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For those who have successfully completed an addiction recovery program, the real challenge may be getting their lives back on track. The question of “what’s next” can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for moving forward.
Take Time For Self-Care
The first thing you should do to restore your life is to make sure you are adding self- care to your daily routines. This can consist of many things, but it’s really any activity that makes you feel good. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, it can boost your confidence levels and your self-esteem. Some beneficial activities include:
Another important type of self-care is taking care of your health.
Get Started With Healthy Living
This is an ideal time to start creating healthy habits. Here are some things you can do right away:
● Start a fitness regimen. In addition to helping your body get in shape, exercise can release endorphins that may help with addiction. Learn more about endorphins at Everyday Health and talk to your doctor about which exercises can benefit you.
● Get enough sleep. According to research from the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Gradually work on increasing your sleep times.
● Eat a balanced diet. Rather trying a new fad diet, eat a more balanced diet by limiting your intake of sugars and unhealthy carbs, while increasing vegetables, fruits, fibrous foods, legumes and healthy fats. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day as well.
One of the trickiest issues in returning to your life is rebuilding or creating new relationships. Start by:
● Set boundaries. You may need to start the process of ending unhealthy relationships and set limits on the relationships you keep. After all, you need to protect your time as you continue in recovery.
● Learning to say “no.” In truth, no one likes to say no to others but it can be especially difficult if you are feeling guilty but it’s important to regain your life. Learn these tips on how to handle saying no from Lifehacker.
● Create healthy relationships. Now is a good time to start building new friendships with others who are long-time graduates of recovery programs or people with a healthy outlook on life who avoids substance use.
Here are seven steps to rebuilding trust in relationships from Sober Nation.
Getting Back To Work
Returning to work can be frightening but a good employer who realizes your worth as an employee will support you.
Employers, you can make a difference! It’s important to remember that:
● Addiction is a disease. HR.com’s article on an employer’s 12-step approach to substance abuse encourages you to realize that substance abuse is not a moral failing but a treatable, chronic disease. Viewed from this perspective, you can see how your encouragement can aide a valued employee get productive again.
● Get educated about addiction. Cascade Business News recommends you learn critical components to help your employee, such as what not to say to him or what symptoms of relapse you should look for.
● Give them resources. You may have a program to employees with substance use problems but if you don’t, make sure you have resources in place ahead of time to offer anyone who comes to you for help. Your response can encourage your employee, making it a win-win for both of you. Read why hiring employees in recovery can give you a business advantage at Psych Central.
Incorporating self-care and a healthy lifestyle can help former substance abusers rebuild their life after completing treatment. It an also will help them to stay on the road to recovery while they rebuild relationships and return to work.