Recovery from any disorder or disease is usually the beginning of an entirely new journey. This is true in terms of substance abuse recovery as well as recovery from both physical and mental trauma. Although the processes differ depending on the type of recovery process, some of the basic principles of a successful recovery are the same. Here are 9 ways to ensure that you stay on course and regain the life you once knew.
1. Stay Positive
The mind is a powerful thing. The saying “mind over matter” is extremely accurate. Your body won’t go where your mind won’t push it. So that means keeping a positive and optimistic mind frame during any recovery process is your number one priority. Whether you’re recovering from substance abuse or recovering from a recent injury, remind yourself that this rough patch is simply a phase. It’s one step in your road to recovery. Practice positive self-talk that helps boost your confidence and motivates you. And be prepared for unexpected hiccups along the way. Things may not go as planned but don’t let that deter you.
2. Listen to Your Doctors
Stubbornness has no place in the recovery process. Listening to your doctors and other professionals is imperative for a successful recovery. If you’ve suffered a recent injury that requires rest, physical therapy, and a short hiatus from physical activity, you need to adhere to these rules. Pushing yourself or returning to regular activities before you’ve been cleared by your doctor can lead to further injury or a long-term setback.
When you feel tempted to resume regular activity, just remind yourself that if you aggravate the injury or make it worse, your recovery time will be that much longer. It’s just as important to listen to professional opinions when it comes to recovering from substance abuse as well.
3. Use a Support System
It’s important to surround yourself with positive, helpful people during any recovery process. You should have a team of people you can rely on, outside of your doctors and counselors. Friends and family can offer emotional and physical support. If you’ve suffered an injury that prevents you from driving, allow a friend, neighbor or partner to drive you to your appointments. Try not to feel guilty about this. They wouldn’t offer if they didn’t want to help. And if they don’t offer initially, don’t be afraid to ask. A good support system is made of people that understand and encourage your recovery. They want to see you succeed and are willing to do whatever it takes to help you achieve your goals. Avoid people that bring negative into your world or tempt you with unhealthy and dangerous behaviors. These individuals are not true friends.
4. Be Consistent
Just listening to your doctors and counselors once or twice isn’t enough. You need to be consistent in your recovery. This means attending meetings, physical therapy or any other exercises you’re ordered to do. As your recovery progresses and you start seeing improvement, don’t be tricked into thinking that you can let up on your treatment plan or stop it completely. It’s important to complete all of the exercises and periods of rest that your doctor advise you to do. This also means continually going to AA (alcoholics anonymous) meetings of whatever follow-up programs your counselor recommends. The recovery process is never truly over and consistency is an important part of your success.
5. Stock Up on Needed Supplies
The best way to be successful in terms of recovery is to have the necessary supplies on hand. Supplies will vary depending on the type of recovery you’re undergoing. If you’ve recently suffered a physical injury that requires therapy, you may be ordered to attend a physical therapy office where a professional therapist will work one-on-one with you. This rehabilitation may also include additional exercises for you to do at home. These may require light weights, resistance bands or a foam roller. You may also require crutches, ice packs, and other items to help your injury heal. As far as substance abuse recovery in concerned, the supplies you need may be limited. Keep a journal for documenting your feelings and other tokens or charms that act as reminders to stay strong and dedicated to your recovery.
6. Listen to Your Body
Your body is the best indicator of how you’re feeling and what you need. The only thing more important than listening to your therapist, doctor or counselor is listening to your body. If you’re feeling strong and capable, it likely means the recovery process is working for you and you should continue doing what you’re doing. Don’t mistake progress as crossing the finish line but instead see it as a reward for your dedication and consistency. On the flip side, if you are feel uneasy or too weak to perform the tasks being asked of you, speak up. Share your doubts with your doctor or counselor. They can alter your recovery plan to better serve your current needs.
7. Practice Self-Care and Forgiveness
It’s important to be kind to yourself, not just while you’re recovering but always. If you’re not in a healthy state of mind, recovery will be a long, uphill battle. Self-care means doing things that make you happy and foster your own self-worth. They range from taking up a hobby to reading a good book or keeping a journal – anything that helps make you feel accomplished and remain positive. Some people shy away from self-care because they think they’re being selfish but this isn’t the case. In fact, self-care is necessary in order to maintain healthy relationships with yourself and others.
Being kind to yourself also means forgiveness. No one is perfect and your recovery process won’t be either. That means you’ll stumble and fall, maybe literally and figuratively. You may have slip-ups, relapses, and setbacks along the way. But it’s important to forgive yourself for these missteps so that you can brush yourself and continue on your journey. Dwelling on mistakes you’ve made or beating yourself up over them goes against the power of positive thinking. Accept what has happened, learn from it, and move on.
8. Avoid Triggers
The best way to avoid slip-ups or setbacks during your recovery process is to avoid those people and things that act as triggers for your habit. This holds true for both substance abuse habits and injuries. If you’re an avid athlete or gym buff, you may want to take a hiatus from hanging with your workout buddies. This is only true if they are encouraging you to push yourself harder and farther than you know is right. It might also make you feel sad or left out to see them working out or playing sports without you. Surround yourself with people who are patient and supportive and think of alternative, safer activities for you to engage in. At least while you’re out of commission.
Avoiding triggers as a substance abuser is essential in preventing relapse. Many substance abusers have triggers that cause them to revert back to their negative behaviors of using drugs or alcohol. These triggers may be a group of friends, stressful environments or a specific place. Know your triggers and avoid them at all costs. This isn’t always easy, especially if you have a close knit group of friends. But if those friends are still addicts, you need to find new friends. If you need help handling your stress, outside of using drugs or alcohol, seek counseling. A therapist can provide you the tools needed to combat stress in a healthy way.
9. Set Realistic Goals
There’s no quicker way to set yourself up for failure than setting unrealistic goals. When it comes to recovery, celebrating every small achievement is important. This helps build confidence and gives you hope for your success in the future. If you’ve suffered a recent injury that prevented you from walking, set small goals with your therapist or yourself. This could be walking 10 feet or even standing in your wheelchair. Try not to get ahead of yourself or expect a cure overnight. This will leave you feeling defeated and depressed. The same holds true for recovery from alcohol or drug abuse.
Your body undergoes a long list of side effects and symptoms during the detox process including both mental and physical withdrawal. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix past this part of the recovery process. When you’ve been addicted to a substance for so long, it takes time for your body to break this dependency. Set small goals for yourself and each time you reach on, celebrate it! This fosters your self-worth, confidence, and maintains that optimistic attitude needed for success.
Recovery is often to referred to as a process for a reason. It’s a journey, not a destination. And one that you may never fully complete. Depending on what you’re recovering from, practicing these tips may turn into a new lifestyle. But if it means living a healthy, fulfilling life, then it’s worth it. So remain positive, accept your circumstance, and create a healthy and supportive environment that will help you reach our goals and succeed.
Article Submitted By Community Writer