After detoxification from alcohol or drugs and residential treatment, it’s best for a recovering individual to maintain their structured living experience by residing at a sober living home or halfway house versus going home. This sort of sober help can facilitate long-term sobriety. Rather than returning to the environments that may have prompted substance use, it’s best to anchor the experience of living without drugs or alcohol.
If you’re about to begin a sober living experience, it might be useful to know what can enhance your experience. For instance, there are ways to individualize your experience so that your sober living stay meets your needs. The following is a list of suggestions to do that:
Stay closely connected to others in recovery. Of course, you will meet others at the sober living home, and 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.
Attend an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting three times per week. The AA community may or may not be a tool for you. However, it has played a significant factor in achieving sobriety for many and so it is mentioned here. AA can serve as an addiction support group, where recovering addicts share their stories, their concerns, and their fears. An AA community is another way of accessing support when you need it and getting feedback. Because AA meetings are so common, they can likely be found in the community you’re in. If AA meetings don’t work for you, find another addiction support group to attend.
Find a sponsor or mentor to support your process. The AA community uses the term sponsor, which is none other than a mentor. He or she can also provide significant support, particularly support that is individualized and can meet your unique needs. Having a sponsor or mentor is having a resource that you can rely on as often as necessary. Even if you’re living at a sober living home, it’s incredibly supportive to know that you’ll always have someone to call when needed.
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.
Another important component to success with sobriety is believing that you can achieve the life you desire. Knowing that you can find long-term sober living helps make it a reality.
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