Embarking on the road to recovery post-treatment is a path filled with adventure, purpose, and meaning. The road to recovery is also life-long, and continuing to participate in activities that evoke self-growth is essential. Certainly, recovery does not come without challenges; however, with persistence, patience, and motivation to partake in different community activities, you can strengthen the foundations you set in place during treatment.
While you likely know about the more popular community-building activities post-treatment, such as AA, NA, and SMART, there are also plenty of other ways you can get involved in the community. You might have overlooked some of these opportunities; however, never underestimate the benefits that a community activity can behold for your recovery. Let’s look at some of these community opportunities and how they can help you transition and grow at a comfortable pace into your best self and recovery.
Working With Animals
Early recovery is about rebuilding trust in the relationship with yourself, others, and your spirituality. Initially, this can be an intimidating process and might take time for you to open yourself to these practices and people. You might fear judgment from others, or you might judge yourself based on your past. You might also not have developed the emotional balance needed to accomplish some of these goals. Therefore, working with animals can be a great volunteer activity within your community.
Working with animals provides a safe and judge-free space for developing your emotional range, such as empathy and selflessness. Developing these emotions helps you build trust and forgiveness with yourself and others. You can begin by looking at any animal shelters. Shelters provide an excellent opportunity for you to spend some of your newfound free time and make a difference in these animals’ lives. Additionally, spending time with animals and helping them find a home in recovery helps lower stress and anxiety while boosting your self-esteem.
State and National Parks
It is no secret that nature has a profound and positive influence on our overall well-being. Being in nature for just 30 minutes helps to reduce stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and depression. Volunteering at State and National Parks provides the sanctuary of beautiful scenery in a secluded environment that is very fulfilling to the mind, body, and soul. Such a volunteer opportunity allows for a great balance of social interaction with others, exercise, and spending time alone with your thoughts while you take on different tasks.
Outdoor tasks such as keeping trails clean or directing hikers can help you develop skills in team building, social interaction, and attaining mechanical skills that you can apply to other areas of your life. If you discover that you enjoy being outside, some parks provide career opportunities, including becoming a trail or tour guide to teach visitors about the ecology and wonder of wildlife. If you enjoy the outdoors, consider fulfilling your outside needs by volunteering at a State or National Park.
Devotional activities are practices that help connect you to a higher power or feeling. Participating in religious devotional practices has many meditative qualities that benefit the tools you have attained during treatment. Here you might repeat mantras, read empowering passages, and achieve a euphoric surrender to the things out of your control. Most local communities offer spaces designated for devotional activity, such as a local church or temple.
A devotional practice could also be listening to music, practicing yoga, painting, or writing. Some communities might provide painting classes or yoga classes where you can participate. Devotional activities also help:
- Elicit relaxation responses through prayer
- Evoke feelings of gratitude, hope, and comfort
- Promote better well-being of mind, body, and soul
- Help reduce anxiety and symptoms attached to depression
- Empower you to become more resilient to cravings and impulses
It is crucial never to underestimate the power of 12-Step meetings. 12-Step meetings can connect, inspire, and grow individuals in a spiritual way. They are ready-made sober communities that provide a great place to begin to develop your interpersonal skills and grow a healthy network. Here, you can discover how to recognize the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
You will, in many ways, surrender to recovery, learn how to forgive, and structure your recovery in a way that helps you stay committed. 12-Step meetings are a terrific way to learn from the experiences of others and become a leader for those beginning their journey of recovery. The connections made in these meetings can continue to present opportunities for personal and professional growth for years to come. Never underestimate how effective the 12-Step program is.
While recovery is a lifelong journey, it is also your story to tell. If you find that you are not telling your story to the best of your abilities or having difficulty overcoming some of your recovery challenges, the time to seek help is now. At Renaissance Ranch, we provide a transformative experience to help men manage their challenges and sustain their recovery. Our conventional and alternative approaches utilize the profound aspects of spirituality, breathtaking views, and a community of professionals and peers alike who share one common goal: perseverance over addiction. Our primary motivation is to ensure that the men and their families who seek care with us are receiving the proper care to meet their individual recovery needs. Remember, your recovery should always come first. For more information and assessment, we are here 24/7 to help. Start your journey today by calling Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898.