Getting clean and sober is a brave and bold move, but it’s only the first step on the recovery journey. And while this might sound discouraging, it’s actually pretty exciting. Sobriety gives you the opportunity to make some very significant life changes for the better, and once you adapt to these, your life is likely to soar.
Having said this, it’s important to create a sober environment for yourself where you can thrive going forward. If you can establish this early on, you’ll be two steps ahead of your addiction and well-positioned for a successful recovery.
Here are 4 key ways you can set yourself up for success in your sobriety by creating an environment that’s conducive to your recovery:
- Live in a safe and stable place. This is understandably difficult for some, depending on your circumstances. Nevertheless, if you have the luxury of being able to choose where you live, choose a place where you’re not surrounded by triggers and temptations to engage in addictive behavior. Even if you’re stuck in a dysfunctional family home, you can still set healthy boundaries and give yourself time for self-care. This may simply mean carving out an hour per day to get to a recovery meeting, and it gives you a safe space to go and connect if your living situation is questionable. If you can carve out an additional 30 minutes to sit in the car and meditate, do it! Anything you can do to clear your head and get centered and grounded daily is going to help. And, of course, if you do have the means and flexibility to set yourself up in a safe and secure home or apartment, do it. For many of us, this might start with a good rehab, and we can move forward from there.
- Stay connected to others in recovery. Having your own little posse of sober comrades is always a good idea, particularly in early recovery. While it’s no one’s job to tell you who you should or shouldn’t spend time with, you might owe it to yourself to cut out the people in your life who are negative influences. If you have old party pals hanging around who still try to encourage you to party, then perhaps they don’t have your best interests in mind. Again, no one is telling you who you should or shouldn’t hang out with, but making friends with fellows in your sober community is a great way to begin steering your path in the right direction. It gives you a new group of friends to call when you want to go out and have a good time without drugs or alcohol.
- Engage in healthy habits, and make them accessible. Healthy habits such as exercise, painting, playing music, or anything that makes you feel good (and doesn’t contribute to your addiction) are great ways to spend your time in recovery. If you like art, try keeping art supplies around the house and handy so you can pick up a paintbrush at the end of a long day. If yoga is your thing, then join a yoga studio. Find out what’s in the area. Can’t afford a yoga membership? Maybe the community offers free yoga in the park. Do some research. A sneaky little thing to remind yourself is that you probably were always able to find the means to get your hands on drugs, alcohol, or to engage in compulsive behavior. We, addicts, are a resourceful lot. Channeling our resourcefulness toward healthy habits is a great way to spend our time in recovery.
- Incorporate some structure into your life. Now, this doesn’t mean you must be overly rigid and strict on yourself but do try and maintain some consistency in your days. Chances are, life was pretty chaotic before you got sober. Perhaps there was a lot of vagueness in different areas of your life where things like relationships, friendships, finances, and other things were concerned. Remaining in vagueness and chaos can be very triggering in recovery because it reminds us so much of life in active addiction. By breaking some of these unhealthy cycles and having some semblance of structure, you’re on the road to a new way of life. Maybe start with having a regular recovery meeting schedule. From there, perhaps you can weave in a morning meditation routine, even if it’s just ten minutes per day in the beginning. Down the track, for instance, you can start rebuilding some of the important relationships in your life, bringing in a steady work routine, regular exercise — you get the idea. But, you can start small. Take baby steps toward incorporating more and more structure into your life, and do it one day at a time so you’re not overwhelmed. Remember, recovery is for life — it’s a marathon, not a race. And, before you know it, your whole world will look different and wonderful, but you’ll have built a foundation on solid ground. Slow and steady always wins.
At the end of the day, the first thing you should remember to do when you enter into recovery is to give yourself a great big pat on the back. Getting sober is a feat, in and of itself, and the above suggestions are simply meant to help keep you on the straight and narrow so you can maintain your sobriety. They’re also meant to help you enjoy your recovery, as sobriety is not something to be endured, rather it should enrich your life. Finally, keep in mind that for so many of us, the process of creating a sober environment begins with a good recovery center. Do what’s right for you and, most importantly, be good to yourself.
Kembali Recovery Center can Help
If you or someone you know and love is struggling to get or stay clean, Kembali Recovery Center is here for you. Reach out to speak with a representative and learn more about our offerings. You never have to do this alone, nor should you.