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Pushing Through the Challenges of Early Recovery

Completing an addiction treatment program at an executive rehab facility can feel empowering but also a little scary. You know that you have learned the strategies to take control of your addiction recovery, but you also might be worried about the unknown. It’s different when you’re no longer in the safe confines of a rehab center but instead in your own home where temptation and reminders of your past may lurk.

The first 90 days of recovery are a crucial time. You really want to be focused on your efforts and make the most of your relapse prevention plan so you can work toward long-term recovery. It can be challenging time, but also very rewarding. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of early recovery and not slip back into active addiction:

  • Give yourself time

You may be eager to jump back into society and pick up where you left off. But you want to be careful not to take on too much responsibility or activity at once. This can lead to high levels of stress which can quickly set back the progress you’ve made and test your limits. While you want to keep yourself busy, you want to keep it manageable. Slowly start taking on more responsibilities and let yourself ease into it. You may want to take a little extra time off of work before you go back so that you can get yourself situated and in the rhythm of healthier routines.

Patience is important. Recovery takes time, so don’t try to rush it. Enjoy each step of the way and watch as things unfold before you. Consider starting a garden and watching yourself grow and change as the tiny seeds you’ve planted grow and change. You’ll see the reward of your hard work and tender care both in your garden and in yourself.

  • Try new things

Do things you might otherwise not have done before. While routine and consistency are important, you also don’t want to fall into a rut of boredom. Switch up your recreational time by trying your hand at painting or tennis. Join a photography club or exercise class. Let yourself explore new activities as part of the new lifestyle you’re building. If you find something you enjoy or are really good at, work toward getting even better.

  • Practice self care

Recovery can be exhausting. Your body is still adjusting to life without drugs or alcohol. Get plenty of sleep as you recover and heal. It can be mentally draining putting so much effort into making healthy choices, so give your brain a break as well and soak in a hot bath tub or curl up with a favorite book and cup of tea.

Make sure that your refrigerator is stocked with healthy foods. You can even prepare meals ahead of time so that they’re ready to go when you need them. It’s important to keep fueling your body with a healthy diet even when you just feel like binging on chips. Also incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. Not only does this help to reduce stress and pent up energy, it strengthens your muscles and supports your body in recovering from the damage caused by years of substance use.

  • Be selective with whom you spend your time and where

You don’t have to say yes to every invitation. Really take the time to evaluate who you spend your time with and how they make you feel. If it’s someone that brings you down or is not supportive of your recovery efforts, steer clear of them. Focus instead on hanging out with people who make you feel good about yourself, encourage your recovery, and are supportive of your efforts.

Also avoid going to old hangouts where you’ll be tempted to drink or use drugs. Even if you’re determined to stay sober, just being in these environments can mess with your mind, especially in early recovery. It can make you reminisce about the past and put you at a greater risk for relapse. Choose new locations to hang out that don’t serve alcohol or aren’t known for wild parties. You can broaden your horizons later on, but for now stick with just a few safe people and places where you feel comfortable.

  • Ask for help

You don’t have to go through recovery alone. Don’t be afraid to speak up about your needs and how others can be supportive of your recovery. If you’re going through a tough time, call someone. Go to a support group meeting. Don’t feel like you have to ride it out on your own.

Continue attending support group meetings regularly to stay in contact with people who know exactly what you’re going through. They can provide a lot of insight and encouragement. Learn from their experiences and let other people learn from yours. Having a recovery community can be a great thing.

Make the most of your early recovery and let it propel you into long-term healthy routines and habits. If you can push through the first 90 days, you’re off to a great start and can feel more confident in your ability to keep going.

If you’re ready to turn your life around and see what awaits you in recovery, contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198. Our executive rehab program is customized to meet your individual needs and equip you with the skills and strategies you need to enter into recovery. It’s not too late to start a new chapter in your life.