You feel like you’re at the end of the road. You’re tired, broke, and honestly annoyed at life. You’ve been using the same drug over and over again, and finally, want to stop. You want the freedom during the day to do whatever you want instead of thinking about how you’ll score more drugs. Congratulations, you’re ready to get sober.
During your journey in sobriety, you may experience cravings from time to time. This is a common part of recovery so don’t be scared if you feel one. Cravings are completely manageable with the right tools and coping skills.
What are Drug Cravings?
A craving is the term used to describe the urge to use alcohol or drugs once someone is sober. For certain people, the most severe cravings take place during the detox process. During detox, addicts will go through withdrawals. The symptoms of withdrawal will vary slightly from person to person as addiction impacts everyone differently, but common symptoms include fevers, shaking, chills, emotional lability, and discomfort. The urge to use drugs or alcohol to make these symptoms go away is a craving.
Once you’ve detoxed, the withdrawal symptoms are not going to be as severe but you are still at risk to feel the urge to use drugs or drink alcohol from time to time. Withdrawals will go away after the toxins leave your body but you can still experience cravings. Just because you feel a craving doesn’t mean you won’t stay sober, it’s a matter of how you react to the craving.
How to Handle a Craving
If you feel a craving coming on, there are a few steps you can take to combat the craving. Taking the proper steps will help keep you sober.
Be aware: Before you can shake off a craving, you’ll have to know you’re experiencing one. Cravings can feel different for everyone but some common craving symptoms are irritability, feeling like you have an imaginary itch you can’t scratch, and frequent thoughts of using drugs or alcohol. If you experience these feelings it’s important to check in with yourself and identify the root of them. Maybe you haven’t attended a 12-step meeting all week and now it’s Friday, or maybe you’ve been around friends lately who drink and do drugs. After you identify the root cause, you’ll realize you’re having a craving.
Ways to cope: Once the feeling is recognized, the next step is to find a way to cope. How you cope with cravings is totally up to you. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. Some people find it helpful to call a friend or sober companion and talk about the feeling. Other people find it helpful to meditate. Shifting your focus to something else like exercising or writing can be helpful as well. Just be careful to not distract yourself too much from the feeling because you may end up brushing it under the rug, instead of dealing with it.
Seek support: One of the most effective ways to handle a craving is by seeking support from others. A huge component of drug and alcohol treatment is various types of therapies. If you’ve completed any form of treatment, you probably engaged in group therapy, individual therapy, and support groups types of therapy. Therapy and support groups shouldn’t just be isolated to treatment as recovery is a lifelong battle. Completing a comprehensive aftercare program post-treatment will help immensely with cravings.
Let Us Help!
At Soba Recovery, we are one of the top drug and alcohol treatment programs based in the San Antonio, TX and Mesa, AZ regions. Our detox and inpatient treatment programs help clients overcome addiction and take back control of their lives. Our premier luxury program that combines traditional addiction treatment with modern therapies to help our participants in overcoming substance abuse for good. If you are interested in finding out more about how our team can help you overcome addiction, please contact us!
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, you can still rehabilitate your life and have fun. You can abstain from drugs and alcohol and enjoy concerts, the great outdoors, festivals, and fairs. This is especially true if you’re recovering in Texas.
Everyone is familiar with the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas”, so we are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that applies to even our tourist spots. Texas is as diverse as it is huge. There is quite a lot to see and do inside the Alamo City no matter what time of day it is. In addition to the state’s many cities, coastal beaches, mountain ranges, deserts, and state parks, the Lone Star State also has a wealth of activities to enjoy. Whether you choose to explore their lovely zoo with more than 750+ species within 56 acres or the state’s historic sites, esteemed museums, rodeos, country music festivals, or its wide range of other attractions, it won’t take you long to realize that there’s a lot to do in Texas.
