Early recovery can include various stages, from initial detox to continuing care in the months after you complete a rehabilitation program. Essentially, the term applies to anyone who has taken steps toward long-term recovery. If that term seems vague, it is because everyone should go at the pace that works for them and no one should feel pressured to reach a certain point within a given time frame. You are striving toward a healthier future, and that in itself is a huge success.
Addiction is a cycle, and while rehabilitation programs and outpatient programs can provide a break in that cycle, it is up to you to keep your new path from circling back towards unhealthy behaviors and thought patterns. One way to do that is by taking your continuing care seriously. The well-being of your mind, body, and soul requires you to take active steps like those listed below.
- Attend one-on-one therapy
- Join a local support group or self-help group
- Create a support system of people you can rely on to help you stay sober
- Create healthy routines in your day-to-day life
- Avoid events, people, or places that may trigger cravings
- Educate yourself about relapse prevention and positive life skills
- Find a community of like-minded peers where you can find support and give back to others
What to Expect From Early Recovery
At first, it can be hard to adjust to life after rehabilitation. You no longer have a strict schedule, and the comfort of seeing familiar places may tempt you to return to old habits. You need to make a choice not to fall back into that old cycle. The side effects of withdrawal can sometimes last for several months, and you may need to take prescriptions or learn ways to cope with them until they dissipate.
You can expect to experience one or all of the following scenarios during early recovery.
- Reconnecting with family and loved ones
- Returning to work while balancing your therapy and family life
- Mood swings or other side effects of withdrawal and medication
- Some people develop mental health disorders or have a dual diagnosis, and these require additional therapy
- Some people feel energized and refreshed, while others are exhausted and unable to focus
Six Tools That Can Help You
Here are six tools that can help you succeed at remaining sober long-term.
- Join local groups that can provide support, companionship, and compassionate understanding.
- Use online resources to connect with others who have had similar experiences so you can encourage and support one another.
- Find a way to remain accountable for attending therapy, treatment, and maintaining your sobriety. Many people choose to get a sponsor through a 12-Step program for this reason.
- Stick to your new, healthy routine. If you need help, there are reminder apps, or you can use physical notes and schedules to keep you on track.
- Practice mindfulness every day by keeping your mind in the moment instead of focusing on the past or future. Meditation and relaxation techniques can help you learn to practice mindfulness.
- Look after your spiritual well-being by connecting with others who share your beliefs.
Use Your Resources Wisely
One common mistake people make is ignoring or underusing resources available within their local community or online. There is plenty of support out there if you look and take the necessary steps to utilize those tools. Therapy, support groups, volunteer opportunities, and sober social circles are a few of the places where you can easily find judgment-free support and encouragement. Your therapist can help you identify valuable resources, and there are plenty of online directories for finding local groups and organizations.
Stay Motivated and Hopeful for the Future
Your life is in your hands, and you have made sacrifices and worked hard to get to this point. If that is not enough to keep you motivated, then work out a set of goals and let yourself focus on achieving them. Hope is a powerful tool. You can use it to get through the difficult moments in recovery. Below are a few exercises you can use each day to stay positive.
- At the beginning of the day, list things you are thankful for, such as good health, a comfortable home, or your pet. You can write them down in a journal.
- At the end of the day, make a list of happy, joyful, and comforting moments that happened throughout your day. You can note these down as well.
- When something good happens, actively give thanks for it either in your mind or by verbally showing your appreciation if a person is responsible for the wonderful moment.
- Find ways to serve others and give the gift of thankfulness.
A significant step during rehabilitation is creating a plan for continuing care once you return home. After completing your program and overcoming the withdrawal side effects, it might be tempting to feel like your work is done, but that is far from the truth. Recovery is not something that ends when you leave a facility like Everlast Recovery Centers. Instead, it is a life-long path leading to a healthier and more hopeful future. The early stages of recovery can be overwhelming and confusing as you adjust to new ways of thinking about yourself and the world around you. The dedicated staff at Everlast Recovery Centers is here to provide you with treatment and therapy that can set you up for success. All of our programs can be tailored to your specific needs. You can contact us to learn more about our services and aftercare program. Call us today at (866) 338-6925.