment is what led to addiction in the first place. A better approach is to focus on building a healthy lifestyle that supports recovery. Remember to build positive habits slowly, and always take one day at a time.

Prioritize meetings and therapy.

You absolutely must make your recovery a priority–above your family, your friends, your job, everything–because if you don’t stay in recovery, you risk everything else. Meetings and therapy should be fixed on your calendar. As you recover, your needs in recovery change and these support systems will help you adapt to new challenges as they arise. Helping addicts new to recovery will remind you why you are working so hard to stay clean and sober and let you help others by lending your support and experience.

Establish a good routine.

What constitutes a good routine is different for everyone. Typically it means a regular bedtime, a regular wakeup time, regular exercise, and regular meetings. The details depend on you. If a yoga class first thing in the morning helps you feel energized and connected, make sure you make it a regular feature of your week. If you prefer a solitary run in the evening, do that, but do it consistently. The more habitual you make healthy behaviors, the less thought and effort you have to put into them and the easier they become.

Be around the right people.

This one can be difficult. You may have friends who are good people, but who are bad for you. If someone makes you feel the need to use, whether it’s because he uses or because he stresses you out, limit contact with him as much as possible. Spend more time around other recovering addicts who share your goals and values.

Pay attention to health, especially sleep.

If you keep yourself healthy, you will feel better and have more energy. This makes it much easier to deal with stress and cravings. When you are healthy and well rested, you have fewer of those insidious thoughts about failure and relapse. You will feel less overwhelmed. If you have been an addict for a while, your body probably has some healing to do and it needs as much rest and nourishment as possible.

Know your triggers.

Triggers are different for everyone. Be aware of times you feel overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious and try to understand why you feel that way. It could be certain places, smells, people, or situations. You won’t be able to avoid all of these all the time but find ways to minimize contact and develop strategies for when you can’t avoid them.

Manage stress.

Stress is a trigger for most people. If you have an inherently stressful job, you may have to make some kind of change. You won’t be able to avoid all stress, though, so find ways to deal with feelings of stress and schedule time to relax.

Find a hobby.

If all goes well, you will find yourself with some extra time and money. Find a productive way to spend it. A new hobby is a good way to make new friends and set some positive goals for yourself.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you  detox in a comfortable environment and take advantage of a variety of complementary therapeutic approaches. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.