Being under the influence isn’t the only way you can enjoy yourself. Albeit, finding activities or entertainment that doesn’t revolve around being under the influence can be difficult if you don’t know where to look, and to help you narrow down some of your options, here are a few of the Lone Star State’s top sober activities.
The Top Sober Activities You Shouldn’t Miss In Texas
1. Discover New Adventures at Natural Bridge Caverns
If you enjoy exploring the great outdoors, channel your inner Indiana Jones and visit the Natural Bridge Caverns. These caverns, which were discovered more than 50 years ago, feature more than 10,000 unique geological formations.
In March 1960, four St. Mary University students were convinced that large underground passages existed under the 60-foot limestone bridge from which the caverns are named. After obtaining permission to explore the area, they climbed and crawled into the darkness and discovered 2 miles of vast caves and cavern passages. Eleven years later, the passageways became a national natural landmark.
Today, people from all over the world come to see the cavern’s unique mineral formations. You can also explore newly uncovered passages. Whether you choose to go on a discovery expedition, explore hidden passages, or take a private tour, Texas’ premier natural attraction will give you a look beneath the earth’s surface that’s sure to leave you in awe. You can also find a wide range of sober activities to enjoy above the caverns. The surface attractions include:
Mining and panning for gems
A 5,000-square-foot maze
A treetop climbing adventure
You can also check out the Natural Bridge Caverns’ event page for a list of upcoming activities as well.
2. Get Physically Fit and Reconnect With Mother Nature At Big Bend National Park
You can commune with nature and get some exercise by walking and hiking through Big Bend National Park. The park, which borders Mexico, has some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in the state, including 1,200 different plant species. Big Bend National Park also offers spectacular views of canyons, the Chisos Mountains, and the Rio Grande River.
Even though Big Bend is known for its hiking and backpacking trails, the park is also a perfect place to:
Birdwatch. The park is home to more than 450 different species of birds.
Stargaze. As a certified international dark sky park, Big Bend has one of the darkest skies in the continental US, which makes it an ideal place for stargazing enthusiasts.
Go camping. If you love the outdoors, you’ll feel right at home on Big Bend’s beautiful campgrounds.
Paddle along the Rio Grande River and spend a little time wading in the water on warm summer days.
Picnic. Whether you choose to enjoy a healthy snack off the beaten path, near the campgrounds or along a walking trail, Big Bend is a wonderful place to sit back, enjoy the weather, reconnect with mother nature, and count your blessings.
Scenic Drives. If you’re not in the mood to hike, you can also hop in your car, hit the road, and explore the park’s gorgeous vitas on one of Big Bend’s many scenic drives.
3. Unleash Your Inner Artist At Cadillac Ranch
Even though Cadillac Ranch was created all the way back in 1974 by a group of unconventional artists known as the Ant Farm group, today, the Texas attraction is more popular than ever. This seemingly odd attraction consisting of 10 Cadillac cars covered in multicolored graffiti which are half-buried in the ground is now one of Texas’ most iconic sites. Because everyone adds their own creative mark to the Cadillacs in the ground, the artwork on the vehicles is an ever-changing canvas. The site is free to visit and you are more than welcome to unleash your inner artist or tell your own story on the Cadillacs themselves. In other words, feel free to spray paint your own design on the cars. If you’re feeling especially creative, bring your own spray paint. If this is an impromptu trip, you can find spray paint cans of all colors left on the ground from thousands of other people who have also shared their artistry at Cadillac Ranch.
4. Enjoy Your Sobriety at Sans Bar, A Sober Bar In Austin, Texas
Created by addiction counselor Chris Marshall, Sans Bar is the first sober bar in Austin, Texas. After setting up a GoFundMe in 2015 because he grew tired of watching people he loved die from addiction, Marshall created Sans Bar, Texas’ first alcohol-free bar.
