6 Super Useful Tips to Improve Your Recovery from Alcoholism
When you are in recovery, every little bit of advice helps, right? The following six tips should help you to maximize your recovery efforts. For more information on recovering from an alcohol use disorder, call 800-481-6320Who Answers?.
1. Repair the Damage That You Can
Alcohol use disorders disrupt relationships and during recovery is the time when those relationships can be salvaged and repaired. You loved ones will certainly be happy that you have attended rehab and they will support you in creating and maintaining a healthy life.
But, you may begin over time to see the influence of past wrongs in their behavior toward you. You will need to make amends by going above and beyond to make things right.
Rather than guess what you need to do to make things right, you should speak openly with your family and friends and find out:
- How they wish you to behave when you deal with them
- What they would expect you to do
- What they need from you as time goes on
It is possible that people will expect a bit too much from you and from your recovery. Their expectations may require a stability you haven’t yet achieved. But, discussing their expectations gives you the opportunity to present yourself and your abilities. This should result in realistic expectations.
Discussing in detail what you need to do will take some time and you mustn’t leave off the important part: following through. You can take strength from the fact that you have changed your past alcohol use patterns. Now you can change how you relate to the people around you and follow through on obligations. This will help you repair your connections with a loving support system and that in turn will help maintain your recovery.
2. Make Sober Friends
Obviously, it isn’t healthy to continue spending your time with the people that you used to drink with. Certainly, many of them will support your sobriety, but if they continue their own substance abuse, they aren’t in a position to really stand by you.
Just being with them at all can serve as an environmental cue to use and if they continue drinking in front of you, it will present you with an intense craving to drink. To truly maintain your sobriety, you need to find a way to socialize without drinking and to do that you need to make friends with sober people.
3. Find New Activities to Keep You Busy
When you have an alcohol use disorder, your life generally revolves around your drinking. Even when you aren’t actively drinking you are thinking about it, arranging it, or recovering from it. Without that prominent concern in your life, you will find that you have a great deal of free time. In recovery, you get to fill that time with engaging, constructive activities that enhance your wellbeing. Consider:
- Starting a new hobby
- Taking a volunteer position
- Attending a class
- Joining a group
4. Develop an Exercise Routine
Very few alcoholics maintain a workout regimen. It just doesn’t fit in with the lifestyle. But, now that you are no longer drinking, it’s the perfect time to start getting healthy, and doing so will also help your recovery. Exercise:
- Releases endorphins, feel good chemicals
- Improves self-esteem
- Increases energy levels
- Ramps up your wellbeing
This is also a way to connect with other people who have made their health a priority and that may help you to make sober friends.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
- Limit junk food
- Limit sugar
- Limit caffeine
- Limit unhealthy fats
- Increase your intake of fish, lean meats, and fresh fruits and vegetables
- Increase water intake
6. Get Proper Rest
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcoholism is associated with the following sleep disturbances:
- Increased time needed to fall asleep
- Frequent awakenings
- Decrease in sleep quality, linked to fatigue during the day
During recovery, you can get yourself on a regulated schedule that includes at least eight solid hours of quality sleep a night. It will improve your mood and your health.