Deciding to get sober is one of the hardest decisions you can make. Staying sober, on the other hand, represents a lifetime of discipline and commitment.
Finding recovery motivation can feel challenging when you’re struggling with life stressors or cravings. It can also be a struggle if you’ve tried to be sober in the past — only to relapse over and over again.
Let’s get into the best ways for sustaining a life in recovery!
Surround Yourself with Support
Having support matters tremendously in your recovery. You can obtain support in a myriad of ways, including:
- Group therapy or support groups
- Individual psychotherapy
- Friends and family
- Religious organizations
It’s extremely difficult to get and stay sober on your own. As people, we need to be able to lean on others when times get difficult. In your recovery, having the right support can help you work through those tough times.
When it comes to finding your support, focus on the quality of people rather than the quantity. Ideally, you want to surround yourself with people who will positively reinforce sobriety. That means that they won’t enable or promote unhealthy behaviors.
If you’re still associating yourself with old friends who are actively drinking or using drugs, this could be a profound trigger. Consider distancing yourself from these individuals if you’re struggling with cravings.
Commit to a Routine
One of the best ways to ensure your recovery is to create a realistic schedule and stick to it. Often, in the throes of addiction, people live a chaotic life. They can’t stay true to their word, and they can’t stay focused on daily tasks.
In recovery, it’s optimal to set yourself up with a manageable routine. This will keep you accountable on a daily basis.
Your routine should include the non-negotiable factors that promote your sobriety, such as meetings, therapy sessions, and medical appointments, as well as other life obligations like work, chores and paying your bills.
You should also commit to a routine that promotes self-care. This may include weekly yoga classes, allotted time for journaling, or attending church.
Know Your Triggers
In early recovery, anything can be a trigger. With that said, certain situations, people, or things may cause a downward spiral faster than others.
Only you can know your triggers best. Therefore, it’s essential that you realistically assess what could impact your recovery.
By knowing your triggers, you can create an action plan to manage them if they arise. Ultimately, you will also want to create a program that limits or avoids certain triggers altogether.
For example, if a particular restaurant causes you to drink, you’ll probably want to find another place to eat. However, if you have a social event that requires you to attend that restaurant, you’ll want to develop a self-care plan for managing your cravings.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
If you’re struggling to take care of your physical health, you’re likely going to struggle taking care of your mental health too.
Recovery involves healing both the mind and body. That means you need to commit to:
- eating a well-rounded diet
- exercising often
- getting enough sleep
- taking medication if prescribed
- attending medical appointments
Feeling good in your body will help you feel better mentally. By taking care of both, your chances of a sustained recovery will increase.
Manage Your Mental Health
Did you know that nearly eight million American adults have both a substance use disorder and a co-occurring mental illness?
Whether you struggle with depression, anxiety, or eating disorders, it’s essential that you take care of your mental health symptoms while in recovery.
People with co-occurring disorders are more susceptible to relapse. That’s because mood swings and unhealthy behaviors can increase the desire to self-medicate.
Just like with addiction, there isn’t a single cure for a co-occurring mental illness. You may need to take meds or attend routine therapy. You must also prioritize self-care.
Counting your blessings isn’t just for Thanksgiving. It’s a way of living that can promote limitless positivity and joy.
When you find yourself feeling stressed or angry, take a moment to pause. Think about all the good things in your life and how far you have come.
Focusing on gratitude can make you happier and healthier. It can also help you stay more present and in the moment. You can either mentally reflect on your appreciation or keep a journal for jotting down your blessings.
Volunteer and Give Back
Donating your time or skills is one of the best ways to feel better about your own life. If you’re struggling with yourself, you may find solace in helping someone else.
Volunteering doesn’t need to be a huge commitment. It can simply be spending a few hours helping out at the soup kitchen or reading to children.
By giving back, you learn to recognize and appreciate what you have. Likewise, you help promote positivity and strength to others.
Reach Out for Help
If you’re seriously thinking about using drugs or you have lapsed into your addiction, reach out for professional support immediately. It could mean the difference between life or death.
If you’ve already been to treatment, you know that there are plenty of resources and tools available for support.
If you have never received treatment, this is an opportunity to get structure needed to build a life in recovery. Click to read more on how the treatment process works.
Closing Thoughts on Recovery Motivation
Addiction recovery can be a tumultuous journey full of trials and tribulations. Be kind and compassionate with yourself during this process.
You’ve already come this far in your work! Don’t give up now. Find the recovery motivation you need to stay on track and get your life back.