“Over and over, I watched clients and friends struggle and relapse, returning to alcohol, in part because they felt socially isolated,” Marshall explained. “Sometimes, tragically, it ended in death.” Today, Sans Bar helps adults socialize while staying sober. The sober bar offers mocktails and a wide range of entertainment such as karaoke nights, live music, sober sports viewing, and drag shows. But Sans Bar is more than just a place with great drinks and good food.
Sans Bar also remains open throughout the day for the local community in Austin offering services that can improve your physical, mental and spiritual health. Some of the bar’s community-oriented recovery services include:
Designed and built in 1929, the Majestic Theater was the largest theater in Texas for many years and the second-largest motion picture theater in the country. Today, the Majestic Theater is considered to be one of the most elaborate theaters in the country and is San Antonio’s premier performing arts facility. Even though the theater is known for its Broadway shows, you can also enjoy a concert, comedy show, and other live events taking place in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
The Majestic Theater is also nestled in the heart of San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk area, where visitors can wind past restaurants and shops following the San Antonio River. Just steps from the Riverwalk is the legendary Alamo, arguably the most famous historic site in Texas, as well as other attractions such as the Briscoe Western Art Museum and Artspace San Antonio.
6. Visit the Farmers Market at the Pearl
Think of the farmers market at pearl as a Boston creme donut enticing and inviting on the outside, but absolutely amazing on the inside. With almost 20 friendly merchants and dealers selling things like hot food for on the go-to standard jewelry, there is undoubtedly something for everybody inside. The pearl district is not lacking in picturesque beauty in the landscape and design so you can never get bored with the layout while you explore. This community gathering is actually dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and fun for the entire family without being horribly expensive. Feel free to wake up and start your day there, coffee in your hand, and central downtown just a few blocks away if you would enjoy more solidarity. There is something for all kinds of people in this market.
7. See a Rodeo
You don’t have to be a farm-raised cowboy to enjoy a rodeo and some good ole fashioned roughhousing. Make your way over to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo during the month of February and March, or perhaps the Teja Rodeo which is from the spring to the end of fall; to enjoy bull-riding, barrel racing, and calf roping. Live music is also happily included with the admission price, along with the chance to ride an infamous mechanical bull or you could get your shoes shined if you aren’t one for roughhousing. There are still activities available for those who aren’t seeking a quick thrill and prefer to relax in their downtime, like the hayrides or an armadillo race.
8. Visit The Esquire Tavern
The Esquire Taverns is just as mysterious and mystical as the name suggests. They distribute alcohol of course but there is still plenty to do for those who don’t drink! There is delectable food waiting for you at the pub, so don’t be hesitant when it comes to grabbing a seat! Food and drinks aren’t the only things that await you at the pub either, be sure to catch a fantastic musical act for the night before heading home. Whether you are here accompanied by your loved ones or for business, you are undoubtedly going to enjoy your visit to The Esquire Tavern.
9. Get your game on with Knight Watch Games
San Antonio is happy to cater to all tastes and if your tastes happen to be competitive cards/board games such as Dungeons And Dragons or Game Of Thrones in a hall that could make the most professional of game designers jealous-Then Knight Watch is definitely down your alley. With an amazing combo of a gaming hall for you to play to your heart’s content, a game shop for you to purchase your own games to play in the future, and a clothing shop to dress the part of any renaissance role you see fit-Knight Watch is a personal getaway for anyone who enjoys thoughtful games and trials that kicks the brain into motion. Knight Watch accepts all visitors with open arms whether you come by yourself or with friends.
10. Explore your artistic side with ArtPace
Are you on the artistic side? Find yourself marveling at art? Then the ArtPace is the place for you! The museum is definitely an acquired taste, full to the brim with contemporary art. Nine artists are invited to live there and work throughout the year, three from different parts of Texas and others from different parts of the United States and the world. One of their most recent partnerships was with Austin Eastciders in “Cider Sessions” where they distributed free cider and visitors were invited to see just how artists were able to create their pieces. ArtPace does not charge any admission money and prides itself on being open to all parts of the public. All in all, if you lean more on the creative side ArtPace will be a memorable trip to take.
