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Prepare Yourself For Sobriety By Planning Life After Rehab
Planning life after rehab is a highly critical step in achieving long-term sobriety. Despite patients’ rehab experience of medically-assisted detox, continued support, and counseling to discourage relapse, it can, and often does, occur. 40% to 60% of recovering alcoholics may relapse in 6 months. These numbers reflect the clarity and support individuals need in order to sustain their goal of sobriety.
Former patients can continue to use healing modalities they were exposed to once they have graduated from rehab. Rehab facilities offer specialized treatments and continued care like:
- One-on-one therapy
- Aftercare programs/sober living
- 12-Step groups
Aftercare programs assist former patients in planning life after rehab and sustaining the support needed for recovery. 12-Step groups benefit former patients as they have an on-going support system and community for integrated connection. Check-ups maintain relationships between facility staff and former patients, highlighting their healing progress. Programs like one-on-one therapy offer former patients content they can use to begin their journey in transformative healing.
Former patients can recall the root causes of their addiction; this clarity can inspire continued recovery progression. The knowledge of self which was gained in counseling can inspire preventive measures to reduce future relapses. Defining personal goals and remembering destructive causes behind addiction are progressive steps to reduce substance abuse temptation. Remember to prioritize personal values and honor your commitments in achieving your sobriety goals.
Wellness Planning for Self-Care
Maintaining motivation to live a life of transformation and wellness can provide the determination someone needs to resist temptation to use substances. Including a lifestyle plan in planning life after rehab is essential to defining your motivation and action steps for success. Former patients can commit to living a lifestyle of relaxation, while eating right. Getting adequate rest creates a better mood. Practices such as meditation and spirituality create hopefulness and community in daily life.
Recovering alcoholics can reinvent their appearance to signify personal transformation, and patients can feel confidence as they renew their health and hygiene. Sample questions can include:
- How many days a week are needed to secure external self-confidence through these self-care rituals?
- How does specific exercises make me feel?
- Am I honoring my self care by maintaining my beauty?
- How much time am I willing to dedicate to my wellness?
- Why does wellness matter most to me?
- How am I honoring my self-care by the foods I eat?
Recovering individuals can research what foods they like based on their body type, tastes, and value. Nutritional meal plans are effective ways to strengthen the inner body. Here, former patients can prepare a list of ideal calories, vitamins and minerals necessary for their best physical health. They can prepare delicious recipes to boost serotonin levels and endorphins, instead of using a destructive substance.
Meditation enables deep respiratory relaxation with inhalation and exhalations, simultaneously encouraging positive focus. The less stress someone feels, the less likely they are to self-medicate with harmful substances. Meditating a few times per week can be an example of a healthy plan for peace. Connecting to a higher power, whether that is a universal definition of God, or an abstract feeling, can create a new focus on renewal. Here, the individual can guide their perspective from depression or negative mental/emotional attachment to intense present-moment living.
Social Planning for Connection
Support is a powerful tool in recovery. Individuals who have battled alcoholism may benefit from beginning positive, healthy relationships, so considering future social circles is an important part of planning life after rehab. Things to consider when substituting friends who abuse substances are:
- Friends who give tough love
- Friends who celebrate your success
- Positive friends who offer encouragement
- Friends who are sober
Friends who are still drinking or abusing illicit substances can easily tempt former patients to start using again. Negative friends can easily discourage someone’s positive growth and unintentionally dampen someone’s motivation. Alternatively, friends who offer “tough love” can empower the individual considering a relapse accountability. Tough love friends will actively discourage excuses and relapses.
Having a new social circle with the right people can empower the former patient to stay busy. Former patients can keep a connection with individuals they met in 12-Step programs or SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) programs. Committing to fun social activities will reduce isolation and boredom. These fun activities can include:
- Movie nights
- Game nights
- Taking creative, exciting classes
- Group exercise
- Alumni programs
- Learning a new language
Personalizing a social plan is personal and should reflect your joys. A key component in creating a social plan is to be aware of one’s social needs and interests, which can be discovered by journaling. Finding a fulfilling career or hobbies, connecting to social outlets, and staying busy helps maintain positive moods.
Take the Next Step
Building an alcohol-free life can be highly emotional and overbearing, but help is always available. Treatment professionals can guide you back to the road to wellness if you’ve relapsed, connecting you to hope and renewal.Contact an expert today, and connect with the help you need.
Author — Last Edited: September 10, 2018
ProjectKnow.com. (2017). Choosing The Right Addiction Aftercare Program. Retrieved on August 1, 2018 at https://www.projectknow.com/research/aftercare/
WebMd.com. (2014). Life After Rehab. Retrieved on August 1, 2018 at https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/life-after-rehab#1
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