In the month of January, many people are deeply committed to erasing old bad habits and becoming healthier, happier and more balanced — the New Year is an opportunity to meet and become a new you — but it can be difficult to keep up the good work all year long and leave your past substance use behind.
Set yourself up for success this January (and beyond) with these healthy habits:
Setting Up Your Support Network
Taking part in initiatives like Dry January is a good first step towards sobriety and leaving your alcohol addiction behind. Taking a sober month in January to balance out all of the excess of the holiday season isn’t unusual for many of us, and often a month away from drinking can begin to show you the benefits of sobriety.
The real challenge comes when the month is over and you’re back to regular life. How can you progress from one month to a year, or even a lifetime? The answer: support networks. Setting up a support structure during your first month of sobriety can serve you when the momentum wears off and you are facing challenges during your recovery. This network will be there for you for the long-run, helping you stay strong. Your network could include:
- Support groups
- Family members
- Counseling groups
- Treatment programs
Developing Healthier Habits
Many experts in the field of recovery understand the importance of healthy habits when it comes to your journey to sobriety. A healthy mind and body are much more capable of handling and overcoming the stresses of everyday life without falling back into old habits.
Healthy habits can be either mental, spiritual, or physical and could include things like cooking healthy homemade meals for yourself or exercising. Staying well nourished and eating a balanced diet will give you more energy and help you feel clear-headed and positive. Adding some exercise to your daily routine helps to release endorphins — the body’s natural high — which in turn makes for a healthier mind. People who exercise frequently are more mindful and resilient to changes in circumstances. By strengthening their body they have also taken care of their mind. New healthier habits could also include:
- Joining a running group
- Taking a yoga class
- Exercise classes
- Outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking
Develop a Healthy Mindset
Often, the need to drink or use substances to excess is driven by other, underlying issues. You’re not alone if your substance use is also accompanied by mental health issues like depression or anxiety.
The key to starting your recovery is addressing both at once — your substance use and mental health. You can do this by practicing mindfulness at home, but a better more effective path is seeking professional assistance. Treatment programs that focus on dual-diagnosis, like with us at New Life, see higher rates of successful recovery because they treat both the cause and symptoms of addiction.
In treating these co-occurring disorders, we ensure that you have the tools to keep an even keel without the assistance of drugs or alcohol when things get tough. You will learn how to recognize your triggers, and adapt your behavior.
For some people, counseling is invaluable in untangling motivations and getting a better understanding of themselves before they can move forward with their recovery. For others, there is a need to start smaller with one-to-one sessions. Discovering your own needs during recovery can be pivotal when it comes to meeting your own goals — that’s why we always recommend that people first talk to a professional about their options.
To ensure an appropriate level of care and tailor a proper treatment program at New Life we screen everyone by phone to understand the issues at hand and determine their best course of recovery. Contact us today for a free, no commitment, consultation.