San Antonio is primarily known for the Alamo, however, that does not mean that there aren’t other fun things to do when moseying through town besides drinking. It is also the home to many amusement parks such as Six flags, the wet and wild SeaWorld, as well as the famous river walk. Addiction recovery can be difficult, but we are more than willing to show you the best of the best in San Antonio; So you can reward yourself and take the vacation that you deserve while maintaining your sobriety.
Other Ways to Have Sober Fun in Texas
One of the biggest challenges that people are going to face on this journey is figuring out how to have fun. Let’s face it: drugs and alcohol are often used at parties to facilitate fun. The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to have fun in sobriety.
The area around San Antonio, TX is filled with great ways to have fun. Now that people are sober, this is a time to take risks appropriately, having fun without breaking the rules. This is very different (but fulfilling!) from the type of fun people have while drunk or under the influence of drugs.
San Antonio is known for its natural beauty. You can go hiking for the first time and explore the great outdoors. If you’re an adrenaline ‘junkie’, take a trip skydiving in the local area. Why not also take a risk and try to meet new people? One of the most important things people have to accomplish when they attain sobriety is finding new relationships that are going to help them maintain that sobriety. Meeting new people is a great way to do exactly that.
In general, people can have fun in sobriety by doing the things that “normal” people do. While “normal” is just a social construct, we’re talking about the stuff you probably wouldn’t have done while you were getting high, like riding a bike. You probably weren’t going to the movies either with friends while you were using but it’s actually very fun. You’ll be surprised at the joy that ensues while picking out candy and popcorn.
Try Picking Up an Old Hobby
There are plenty of people who still wish they could do something from their days as a child. This might mean an old sport, playing a musical instrument, or learning a second language. These are all great sober hobbies that you can do with your new free time that’s no longer being monopolized by addiction. It’s also important to reconnect with hobbies that remind you of what you were like before you started using drugs or alcohol.
Why Having Fun in Sobriety Matters
The journey to sobriety is challenging. Tears, anger, and hurdles to overcome are usually involved but it’s worth it. People in recovery work extremely hard for their sobriety and deserve to have fun. Happy and healthy individuals are less likely to relapse as well.
Let Us Help You Find Fun in Sobriety!
Here at Soba Recovery, we’re proud to call Texas home. We wholeheartedly believe that with professional addiction treatment you can thrive in every area of your life: physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially, and socially. Participating in sober activities can help you:
Improve your physical fitness
Meet new people with similar interests and values
Change your outlook on life
Improve your overall well being
Reduce your risk of relapse
We provide a wide variety of detox and inpatient treatment options for substance abuse. We also offer a unique luxury program that combines traditional treatment and modern therapies to assist clients on the path to addiction recovery and sobriety. Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about our service!
If you are thinking about getting sober, then you need to check out the story below. Addiction is a serious disease that impacts countless people all over the world. It has a way of slowly, gradually wrapping its claws around someone before it swallows them whole. Often, there is collateral damage that goes right along with addiction. This comes in the form of family members, friends, career problems, and a damaged reputation. Fortunately, when someone makes the decision to get sober, there are major changes that take place in that person’s life. If you are thinking about seeking addiction treatment and trying to find sobriety, it is important to think about the major changes that take place when you seek help for substance abuse.
Your Friendships Are Going to Change
Anyone who spends time drinking or doing drugs inevitably will surround themselves with people who do the same. This is simply the law of attraction. If you drink on a regular basis, you likely hang out with people who do the same. There is a reputation during high school and college that people are more fun when they drink. They call alcohol the social lubricant and it can help people stand out. This is also a nice way to blend in with the crowd.
