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Life After Rehab: Five Things to Do First

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Forming friendships with people who share your same values and goals is one of five steps you can take to support your recovery.


While in rehab, you have constant support and are surrounded by people who are as committed to your recovery as you are. Then, you get home—and things can go one of two ways.

You can put yourself in the exact same situation you were in when you were using or drinking. Or, you can take a few critical steps to create an environment that, like rehab, helps support your recovery.

1. Surround Yourself with Good People

Staying in close contact with people you used to drink or use with is universally considered to be a terrible idea. In fact, some experts go so far as to suggest you delete their contact info—or even change your phone number.

At the same time, you’ll want to cultivate the relationships in your life that are positive. Stay in close touch with your sponsor, make new friends with others in recovery and continue to spend time with friends and family members who are supportive of your new life.

2. Take Care of Yourself Physically

Eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep will make you healthier, but that’s not the reason they’re so critical right now. More importantly, taking these steps will provide a much-needed mood boost. Life after drug rehab can be challenging. Consider self-care as your first line of defense.

3. Create a Daily Routine and Stay Steady

Establishing a daily routine can be helpful in a number of ways. First of all, a routine can help you be productive and accomplish the things that are important to you each day. Secondly, having your day planned out can prevent boredom from setting in. Lastly, knowing what you’re going to be doing each day eliminates the need to make constant decisions—which is important as research shows that willpower is a finite resource.

Remember, too, that those in recovery are advised against making life-changing decisions during the first year of recovery. This probably isn’t the time to decide to have a baby, get married or make a career change.

4. Make Time for Fun Each Day

First, make a list of all the activities you enjoy doing. This list can include things like taking a bath, walking your dog, playing the guitar, making a good meal, reading a book, watching a favorite television show or playing tennis with friends. Next, make a list of all the things you’d like to try, whether it’s sculpting, making homemade jam or learning to speak Italian. Try to make time each day, even if only for a half hour, for one of the items on your list.

5. Be Thankful and Celebrate Life

Positive psychology research indicates that showing gratitude is one way to consistently make yourself feel better. You can do this by keeping a gratitude journal, praying, writing thank you notes, meditating or even just mentally thanking people.

Along those same lines, take the time to celebrate sober anniversaries and be thankful for them. You can do this by treating yourself to a massage, new book or something else you’ve had your eye on. Or perhaps start a tradition—maybe a hike with friends or a special brunch with family.

How to Stay Sober After Addiction Rehab

The thought of giving up drugs or alcohol can be frightening. Not because you don’t want to do it, but because you don’t know if you’ll be able to do it.

What many people don’t understand is that you won’t have to figure this out on your own. The whole point of a good rehab program is to teach you how to stay sober, while still living a good life.

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver where you can find the help you need to learn how to live—and to thrive—without drugs or alcohol. Our team of experts will work with you to tackle both the physical and mental aspects of addiction. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

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