It’s hard to avoid being triggered in some way once you’re out of rehab. With these tips and the coping skills gained in rehab, hopefully, you’ll find it a little easier.
1. Build a Strong Support System
Establishing your village will look different for everyone. Yours may be composed of people who have been in your life a long time, those you’ve just met but have bonded with, or a combination of the two groups.
You’ll need sober friends you can call, therapists you like and trust, and places where you find peace.
Create a system that allows you to thrive in sobriety rather than pulls you back into substance abuse.
2. Avoid Places and Situations That Trigger Use
Your best friend in addiction can’t be your best friend in recovery. Your favorite hangout can’t be the same. And parties may be a bad idea.
Find new friends. Frequent hangouts during non-drinking hours or those whose menus exclude alcohol. Value small groups with similar goals over large groups with different mindsets.
3. Stick to Your Follow-Up Care Plan
Part of rehab work includes creating a plan for what you’ll do after rehab. If you’re on medication, that will need to be monitored.
You may stick with the same therapist for individual counseling and maybe even the same support group. But you may also transition to new ones.
Remember and utilize the coping mechanisms you gained in rehab because you won’t always have your village with you.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness practices can be integrated into everyday activities, like walking into work, folding laundry and washing dishes, getting ready for the day, and drinking your morning coffee.
You may learn some type of mindfulness during rehab, and the trick is to learn to translate those skills into your new chapter.
Practicing mindfulness can lead to less stress and greater satisfaction to maintain a sober life.
Some forms of mindfulness are:
- Meditation: Being quiet and noticing what’s around you and how you’re feeling without judging or acting on it. You can do this while still or moving.
- Gratitude: Considering the loved ones in your life, what you have, and what you can do with a positive and loving perspective.
- Affirmations: Reminding yourself that you are a beautiful, capable, and worthy human being by naming and repeating your strengths.
- Body scan: Being still and taking stock of how each part of your body feels in the moment, taking note of areas of tension, pain, relaxation, and peace.
- Breath focus: Noticing your breath or intentionally breathing in patterns.
5. Find Healthier Habits and Hobbies
Replacing your habits with healthier choices that foster sobriety isn’t easy, but it’s possible and effective.
Find things that you’re good at and enjoy doing. Otherwise, it’s much harder to stick with it.
Maybe you need movement. Maybe you need stillness. Maybe you need to create. Maybe you need to analyze. Whatever fills the need in a healthy way, put more of it in your life.
Examples of some healthy habits include:
- Exercising or group sports: Try incorporating a focus into your hobby, like burlesque dancing, running clubs, bowling, or even roller derby.
- Reading: Beyond book clubs, reading in groups fosters a sense of inclusion and comradery and reading is everywhere, such as on social media sites, public events, and in work groups.
- Journaling: You can free journal, where you write down all your thoughts as they come to you, traditionally journal, or bullet journal. This habit helps you cope, manage triggers, and provides an outlet.
- Learning a new skill: Cooking, crocheting, playing an instrument, growing an herb or flower garden – there are many options to keep your hands busy, give you something to look forward to, and to focus your time and energy.