On the other hand, too much alcohol can destroy someone’s life. People need to be sober. This is where people find meaningful relationships, build a career, and enjoy their family. Therefore, if you make the decision to stop drinking, you are going to find new friends. Some people might be a bit skeptical about your decision to stop drinking entirely; however, those who support you will continue to stand by you. Along the way, you will make new friends as well.
You Will Split Checks More Often
When you drink, you might find that you care more about splitting the checks evenly. When you drink, the bill ends up costing about the same all the way around. Alcohol is expensive and, when everyone drinks, the cost has a way of evening out. When you stop drinking, you will find that you spend way less money.
As a result, when you go out to eat, you are going to care about splitting the check a bit more. You might even find that you are hesitant to fund the alcohol industry. You may develop a moral opposition to this. There is nothing wrong with this. When you make an effort to find sobriety through addiction treatment, your life is going to change. That is what is supposed to happen. You should embrace this.
You Will Find New Hobbies
Those who like to drink tend to go out in the evenings and do exactly that. If you have an addiction to alcohol, you might also spend your days doing this as well. The point of addiction treatment is to find a way to break this habit. This means trying to find the root causes of why you were driven to drink (or use drugs) in the first place. As a result, your hobbies are going to change as well. Instead of spending your time drinking, you are going to spend your time doing other things. Prepare to find new hobbies.
At first, you might find that you are an introvert. You may spend more time doing things like watching Netflix. That is fine. You are learning to branch out and find new hobbies. Over time, as you make new friends and spend time with your family, you might be pushed to try other things. Do this. Embrace it. This is the chance for you to experience life without alcohol.
You Will Be Asked Why You Don’t Drink
Finally, be prepared for this one. People are going to ask you why you don’t drink. After all, most people who don’t go through addiction cannot imagine suffering from it themselves. They think, “that will never happen to me!” You know all too well that addiction can swallow anyone. Therefore, be prepared when people ask you why you don’t drink. At first, you might find this uncomfortable. You may even decline to answer. That’s okay! That is your right. Over time, you will become more comfortable coming to terms with why you can’t drink. This is all a part of the recovery process. Once people understand, they will support your decision. They will even watch out for you. Embrace this support system.
Rely on the Trained Professionals at Soba Recovery
At Soba Recovery, we are a substance abuse, drug, and alcohol treatment program with locations in Mesa, AZ, and San Antonio, TX. We provide professional detox and inpatient treatment for addiction. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you and your loved ones.
One of the things mentioned during nearly every addiction recovery program is how important it is to eat right and exercise throughout your sobriety. Not only do these things help get a body that has been beaten down back into shape, but exercise also offers other benefits that can ease cravings and keep you back on track. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits.
The Benefits of Exercise On Addiction Recovery
Exercise Can Provide Structure
One of the biggest things you learn in addiction recovery is that it helps to have a structure in your days because you need to fill in all that time previously spent imbibing. Joining a class that meets at a specific time, exercising with a group, or even creating your own daily schedule will all add more structure to your life.
Exercise Increases Your Mood
Exercise causes your brain to release those feel-good chemicals, endorphins. Everyone can benefit from that. In addition, as you watch your ability grow, find yourself walking further in less time, feeling healthier, you will gain pride in yourself that will want you to continue.
Exercise Increases Brain Growth
This is a scientific reality. While addicted, many pathways in your brain shut down from lack of use. When you exercise, the brain begins to utilize areas of the brain that have been lying quietly. This then helps create more neural pathways that lead to positive thoughts and feelings. Your brain begins to grow and come back alive.
Exercise Reduces Stress and Promotes Sleep
Think about a time when you were angry or upset and started pacing. At first, you may have been doing so at a very quick pace. As you continued, your steps began to slow, your mind began to clear, and you started to feel calmer. Exercise allows you to work off any negative emotions in a constructive way. As they dissipate, you can replace them with more positive ones. Once the stress is reduced, you can sleep deeper. This helps promote healing and overall rejuvenation of your body and mind.
