Holding Onto Your Sobriety Through Healthy Habits

Mar 5, 2024

Addiction can feel like a spiraling loss of control, entangled with a sense of chaotic worthlessness, isolation, fear, and hopelessness.

Recovery is not just about forcing yourself to drop an addiction. It’s a complex process that entails rewiring the brain and healing mind, body, and soul to gain the strength needed to overcome what once seemed impossible. It’s a lifetime journey of discovery, growth, and refinement—reframing the narrative in your mind from hopelessness to hopefulness.

Holding Onto Your Sobriety Through Healthy Habits


It takes determination, a genuine change of heart, and trust in God to make it past the threshold of no longer needing to succumb to your addiction. A major key in successful addiction recovery is forming long-lasting positive habits. Healthy physical, mental, and spiritual habits can help the recovery process feel more manageable and lower the possibility of relapse.

Forming Positive Habits

Habits are hard to form and hard to break. The part of our brain responsible for developing habits is the basal ganglia, which is mainly responsible for our motor skills, emotional development, behavior, and pattern recognition. This part of the brain works with the prefrontal cortex, primarily responsible for our decision-making. However, addictions and habits can override our ability to control our minds.

The more we repeat particular behaviors or actions, the less our brain works, which eventually eliminates control over the decision-making part of our brain. We begin to perform tasks automatically without mental awareness, as if we’re on auto-pilot.

In substance abuse rehab, patients learn how to form healthy habits instinctively and practice repetition to make them stick. If you’re honest, hopeful, and have trust in God, you’ll have the strength and self-discipline to change your life through healthy habits. Here are seven tips for forming and maintaining healthy habits in addiction recovery.

1. Maintain Healthy Sleep Patterns

Abusing drugs or alcohol puts our bodies through the wringer. Forming healthy sleep habits is one of the best natural remedies to help in recovery. Restorative sleep can help keep our mind, body, and soul healthy, reducing the risk of anxiety. A research study by the National Library of Medicine found that those in drug rehab who have sleep disturbance are more likely to relapse than those without a sleep disturbance. Adequate sleep helps us to rest and recharge, keeping our mind sharp. It also gives our bodies time to heal, boosting our immune system and helping us to recover from physical injuries and illnesses. If you struggle to get a good night’s rest and have poor sleep habits, here are some ways to work on it:

  • Create a relaxing and calm environment to sleep in. Consider noise, light, and temperature.
  • Establish and stick to a consistent bedtime routine.
  • Go to bed and wake up at a similar time every day.
  • Reduce or remove caffeine from your diet.
  • Move your body at least 30 minutes daily (even if it’s just walking).
  • Avoid eating heavy meals past 6 pm.
  • Try not to do activities other than sleeping in bed (reading, working, eating, TV).
  • Practice meditation.

2. Prioritize Self-Care

An addiction can feel like a tornado swept through your life and left it in disarray. The damaging effects of your addiction may have replaced some of your healthy daily habits. Getting back on track to your life before drugs or alcohol involves re-establishing some simple self-care routines such as taking vitamins, showering daily, going for jogs, reading, getting ready, etc. Restore habits that will give you a sense of security, peace, and normalcy without your addiction in the picture. These simple tasks can help take the pressure off of maintaining sobriety. Make your new and improved healthy lifestyle such a priority that you won’t let anything get in the way.

3. Eat a Nutritious Diet

When the body absorbs excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs, they begin to throw off our body’s natural balance and start to destroy our system. Over time, the body becomes depleted of essential components necessary to maintain a well-functioning, well-balanced, and healthy body. Aside from detoxification, a nutritious diet will help to restore your health and help your body continue to heal, function, and thrive. It’s incredible how fast our bodies can heal when we give them what they need. When eating a nutritious diet during recovery, we can think of it as replenishing what our body lost during addiction.

4. Exercise Regularly

Being physically active and forming a consistent workout routine can help the addiction recovery process exponentially. Besides the positive impact that physical fitness brings to our physical health, it also benefits our mental health as it releases those “feel good” chemicals such as endorphins and serotonin that significantly help to improve your mood and keep your mental state at a base level. Exercise can also be a good distraction from negative thought patterns and cravings.

5. Get a Hobby or Passion

It’s normal to feel sadness in recovery. You’ve been through a lot, and you can’t explain it, but sometimes you feel like there’s a void. Many find happiness in filling that void with a hobby or passion project. Resume a past hobby, or try out some new ones to see what sticks for you. Consider learning a new skill, such as playing the piano or guitar. Take a class that interests you, join a sports team, or a book club. Whatever hobby or passion project you choose, make sure it sparks joy and helps you feel relaxed and proud of yourself.

6. Attend Support Groups

Attending support groups during and after recovery is an essential part of maintaining sobriety. You don’t have to struggle alone; a whole group of people understand and want to support you while having your support in return. There’s strength in numbers. Get yourself a sponsor and watch how it changes your life.

7. Pray Daily

As we seek God’s grace and come to know Him, we let Him strengthen us through His son, Jesus Christ. The power of prayer can open our minds and hearts to the spirit of Jesus Christ, whose power can free us from the turmoil of addiction. Daily prayer can also help us develop humility and gratitude as we focus on what we’re thankful for, especially the progress we’ve made and the fact that we’re still fighting the good fight. Make a goal to pray morning and night, and see how your prayers become more meaningful over time.

Building your new, sober life might be overwhelming. It can feel like rebuilding your identity and re-discovering who you are. How brave of you to begin the journey. Finding an exceptional addiction recovery center filled with people who will aid you in forming good habits and cheer on your progress is a good place to start.


Holding Onto Your Sobriety Through Healthy Habits