People say the hardest part about mental health care is staying sober after receiving treatment. There may be an element of truth in that because the relapse rate continues to hover around 40% and 60%. Indeed, staying sober can be difficult, but with the right support, systems, new hobbies, and self-discipline, it can be an easy climb over the hill. So, if you’re struggling with ways to stay sober, here are some self-care tips worth considering.
Build a healthy, supportive circle
A key part of addiction recovery is having a reliable support system that helps make the process smooth. This is a network of friends and family you trust who are in the right place to offer emotional, physical, and mental help when the recovery period gets tougher. Indeed, the road to sobriety can be a slippery slope, which explains the high relapse rates. Moreover, as you recover, there will be moments of stress, overwhelming feelings, anxiety, and uncertainty.
The emotions are many, and it’s the more reason you need that network of friends and family to provide that cushioning. This supportive circle will be your biggest cheerleaders who motivate you not to give up. They should not be groups of individuals who feed into the negative perceptions that ultimately drive you back into addiction. It is why psychiatrists recommend choosing support group members whose lifestyles, actions, and comments do not lure you into relapsing.
Get involved in an aftercare program
If you recently completed a rehab program, that’s not the end. Getting involved in an aftercare program as part of your post-recovery treatment is recommended. It involves a collective plan to help recently recovered substance users to adhere to a sobriety lifestyle. These facilities are acutely aware of the environmental triggers and therefore make it vital to provide continued support.
In some places, aftercare is as crucial as the initial treatment in the early days of rehab. You can find some online, while others are held in person at private locations. It is worth noting that these sessions provide the opportunity to connect with others on the same journey as you. In some facilities like the Renaissance Recovery Center, an aftercare plan is known as an alumni program as it sounds more confidential to provide enrolled individuals the necessary privacy. The duration usually depends on the facility involved. Some facilities offer a 12-step program that spans over three months.
Practice mindfulness and relaxation
Maintaining sobriety is a deliberate and conscious lifestyle that requires mindfulness. You must be constantly aware of your emotions to avoid triggering a relapse unconsciously. Common mindfulness therapies include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. It enhances your ability to stay in touch with your emotions. And over time, these techniques will become part of your daily life and lower your risks of relapse. Aside from this, you should also engage in relaxation activities. Getting enough sleep, in particular, during your recovery would be best. Apart from boosting your mental health, it provides the needed energy to stay committed to the cause.