Exercise Can Decrease Cravings
In studies, people trying to break free from nicotine addiction have been benefited by exercising through cravings, making quitting easier. This has also been the case with marijuana. While exercising, your mind becomes distracted as you focus on your body and the movements. Exercise helps you practice mindfulness and gives you a way to distract yourself from the cravings until they pass.
Exercise Can Create Connections
Exercising alone can be boring and that is why many people give up. However, there are many others who will be interested in the same type of exercise you choose. Having this common interest can help you make connections with people that you might not otherwise meet. These will be healthier connections. There are many walking and biking clubs. Simply joining a gym and maybe taking one class is another option. There are even some groups made up of others who are on the same sobriety journey as you. They will have the same interest and understand your journey.
Success Breeds Success
The more you find yourself improving in your chosen activity, the better you will feel. The better you feel mentally and physically, the more you will want to feel this. Your success will spread throughout all the areas of your life.
Exercise doesn’t have to be hours of weight-lifting, running a marathon, or aiming for the Olympics. Your addiction recovery plan will most likely have you start slow. Start a walking routine, join a yoga group, or try Zumba dancing. Whatever gets you moving and causes you to enjoy the time will work. You can do this!
Recovering from addiction is one of the most challenging things a person can ever go through. During the early stages of your sobriety, you will likely be your weakest. It is during this time that the chances of relapse at highest. This is why it is essential that you enter an addiction recovery program. Trying to quit cold turkey isn’t a good idea because it often doesn’t work, and it can also be dangerous.
In the early stages of recovery, you are almost like a ticking time bomb. It doesn’t take much to cause to turn to back to drugs or alcohol when you haven’t been sober for too long.
Stress and Relapse
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the leading causes of relapse is stress. When you begin to feel stressed or overwhelmed, you will be tempted to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol. You will think about the feeling that you got when you were high or drunk, and it seems like the best way to fight the stress that you are experiencing. Many addicts who relapse during stressful times promise themselves that it will be, “just this one time,” so that they can get through the stressful situation. Unfortunately, the one time often turns back into a full-blown addiction.
Signs That You Are Overly Stressed
According to the American Psychological Association, your body has ways of letting you know that you are stressed. In some cases, it is the physical symptoms of stress that are the most unbearable. These include:
Loss of appetite
Trying To Manage the Stress
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to remove all stressors from your life. Going through recovery is a very stressful situation in itself. Fortunately, there are ways that you can reduce your stress and the symptom associated with it.
Focus on your breathing: Stress can quickly lead to panic, which can cause you to feel short of breath. In cases like this, you should focus on your breathing. This type of deep breathing will reduce the fight or flight response in your body, and it can help ground you. Within a few minutes, you will be more relaxed and less likely to relapse.
Talk: Trying to keep your problems inside is only going to increase your stress level. If you find yourself feeling stressed, before you think about self-medicating, you should reach out to a friend, family member, a counselor, or go to a meeting. Just talking about your problems can significantly reduce your stress.
Let go of what you can’t control: One way to create unnecessary stress in your life is to cling to the way that things were before your addiction took over your life. This isn’t something you can change, and you need to let it go. Revisiting a time when things were going well will only make your stress worse. If you have trouble letting go, it is something that you should discuss with a therapist.
Addiction Treatment Centers and Stress
When you check yourself into an addiction treatment center, you can avoid the stressors that are out there waiting for you in the real world. Sure, the stressors will still be there when you get out, but by then, you will be stronger, and you will have been clean longer.
While in treatment, you will have one-on-one therapy, where you can get to the root of your issues. When you are getting the help you need, it can reduce your stress. This isn’t something that you can get if you try to quit cold turkey.
If you are struggling with addiction, you should consider checking into Soba Mesa, a drug and alcohol treatment program in Mesa, Arizona. We offer a detox program to help get the drugs and alcohol out of your system safely and as comfortably as possible.
