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After Addiction: New Year’s Resolutions for Those in Recovery for 2021

A woman smiles and drinks coffee as she looks out her apartment window.
How good will it feel to wake up on New Year’s Day feeling healthy, alive and excited for what lies ahead?


You’ve found your way and are feeling great.

Now imagine New Year’s Day and waking up feeling alive and free on a day when a good chunk of Americans are hung over. Many will be wondering exactly what they did the night before. Even worse are the people who will know exactly what they did—and regret it.

But that’s not you anymore.

Now is a great time to think about what you want from 2021. Here are a few resolutions to keep you moving forward in your recovery.

Learn Something New

Thinking of learning to play the guitar? How about taking a photography class? Or maybe you’d like to join a book club or a choir?

Hobbies are a great way to de-stress, socialize and become a more interesting person. They can also help you get in that wonderful state of mind called “flow” where you’re completely in the moment and content.

Up Your Exercise

Ugghhh. Are we really telling you to make a New Year’s resolution to exercise? Like that hasn’t been done a million times before.

Hold on. We’re not telling you to join a gym to lose weight so that you can look good in a bathing suit this spring.

What we are saying is that exercise produces the feel-good chemicals that you need right now. If you want, you can join a gym, but you can also go for hikes, do yoga at home, take up rock climbing, join a tennis league or get a dog and go for walks.

Moving will make you feel better. Don’t go crazy trying to do something you don’t enjoy. Just make a point to move more—in whatever way works for you.

Start a Gratitude Journal

It might sound like a cliché, but fostering an attitude of gratitude has been shown by research to correlate with happiness and productivity.

You can do this by keeping a journal (or using one of the many apps available) to record five things a day you’re grateful for. If you’re a spiritual person, you can offer prayers of thankfulness.

Be Kind to Yourself

Do you still have some unhealthy habits you’d like to overcome? Maybe you smoke or eat junk food or waste too much time on the Internet?

If so, you’re facing the same challenges as the majority of Americans. We all want to be better, and it’s a worthy goal.

But here’s the thing: By getting sober, you’ve just done something that’s harder than all of that. Give yourself time to clean up other areas of your life and don’t try to break more than one bad habit at time.

Most importantly, recognize all that you have accomplished—and be proud of yourself.

Make Sleep a Priority

The science is pretty clear on this: A lack of sleep can cause you to feel stressed and irritable the next day. It can also affect your decision-making ability. A good night’s sleep helps you feel calm and rested and stay strong in your recovery.

Challenge Yourself Intellectually

Chances are, this area of your life was put on hold when you were battling addiction. Now might be a good time to get back in the game—so to speak. That might mean getting your GED or signing up for local college courses. Or you could strive to read a book, watch a documentary or listen to an interesting podcast every week.

Make an Effort to Help Someone Else

It’s easy for anyone to get in a slump and start feeling sorry for themself.

Helping someone else is the quickest way to get out of your own head. It could be something as simple as making a point of visiting your grandmother once a week. Or it could be something more structured like volunteering your time for a cause you believe in.

About The Raleigh House

The Raleigh House is a residential treatment center located in Denver where you can find the help you need to rebuild your life. Our team of experts works together 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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