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Pulling Through: 10 Motivational Tips for Staying in Recovery

Anyone who has battled an addiction knows that recovery is a challenge. Just getting to the point of recovery is tough and staying there is even tougher. Fortunately, people from all walks of life have broken their addictions and remained in recovery. By sharing their success stories, it is easy to take away tips that other people in recovery can use to stay in recovery.

     o Become physically active

One of the best ways to stay away from booze is to find something else to do and exercising is a great choice. Not only will it help you stay in recovery, becoming physically active on a regular basis will help you become physically fit.

Whether you go for a walk, attend yoga classes, or start lifting weights, any type of regular physical activities is beneficial. And, it can become a joyful part of your life. With regular physical activity, you will discover that it not only helps you physically, but your emotional state will benefit, too. Several studies, like this one, have been conducted on the benefits of physical activity and how it aids in recovery.

     o Learn to manage anger

While in recovery, experiencing anger could be a temptation toward relapse. Emotional troubles are often dealt with by drinking. It is wise to recognize experiencing anger can be healthy. But, living in a state of anger is not healthy.

Instead, people in recovery should learn how to manage their anger. This is difficult to do and the skill is best learned to work with a therapist, especially one that has specialized in anger management.

Eventually, you can learn to live calmly and in a state of peace. While you might experience anger from time to time, you learn how to experience it and move on to your peaceful state. You don’t learn to repress emotions, but how to have healthy emotions so you are not tempted to drink to deal with challenging emotions. You can get more information on anger management through treatment facilities, too.

     o Find a job you enjoy

For many people in recovery, workplace stress can create problems that lead to relapses. To avoid them, some recovering addicts choose not to work, simply because their previous job experiences did not do them any good.

Instead of working in a job that creates stress, recovering addicts can consider finding a job that brings them joy. The job might not be the best paying, but the benefits of working at a joy you enjoy often outweigh the pay.

If working is too much of a trigger, then it is best to stay out of the job market until the time is right. And, when you are ready, think of a place you would enjoy working and apply. You might find that working remotely is a good choice, as you will not be tempted to go out with your co-workers.

     o Find and attend a support group

Support groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, are designed for people who want to stay in recovery. Support groups give people the tools they need to avoid drinking. There are meetings all of the world at all times of the day.

It may seem cliche to get support from a group of strangers, but meetings and support groups work for those who need them. A group like A.A. does require more from its members that just going to the meeting, but going to meetings is the first step in staying in recovery.

     o Develop a creative outlet

A tool that is often used in inpatient facilities is a creative time, where patients are given the tools and time to paint, draw, color, sew, or do something that soothes the soul. Your creative outlet does not have to be visually artistic. Maybe you prefer singing or dancing. Maybe it’s cooking or baking for you. Maybe you enjoy journaling.

Adding something creative will help you find balance and value in your life in a way that you didn’t think you would. The only key is to regularly schedule a time to be creative on a daily or weekly basis.

     o Don’t keep alcohol in your home

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it is worth repeating: the quickest way to relapse is to keep the temptation of alcohol in the house. Even if your roommate, spouse, or family member can drink without a problem, your health is not worth the convenience. Do not keep booze where you live and do not keep it at your workplace, either.

     o Be kind to yourself

Instead of focusing on your mistakes and failures, it is better to kind to yourself. Forgive yourself and anyone who has wronged you and you will find that life is much more pleasant than living with regret and anger.

Don’t think about relapsing either, as worry can bring more negative emotions that can become painful. Understand that you are valuable human that deserves kindness and you will begin to live that way.

This might not happen immediately, but slowly, one breath at a time.

     o Get a pet

Pets force us to respond and they give us unconditional love. People in recovery benefit from caring for an animal because it creates structure in their lives. Pets will not judge you for past mistakes. They love you for who you are and simply ask that you do the same.

     o Learn to manage stress

Stress is a major factor that contributes to relapses. Stress can come from anywhere – home, work, school, community, but it manifests itself in the mind. So, when you learn to recognize how you feel when you experience stress, you can learn how to manage it.

It is wise to learn how to let go of stress and how to learn not to stress over things you cannot change or control.

     o Find a place to volunteer

It is helpful to give to your community. Volunteering somewhere meaningful to you – the library, a homeless shelter, your church, an elementary school – can be a wonderful way to reduce stress in your life. It feels good and people appreciate you. It brings meaning to life so you no longer have to turn to alcohol instead.

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