When you have completed detox, you will move onto the residential program. We provide modern therapies such as one-on-one therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. These are all essential when you are in recovery.
When it is time to check out, your treatment isn’t over. To maintain your sobriety when you leave, we will help you set up your aftercare services. A few essential aftercare services include a room at a sober living facility, outpatient therapy, and 12-step meetings. We will make sure that you have all of the necessary tools to maintain your sobriety after you are released.
Making the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol is a huge step in the right direction. But it also comes with challenges. Maybe you’re wondering how to put your life back together, and where to go for addiction treatment. Maybe you’re worried about the possibility of relapse. Making healthy lifestyle adjustments and seeking support will go a long way toward helping you get and stay sober. Here are some tips to guide you in your recovery.
Take One Day at a Time
If you’re new to recovery or are discouraged because of a relapse, the idea of long-term sobriety can seem overwhelming. Take your new life one day at a time. Decide each day that for the next 24 hours, you’re going to commit to staying clean and sober.
Setting short-term and long-term goals can make it easier to give up addictive habits. Having something to work toward can give you a sense of meaning and purpose. When you’re struggling to stay on track, your goals can serve as a reminder of why you committed to recovery in the first place.
Structure Your Days
Establishing a schedule of meaningful activities can help you set and work toward your goals. Having regular activities to look forward to each day will also reduce boredom, a common relapse trigger. When you’re new to recovery, rehab-related activities will likely take up much of your time.
Once you’ve completed rehab, it’s especially vital to keep your days structured. Consider going back to school, volunteering in the community, or getting a job. Taking up a hobby can also be rewarding and help you keep your mind off drinking and drugs.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Using drugs and alcohol takes quite a toll on your body, and self-care tends to fall by the wayside. Adopting healthy habits in recovery can help you reverse the effects of long-term substance abuse.
Exercise. Physical activity is especially beneficial for people in recovery. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that can help you fend off cravings. Going to the gym or even taking a brisk walk in nature reduces stress, making relapse less likely and enhancing your overall sense of well-being.
Diet. Substance overuse makes it difficult for your body to absorb any nutrients it gets, so making healthy meal choices is especially important when you’re sober. Be sure to get plenty of protein and vitamins from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. When you feel better, it’s easier to maintain a positive outlook and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
Quit Smoking. If smoking is one of the habits you enjoyed along with drugs or alcohol, now is a good time to quit. By refraining from using harmful substances, you’ll be able to reap maximum benefits from your other healthy lifestyle choices.
Embrace Self-Care. Making all of these changes can be stressful, so it’s important to make self-care a priority. Be kind to yourself. Speak words of encouragement over yourself and reward yourself occasionally for coming as far as you have. Do your best to take responsibility for your past actions, but let go of the guilt and shame that can become stumbling blocks for many in recovery. Learn effective stress-management techniques so you can find healthy ways to decompress.
Avoid Triggers. If you spend time with the friends you were surrounded by in your addiction or frequent the same stomping grounds you did in the old days, you’re not likely to remain sober for long. Find new friends who are committed to sobriety, and avoid people and places that may serve as triggers.
Learn All You Can About Addiction and Relapse
Too often, people in recovery are just told to stay away from drugs and alcohol and go to meetings. While this may be enough for some, most people need more in the way of addiction treatment. Finding resources to help you commit to sobriety and learning more about addiction and possible triggers can help you discover what works best for you when it comes to staying clean. After all, recovery looks a little different for each person.
While you shouldn’t live in constant fear of relapse, be aware of the warning signs so you can get help before you go back to old habits. Withdrawing from the recovery community and loved ones and feeling less committed to sobriety are indicators that you’re vulnerable to relapse.
Healthy relationships are key to helping you stay on track. Finding support groups and friends and family members who will cheer you on are critical as you build your new life.
Recovery is a lifelong journey. Congratulations on taking the first steps. At SOBA Recovery Center, we provide intensive addiction treatment. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.