Once you’re no longer using, it’s time to pick up the pieces and create your life anew. It’s time to get find activities and hobbies that make your life meaningful, if you haven’t already. An important part of creating a life of happiness and joy beyond addiction is to find what is meaningful and important to you.
Furthermore, by creating a life full of activities and interests that provide meaning you can prevent relapse and create joy and satisfaction in your life. Below is a list of possible activities that could provide meaning and importance in life:
- Stay closely connected to others in recovery. You can stay in touch with other recovering addicts by making at least three phone calls a week to people in recovery. It is important to stay in the company of those who share the same life goals, who want to stay sober and who have a positive vision for their lives. Having friendships and peers around you is a reminder that you’re not going through this alone and that you have support. And this kind of support is a recovering addict needs regardless of how many years you’ve been sober.
- Find a hobby. You might want to find something that challenges you. Perhaps you want to expand your creativity, explore your imagination, or try something you’ve never done but have always wanted to do.
- Adopt a pet. Having an animal is a large responsibility, one that can bring meaning in your life. Pets can creating a feeling of being loved and needed.
- Volunteer. Another way to experience meaning in life is to volunteer at organizations that create social change. You might become active in your church or faith community, or join a local book club or neighborhood running group.
- Eat three meals per day. Drinking alcohol and using drugs can have damaging effects on the body. Eating well can keep your body properly nourished, and that alone can facilitate making better decisions. In that way, healthy eating can also facilitate sober living. At the very minimum, try to eat three meals per day.
- Exercise at least three times per week. Physical activity can release endorphins, which alone help to boost positive feelings. However, exercise can also help with long-term mental health, including making new connections in the brain, which alone can facilitate enduring sober living and long-term change. Furthermore, to experience these benefits from exercise, you don’t have to run three miles a day; taking a walk regularly can boost mental health.
- Get good sleep – Along the lines of psychological well being, a recovering addict who goes to bed and rises at the same time every day will often feel the difference in his or her mental health. Stress usually inhibits a regular sleep schedule; however, having a regular sleep schedule can help build resilience to that stress. Getting at least 8 hours per day is ideal for adults, giving you a balanced internal rhythm of rest and further resilience to any possibility of relapse.
- Set meaningful goals. Having goals to work toward and something to look forward to can be powerful antidotes to drug addiction. It doesn’t matter what the goals are—whether they involve your career, your personal life, or your health—just that they are important to you.
- Look after your health. Regular exercise, sleep, and healthy eating can keep your energy levels high and it can help avoid stress. When you’re body is feeling good, it’s easier to say no to drugs.
When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, and you’re on the right road to recovery, eventually, your addiction will lose its appeal.
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