How To Live Mentally Healthy
Not everyone manages to lead a completely blessed life. For many, the path to happiness is more rocky and uneven – and if you’ve experienced problems with addiction then you’ve probably found that it’s harder for you to lead a clean and mentally healthy life than it is for some others.
If you’ve gone to seek help from a rehabilitation facility, then congratulations – you’re making pro-active decisions and moving forward in an attempt to be a productive and contributing member of society. But for many people, the real challenges to sober living come after you’ve left rehab. Here are some tips to make those tricky first few weeks in the real world as easy as possible.
Learn To Understand Your Finances
If you’ve been living a somewhat more chaotic lifestyle than average, you might not be completely in control of your finances, so it’s important to really get it together and do your best to understand them once you’re embarking on your new sober lifestyle. Go to talk to your bank about it – they’ll be happy to give you advice, along with solutions to any financial problems that you might already have.
There also might be classes on budgeting and finance at your local community college. You never know – you might find that you enjoy it in the end, and you’ll definitely enjoy understanding what all the different figures mean on your bank statement.
Change Your Living Circumstances
One of the top factors that make a lot of people relapse is the fact that they return to their old living circumstances. A lot of the time when you go to a rehabilitation facility, your life is in turmoil anyway so you may no longer have the same home to return to anyway. Even if you still have your apartment, it’s a good idea to stop yourself from plunging immediately back into the world. Halfway houses and sober living facilities can help bridge the move from a treatment program and living a completely independent life.
It can be hard to know how to choose a halfway house but you need to make sure that you get as much information as possible so that you can make a fully informed decision. If you don’t have a helpful home environment that would support you in your recovery or if you’ve previously relapsed and would benefit from more therapy, a halfway house is an ideal solution as it will help you live an independent lifestyle with added support that will help you to stay healthy, happy and focused on your future.
Keep Yourself Out Of Triggering Situations
It’s important to be as self-aware as possible and to make sure that if you’re in a situation that could be dangerous to your new post-treatment life, you feel confident and comfortable removing yourself from it. The situations could hugely differ from each other – perhaps you have family members who make you feel unhappy and insecure, or you find it hard to be around people who are drinking.
Remember that it’s important to prioritize your own health – you can cut those family members out of your life until you feel more confident in your recovery, and it’s definitely a good idea to avoid clubs and parties for the time being. If you do have to go to a party where there’s a lot of drinking, try holding a water bottle so that you can show it to people who offer you drinks.
Make A Decision To Change
Something that it’s important to keep in mind is that any changes in your life have to come from within you. Recovery will probably be the hardest and most mentally healthy and challenging thing you ever do, and you are the only person who can fully commit yourself to it. No one else will make your decisions for you – you’re in charge of that and you’re in charge of turning your life into something that you want it to be. Taking ownership and control of your life can be a hard ask, but keep telling yourself that you can do it.
Keep Yourself Busy
One of the best ways to stop yourself going back to old bad habits is to pick up something new instead. You don’t have to buy a load of expensive art supplies or spend much money on whatever you want to do – but it’s important to stay busy. For some people that often entails getting into keep fit classes – and it’s definitely important to make sure that you stay physically and mentally healthy!
Go for a walk for an hour a day, even if the weather isn’t great. The fresh air will help you, along with the activity and that you get out of the house every day. When you feel more capable of taking care of yourself to a high level, you could even consider getting a dog to take with you.
Check out Youtube videos on fitness like Yoga With Adriene. Yoga isn’t the be all and end all of cures, but it can help you to learn some deep breathing skills that will help to decrease your anxiety in the future, and feeling more physically limber, flexible and strong will be great. Take this opportunity to learn some new productive skills like knitting or cooking – not only are they useful things to do (with results that you can gift to your loved ones!) but you’ll also feel a powerful sense of satisfaction at the end.
Continue To Seek Medical Help
Remember that your problems won’t end the second you step out of your treatment facility. Recovery is something that you have to keep working towards every day. It becomes easier with time like many things do – it will become more of a habit than something that you actively have to think about. But remember that when you’re just out of treatment, you’re still a little fragile, so it’s important to make sure that you keep talking to medical staff about your progress.
Therapy will continue to be a big help for you – it might be difficult to think about talking to your friends and family about your addiction. They might not react in the best and healthiest way, which could make you feel worse, and it’s important that you don’t keep all your feelings bundled up inside you.
A therapist can help you to sort through the way that you feel and to stay on the path towards a healthy and happy life. Remember to consider the causes of your addiction – no one develops a problem for kicks, and you need to keep yourself healthy by staying away from whatever triggers bad feelings inside you.
Be Around Good People
A lot of people who are struggling with addiction are surrounded by people who also don’t make good and mentally healthy decisions. After you leave a treatment facility, you need to make sure that you leave some of your old friends as you embark on your new path. It might be difficult at times – you might feel some loyalty towards them or you might just miss your friends, but it’s absolutely crucial to be around people who want you to be healthy and who want you to succeed.
You shouldn’t try to get into a relationship immediately, but there’s nothing wrong with making some new friends. Go along to classes or local groups like creative writing groups, knitting and crafting circles and book groups, and let yourself socialize in low-pressure environments. It can be frightening to try to get to know new people but remember that people love being listened to, so make sure that you ask them plenty of questions about themselves and that you listen to the answers. People also love talking about things they’re good at, so asking for advice on your art project at an art group is a great way to strike up a conversation. Remember to smile and to be open, friendly and light hearted.
Be Kind To Yourself
Finally – and most importantly – it’s time to be good to yourself. Treat yourself like you would a loved friend. Try to be in tune with the way you’re feeling and make sure that you move at your own pace. If you feel anxious at the thought of going out and you’ve been out a lot lately, it’s okay to focus on self-care for an evening by wrapping yourself up in a warm blanket in front of old episodes of Friends on TV with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands. Try to focus on the small pleasures in life – ordering pizza, getting coffee with friends, watching birds dive and swoop in the sky outside. The celebrated novelist Kurt Vonnegut said that when things are good, we must learn to acknowledge that and to say to ourselves ‘
The celebrated novelist Kurt Vonnegut said that when things are good, we must learn to acknowledge that and to say to ourselves ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is’. When you’ve had problems with something like addiction it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the past and worrying about the future, but it’s important to try to learn to live in the moment. Practice mindfulness and go each day at a time.
We should all strive to be physically and mentally healthy and that isn’t always easy. Hopefully, this helps you on your journey!