Recovering from addiction is more than stopping alcohol or drugs. It’s more than getting through detox. These two steps are first and foremost, but finding peace in long-term recovery requires important internal work as well as lifestyle changes. Not everything has to change. Changing everything about who you are and how you live could invite new problems. It’s important to hold on tight to people and activities that serve you. You have a lot to think about and process. If you’re recovering from addiction and you’re seeking inner peace, here are tips for moving forward.
It’s natural to feel uncomfortable with significant change. Give yourself a little grace as you walk through this. The truth is, you’re grieving. By stopping alcohol or drugs, you just broke up with your best friend, your confidant, your secret, your coping mechanism, your retreat. Make mental health your first priority. You have a lot on your mind. You may have some “wreckage” to clean up as a result of your addiction – relationships, financial obligations, employment or academic responsibilities – but before you can rightly address those things, you must address your own thoughts and feelings. Consider working with a therapist. You’ll work through those matters of the heart and pick up new coping techniques to better self-regulate, to manage stress, to thoughtfully avoid triggers, and to navigate cravings when they arise.
Practicing gratitude comes first.
This sounds trite, but it is a very powerful practice. Try journaling when you wake and just before bed at night. List a few things you’re grateful for. There’s no right thing to put down… everything counts. Start and end your day in gratitude.
Improving your physical health comes next in addiction recovery.
Improved physical health will support good mental health, and the activities you engage in will bring you peace. Get outside and connect with nature. Commit to getting at least 15 minutes of sunshine and fresh air every day. If exercise hasn’t been part of your life for a while, start with a walk around the block. Try a yoga class, go to a gym, or find a great place to walk inside or just outside your city. Create and prioritize one healthy, new routine for your physical health, and gift it to yourself every day. If you exercise, even a little bit, with regularity, you’ll learn to love it and it will naturally become a priority.
- Eat real food
- Drink a lot of water
- Get some sleep
- Go outside
- Avoid the news if it upsets you
- Spend time with people who support your wellness; avoid those who do not
- Embrace quiet moments
- Listen to great music
Master one significant change at a time.
Changing or taking on too much at once can leave you more sensitive to triggers, cravings, and high-risk situations that can lead to relapse. When you start to feel better, take time to help someone else, but remember that recovery looks different for everyone. Part of finding peace is releasing