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How can someone manage each day and improve themselves after overcoming their addiction?

Mar 28, 2023

Just because you meet your sobriety goals with your addiction doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the woods quite yet. After overcoming an addiction, it can be hard to pick yourself back up, get through each day, and even take the time to improve yourself. Some of our readers with backgrounds in recovery had some insights about self-improvement post-addiction. Keep reading to find out what they suggest.
Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson

Clinical Director at Recovery Unplugged.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

    1. Take care of your physical health. Eating nutritious meals and getting regular exercise are essential for managing any addiction. A balanced diet can help you feel physically and emotionally stronger, while exercise releases endorphins that can boost your mood. Additionally, make sure you get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation may increase cravings for substances of abuse, so it is important to get at least seven to eight hours per night. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help optimize the quality of your rest.

    2. Create structure in your day. Having structure and a daily routine can help replace addictive habits with healthy ones. Make a plan for each day that includes healthy activities like meals, exercise, reading, connecting with supportive friends and family, and relaxation. Sticking to your daily schedule will create a sense of stability and help you work toward achieving your goals.

    3. Develop positive coping skills. Learning new coping skills can help you better handle stressors in life without turning to drugs or alcohol. Taking deep breaths, going on walks, journaling, listening to music, practicing yoga – any type of mindful activity can be helpful in reducing cravings and offering an alternative outlet for dealing with emotions. Experiment with different types of activities until you discover something that works for you.

    4. Seek social support from others who understand addiction recovery. Surrounding yourself with supportive people who can relate to the struggles of overcoming addiction can make a huge difference in your recovery. Joining an online support community or attending local meetings can be instrumental in developing long-term sobriety.

    5. Take time for yourself and practice self-care. Living life free from addiction is no easy feat, so it’s important to take time for yourself and nurture your body, mind, and spirit. Acknowledge small successes in your recovery journey and give yourself credit for all the hard work you are putting into improving your life. Find ways to reward yourself that don’t involve substances like getting a massage, taking a bubble bath, or going on a nature walk. Self-care is an essential part of the recovery process.

Develop a Sense of Purpose

One way to manage each day and improve oneself after overcoming addiction is to develop a sense of purpose. It can involve finding meaningful activities or goals to pursue, such as volunteering, starting a new hobby, or pursuing education or career opportunities. When individuals have a sense of purpose, they are more likely to feel motivated, fulfilled, and focused on their personal growth.

Having a purpose can also provide a sense of direction and identity beyond addiction, which can be especially helpful during the recovery process. Identifying what matters most and actively pursuing those interests can enable individuals in recovery to cultivate a stronger sense of self and find new ways to thrive.

Young Pham

Young Pham

Project Manager of BizReport.
Ryan Sultan

Ryan Sultan

Medical Director of Integrative Psych NYC.

Establish a Routine

First, overcoming addiction is hard. Very hard. It takes a lot of effort, support, and consistency. Often it takes multiple tries. Those engaging in recovery need to give themselves a lot of credit.

Managing daily life and improving oneself after overcoming addiction can be challenging but rewarding. Here are some strategies to help individuals maintain sobriety and foster personal growth:

    1. Establish a routine: Create and maintain a daily routine that includes regular sleep, exercise, and meal times. A structured routine can provide stability and predictability, making it easier to manage time and minimize the risk of relapse.

    2. Set short-term and long-term goals: Identify personal and professional goals and break them down into smaller, achievable steps. Regularly revisit and adjust these goals to maintain motivation and a sense of purpose.

    3. Develop healthy coping mechanisms: Find positive ways to cope with stress, anxiety, and other triggers that might have previously led to substance use. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or physical exercise can help manage emotions and cravings.

    4. Build a support network: Seek out and maintain relationships with supportive friends, family members, or peers in recovery. Support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, can provide a sense of community and shared experiences.

    5. Engage in therapy: Continue attending therapy sessions to address any underlying mental health issues, build coping skills, and maintain accountability. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based approaches can be particularly effective in preventing relapse.

    6. Foster new hobbies and interests: Explore new activities or interests that bring joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. These activities can replace the time and energy previously spent on substance use and help build a more balanced lifestyle.

    7. Focus on self-care: Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being by eating well, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques.

    8. Practice self-compassion: Be patient with yourself and recognize that recovery is a journey with ups and downs. Learn from setbacks and treat yourself kindly as you navigate the path to sobriety.

    9. Stay informed: Educate yourself about addiction and recovery. Understanding the science and the process can help you make informed decisions and be better prepared for challenges.

    10. Monitor progress and celebrate success: Track your progress in recovery and celebrate milestones, both big and small. Acknowledging achievements can boost motivation and self-esteem.

By incorporating these strategies into daily life, individuals can build a strong foundation for lasting recovery and personal growth after overcoming addiction!

Maintain a Positive Self Image

Persons in recovery from addiction often struggle to manage the day-to-day. This can be made easier by keeping stress levels low, controlling who you surround yourself with, picking up a hobby or two, and maintaining a positive self image.

Stress has been found to create vulnerability to addiction. When you feel stressed, you are more likely to lean on the use of alcohol and illicit drugs to provide temporary relief. Remember that in the long-term, using drugs and alcohol will only worsen the effects of stress.

Controlling who you surround yourself with is an exercise in self-empowerment. As you continue on your recovery journey, there will be people who no longer serve your journey and new lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to let them go in the pursuit of those who provide you with encouragement and support. The right people will give you positive attention, speak to you respectfully, listen to your needs, and recognize your achievements.

Picking up a hobby can help distract you from withdrawal and give you something meaningful with which to fill your time. It’s also an excellent way to channel your creativity, forge a sense of accomplishment, and make you feel better about yourself overall.

Maintaining a positive self image is essential to maintaining momentum in recovery and successfully managing your day-to-day. Be mindful that you are speaking to yourself respectfully, accepting your mistakes and staying vigilant in not repeating them, and exercising regularly. A positive self image will also help you reduce stress and anxiety, be more discerning towards the people you surround yourself with, and inspire you to create.

Dr. Lea McMahon LCP, EdD

Dr. Lea McMahon LCP, EdD

Chief Clinical Officer at Symetria Recovery.
Sonia Kahlon

Sonia Kahlon

Founder of EverBlume.

Have a Strong Support System

Overcoming addiction itself is a significant achievement, but the journey to recovery does not end there. It requires a lifelong commitment to staying sober and maintaining healthy habits. Managing each day after overcoming addiction can be challenging, but it is achievable with the right mindset, strategies, and support system.

One of the most effective ways to manage each day is by creating a daily routine. Having a structured routine can provide a sense of stability and purpose. It can include activities such as exercise, meditation, journaling, and spending time with loved ones. Developing new hobbies or interests can also help in keeping one’s mind occupied.

Self-improvement is another crucial aspect of managing each day. Setting achievable goals and working towards them can boost self-confidence and help one stay motivated. Continuous learning and personal growth can also provide a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

In addition, having a strong support system is crucial for managing each day after overcoming addiction. This can include family, friends, support groups, or a therapist. It is essential to surround oneself with people who are understanding, encouraging, and supportive of one’s recovery journey.

It is a continuous process, but with dedication and perseverance, one can live a healthy, fulfilling life in recovery.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.