They say addiction is a beast. That’s true. But recovery is another monster, in its own way. When you’re in recovery, you’re essentially fighting against yourself. Especially in early recovery, your mind and body are struggling to use again. But to recover successfully, you’ll need to resist what feels like natural urges. Relapse is always waiting to tempt you.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to keep your mind and body strong in recovery.
Here are 5 ways you can stay motivated during your recovery process.
- Cultivate your inner circle
You’ve probably already cut ties with your old friends who are still using. This is an essential part of recovery. So, if you haven’t done it yet, end relationships with anyone who abuses drugs or alcohol. These are bad influences that could easily tempt you into a relapse.
But cultivating your inner circle is about much more than simply avoiding addicts. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who love you unconditionally and will support you through your struggles. These should be people you can turn to with any issue.
2. Continue counseling
Many people get counseling in early recovery, but that’s not the only time it’s necessary. In fact, prolonged counseling can help keep you on the sober path.
This advice comes from a place of experience. Once I treated my addiction in rehab, I thought I knew enough to continue on the sober path alone. I was wrong. One relapse sent me back into rehab, and then I realized the importance of continued counseling. If you aren’t going to group sessions already, it’s time to start. This may be a lifeline commitment, and that’s perfectly okay.
Regardless of how you feel at any given moment, go through the motions. The steps are there for a reason. If you keep taking steps forward, you will see progress. This is a certainty.
3. Help others
If you’re anything like me, you struggle not just with addiction but also with self-esteem. I’ve always had trouble doing things for myself because I struggle to believe I’m worthwhile. It’s something I’m working on, but I’ve found one thing that really helps. I tell myself that I’m not only doing this for myself. I’m in recovery for the people who love me, and I’m here to help other people who are struggling. This is why I get involved at meetings and sponsor newly recovering addicts.
4. Take care of yourself
Addiction is unhealthy behavior. So good health is the best weapon you have against it. When you take care of your mind and body, you will have more good days. On the good days, it’s easier to stay on the straight and narrow. It’s the bad days that are problematic. Eat right, exercise and consider meditation.
Studies have shown that meditation produces an effect that’s similar to what drugs produce, only without the side effects. A Cognitive Brain Researchstudy found that participants who meditated showed an increase in dopamine and a decrease in desire for action. In other words, they were happy and content with where they were. And as a recovering addict, I can tell you that’s a good place to be.
5. Cultivate a new life
Part of recovery is cutting ties with your old life. But if you cut out all the bad stuff without adding new positive stuff, all you have is a void. When your life seems empty, you’ll naturally long for your old life because it’s all you know.
Instead, try new things. Find hobbies and passions that give meaning to your life. Learn to have fun without drugs or alcohol.
Get out and meet new people, hang out with your sober support friends, and invest time in enjoying your life. If you want to be successful in recovery, you need to build a life that’s so great; you’ll defend it at all costs. When the fear of losing your sober life surpasses your desire to use drugs, you’re in a good place.
It can be difficult to motivate yourself when you’re feeling down, but even on your darkest days, it’s your job to power through. Even when you don’t feel like it, try the tips on this list to motivate you to stay on track. You are worth it.