Adjusting to life after rehab can be challenging. While checking into a treatment center at first feels intimidating, the structure and pace of life can quickly become familiar. With time, depending on the length of your stay, life in rehab gets comfortable. You know what’s expected of you and your schedule is set. There are no surprises, and no outside interference and you can concentrate on beating your addiction and putting in the foundation for a new life. Since rehab centers are drug and alcohol-free environments, there’s no temptation to relapse.
Sobriety after rehab is a different story altogether. Leaving rehab can feel even more intimidating and overwhelming than being admitted into one. Without the safety of the treatment center, it can be hard to navigate life. Though exciting, this new phase will require you to put into practice all that you learned in rehab about identifying and managing your triggers. You’ll have to learn to continue building on the new, sober life that you’d started while in treatment.
That may sound challenging but here are 6 tips that can help you maintain sobriety after rehab:
- Establish a support system
Having a strong support system is crucial when you leave rehab. The people you hang out with can either help you remain sober or contribute to your relapse. It’s important to break away or distance yourself from former friends who you used to drink or use with. Instead, build up a support system of sober people who want the best for you. You can do this by joining a sober living community after leaving rehab or by joining a support group in your area such as a 12-step meeting group. Such support groups or meetings are great places to interact with peers in the same situation as you and to also receive advice and support on how to live a sober life.
- Change and modify your environment
The environment you live in will also play a key role in whether you remain sober or not after a stay at an addiction treatment center. Rehab facilities are structured in such a way that they provide a serene and conducive environment for recovery. But the real world doesn’t work like that. You’ll have to avoid the places or things that would trigger your cravings or tempt you to drink alcohol or use drugs. This may mean avoiding your old haunts or moving to a new area altogether. It’s also a good idea to ask someone you trust to help clean out your home or room to get rid of all the alcohol or drug-related paraphernalia. This will help you start your new life on a clean slate.
- Replace your old, negative habits with positive, healthier ones
To help you stay sober, you need to keep yourself occupied with productive activities. This will help keep your mind away from temptations and cravings. Many of those leaving rehab fear that being sober will be boring but that’s just not true. There are many activities out there that can provide you with excitement while strengthening your mind and body. For instance, if you’re an outdoorsy person, you could pick up a new sport or take to hiking or traveling. If you prefer private hobbies, you could take up arts and crafts, reading, gardening, and a whole host of other activities.
- Set and focus on your future goals
To stay motivated, you need to come up with goals to work towards. This could be anything you’d like to achieve in the future. It’ll be easier to manage and resist temptations and cravings if you know what you’re working towards. Also, the more you have to lose the more willing you’ll be to remain sober and the more reluctant you’ll be to relapse and ruin things. Your goals should remind you why you went to rehab in the first place and they should be measurable and achievable so that you don’t lose motivation. A great place to start would be in improving your health or relationships or finding and keeping a good job.
- Stick to your follow-up appointments
Once you leave rehab, it can be tempting to think that you can make it on your own. However, you’ll still need help to stay on your recovery path. If you have scheduled any follow-up appointments with your therapist, counselor, or doctor, you should stick to them. Having professional help during this challenging transitional period can give you a confidence boost. The aftercare program offered by treatment centers is designed to give you an additional layer of support as you start living a clean life.
- Practice mindfulness
It will be difficult to retain sobriety after rehab if your mind is in the wrong place. Being out in the real world with its temptations and challenges can quickly leave you feeling empty and overwhelmed. To keep this at bay, start practicing mindful living. This means living in the present and practicing habits that calm your mind to help reduce tension and stress. You could try yoga, meditation, or even keeping a gratitude journal. Whichever practice you choose, ensure that you prioritize your mental and emotional health.
Start a New Life Today
If you’re struggling with addiction, know that help is available. It’s possible to beat addiction and go on to live a healthy and sober life.
At Evolve Indy, we can help you kick your addiction while teaching you the skills you need to maintain sobriety after leaving rehab. We have different addiction treatment programs from intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization for those who need more intensive care to outpatient programs for those who want more flexibility. We also offer family therapy sessions to help families devastated by addiction rebuild their relationships and to know how to support their loved ones after rehab.
Contact us today for more information on our treatment programs and to know how we can help and support you as you rebuild your life.