Staying Motivated in Recovery
Maintaining sobriety seems like a daunting challenge as time goes on and your motivation begins to diminish. However, there are many helpful steps that people in recovery use to keep their spirits high and to help them remain focused on the positive aspects of life. Here are 10 beneficial activities to motivate you and provide you with a sense of direction as you do the important work of daily recovery.
1. Stay Connected
It’s important to not let relationships lapse while you are in recovery. Maintaining friendships and family bonds are a way to build a support group. You can also connect with people online, so there is always someone to reach out to when needed.
The important thing is to find a group of individuals who will provide insight into your struggles and give positive feedback. Research shows that peer support groups help recovery by offering non-clinical assistance from others who are working through alcohol- or drug-related problems. Make a concerted effort to stay involved with people and ask for help when necessary.
2. Make a Grateful List
Gratitude is a vital aspect of maintaining sobriety. People who are sober regularly credit gratitude for life as one of the most important parts of their recovery journey. It is essential to view each day with a sense of hope, so you can create the energy and interest needed to determine your path.
A daily list of all the things you have in your life and those you look for to experiencing sparks a sense of joy and improves attitude. As the list grows longer and changes, it helps to see how much you are growing and learning along the way.
3. Keep a Recovery Journal
A journal is a vital tool for sober living. Here are several ways journaling supports a healthy new lifestyle:
- You get to write your story: Writing your story means you approach your life with honesty going forward. It’s important to record your highs and lows and note how you handle the stresses of daily life and how you successfully cope. It’s equally important to see all of the decisions you are making to change your future for the better.
- You use a different part of your brain: Journaling involves critical thinking skills that are not the same as speech. It allows you to take an in-depth look into your own thought processes and feelings without judgment and see how your actions and decisions impact your life.
- You have an emotional outlet: Jotting down feelings is an important way to see how you function in life. Sometimes we overreact to situations and don’t realize why we do this. Journaling allows you to write about frustrating or uplifting situations and then contemplate how and why they make you feel a certain way. This allows you to organize your thoughts and make changes and to see the bright spots in your future.
4. Plan Daily Activities
If you are beginning your recovery journey, it is especially important to reestablish daily routines. It is essential to have things to do and things to look forward to in life. Keep it simple at first. It helps to make a to-do list and begin to accomplish small tasks. This will make the initial days go by faster and provide a sense of well-being and purpose.
The brain has an amazing ability to learn new information. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to consistently change by creating new neural pathways throughout the brain’s complex neural network. The good news is we can form these new pathways and, eventually, discard old information. This means we can retrain our brains to think in new ways. New routines and new ways of thinking over a period of time can truly transform a life. Simple daily routines are an effective and important tool to make life-long changes.
5. Set Reachable Goals
An important part of sobriety is proper goal setting. As a rule, people seem to maintain a better focus in life when there is a goal to attain. The best way to achieve something is to break down the goal into smaller elements. Incremental successes make people feel good and inspire them to continue working toward their objectives.
Additionally, if there are setbacks along the way, it easier to regroup and go forward when you can see the achievements you’ve made up to this point. People who reach goals in this manner understand the value of slow and steady progress.
6. Give Back to the Community
Community service isn’t about pressure; it’s about joy and fulfillment. It’s is a great way to be a part of something that benefits others and allows you to see the positive flow of life as it happens around you.
You can select from a wide range of organizations to volunteer some of your time. People who regularly volunteer report that their lives are improved by social interaction, and they receive much more than they give. The Mayo Clinic indicates that volunteering has many benefits including reducing stress and depression.
7. Embrace Wellness Programs
It’s crucial to take the time to heal yourself on all levels: physical, emotional, spiritual and social. If you’ve abused your body with substances for a long time, it is easy to forget your value and why it is necessary to treat yourself well in recovery.
Wellness programs will show you how to care for your whole body. You learn how to eat better, exercise regularly, and use emotional support tools to enhance your overall well-being. Meditation and yoga are two very helpful practices to calm anxiety and increase positivity.
8. Explore Spiritual Practices
In a study on the importance of faith and recovery from substance abuse, a vast majority of people rely upon belief in God or a Higher Power to maintain sobriety. Because faith is such an important aspect of the recovery process, 73% of all treatment programs include spiritual support mechanisms as a component of care.
There are many faiths and practices to explore to meet individual needs. The important part is to establish a belief system that is positive and gives hope. This may also provide access to a community of people with whom you share common beliefs.
9. Take Up a Sport
There are numerous reasons to include exercise in your daily routine. The physical and mental health benefits alone are well worth the effort. A psychiatric study found that there are both consequential behavioral and neurological benefits to exercise that have lasting protective effects on our neurobiological systems.
Team sports are a great way to get fit and to meet people. Since team sports leagues meet frequently, it is also an excellent way to establish a social network outside of recovery meetings. It is important to try new things, and sports are a way to meet many of the goals of holistic, long-term recovery.
10. Use the 12 Steps
Individuals who struggle with sobriety should make 12-step programs an ongoing part of their personal work. 12-step programs are a constant source of support for persons who understand what they are experiencing. Meetings are available throughout most communities and there are additional support programs online.
In the wake of the pandemic, virtual assistance is also available. You can find join communities online at Online Group AA or Virtual NA. It’s important that you know help is available and some people will support you at difficult and good times.
Contact a Recovery Center Program
Clean Recovery Centers offers comprehensive programs for individuals seeking holistic recovery from alcohol or substance abuse. We believe in treating each individual on a physical, mental, spiritual and social level. Our positive approach is effective, and we see the life-changing results.
We provide intensive inpatient and outpatient treatment and a variety of innovative programs to help people heal and reach their life goals. If you or someone you know needs help with recovery, please contact us today to learn more about how we can help.