New Year’s Eve marks a fresh start and new year’s resolutions after a tough holiday season. It’s time to develop healthy habits with millions of others kicking off 2022 with the resolve to start recovery .
If you are just beginning your recovery journey—or if you just want to stay the course—you should start by realizing what a great leap it can be to clarify your life, free of drugs and alcohol. You’ll enrich your relationships and gain a new sense of purpose and meaning in the process.
While the new year is a great mile-marker for your decision to get or stay sober, recovery is an ongoing commitment. It’s essential to remember that big changes require realistic planning and measurable ways of seeing progress. These things will keep you motivated and on track rather than contribute to a feeling of failure to the detriment of your mental health.
Without the planning and strategy, you may become stressed or discouraged if you stray from your goal, leading to a resignation—rather than bolstering your resolution. Staying with a recovery program is just as important as deciding to stop abusing drugs and alcohol. And, it’s not always easy.
The Haven has prepared these five tips that can help you keep your resolution to get started with and stay in recovery:
Decide Every Day
Deciding to stay sober is one you will have to return to daily. Simply deciding to get sober one day won’t be enough to get you through the tough days. If you really want to make a permanent change and stay off drugs and alcohol, you’ll need to commit to that each and every day.
At the same time, you don’t need to think about the years ahead. Instead, you can stay sober just one day at a time. Focus on staying sober each day—and only each day—and you’ll make seeing how the effects unfold in your life is much easier. Before you know it, you’ll have 20 years under your belt and wonder where you found the strength.
Seek New Engagements
Chances are—if you have been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period—that many of your friendships, pastimes, and hobbies include them. If you want to start up or remain in recovery, you will have to dream up new ways of spending your time that don’t involve drinking alcohol or drugs. For many, the process can seem alien and unnerving.
If you have to end dead-end friendships and discover new interests, you’ll also find new areas of growth. These new avenues of spending time and energy can be fulfilling and unexpected. You never know how curious you really are about ballooning, rock climbing, or fishing. Try new things, and see what sticks!
Discover Yourself Again
Getting work done, taking care of responsibilities, giving to family members, and making time for yourself seem to compete. Daily life can overwhelm us. Yet, when it feels like there isn’t time to focus on yourself, your needs, or your desires, it definitely becomes a duty to carve out a few minutes just for you, whether it’s ten minutes or sixty.
Take this time to rediscover yourself and reflect on how you’re feeling. Take a moment or two to practice gratitude for the things you’ve accomplished and the things that have been brought into your awareness over the past 24 hours. While you’re at it, meditating, journaling, and yoga can be great for rebalancing your mind.
Practice Forgiving Mistakes
When you stumble—and you very well might—don’t let it break you. Instead, allow yourself to see what contributed to the lapse in judgment or slip up. Then, you can recalibrate your approach and make changes that will make you more successful at maintaining your sobriety in the future. Recognizing the mistake can be an essential lesson in this way.
Relapse is common in addiction recovery. And, trying to cope with life without drugs and alcohol as you once did does not always seem easy. Just know there is a reason for every stumble. If you take it as a chance to learn more about yourself and your motives for staying sober, you’ll have a better shot in the long run.
Find Local Support
The first days after quitting drugs and alcohol are—honestly—some of the hardest. If this is true for you, seeking a support system can help avoid the cycle of relapse. There are thousands of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every day—in addition to countless other groups like SMART Recovery.
Attend these meetings to get a feel for how they can benefit you through peer connection. You’ll find that you can lean on them when you need to, and they understand your struggle better than some of the people you already know can. Support through other people in recovery is the key, for some, to maintain their sobriety for decades.
Get Help at The Haven Detox
Professional help is often the best way to ensure you receive the right support and treatment for substance abuse. Many people’s path to full recovery includes the strategies above, as well as a facility offering medically supervised detox and residential stays with access to therapy, medication, and groups.
If you or a person in your life currently struggles with drugs or alcohol but has made the decision to quit, contact The Haven Detox to discuss treatment programs, verify insurance, and take critical steps toward recovery.