Posted by Troy Smith ● Jan 8, 2020 10:13:06 AM

5 Tips to Boost Your Recovery Journey in 2020

Do you want advice on how to boost your recovery process? Our team put together tips, tricks and sound advice for you to follow. We want you to live a sober, healthy and full life. Continue below for more. 

5 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR RECOVERY

Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your recovery:

Get active!

Physical activity is usually something that is lost along the way during our constant drug and alcohol abuse, but working out or working up a sweat is so much more than just burning calories.

Get active to boost your recovery

According to the Mayo Clinic, besides controlling weight, it's great for staving off diseases like stroke, diabetes and heart attacks. It also boosts energy and improves mood, mayo clinic states, “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.” [1]

It's definitely a “look good, feel good” kind of scenario and since we are so prone to tearing ourselves down and engaging in self-pity, exercise is a fantastic way to combat depression.

On a physiological level, exercise delivers more oxygen to muscles and releases a cascade of feel-good neurotransmitters that leave you feeling relaxed and accomplished. Many of us struggle with intimacy when sober, especially if all your interactions with your partner(s) have been under the influence. Exercise jumpstarts your testosterone production and according to Mayo, men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than men who don't exercise. It doesn’t just have to be a boring run or lifting some weights by yourself, exercise can be fun and social. 

Sobriety gives you a new lease on life so get out there and try something you’ve always dreamed of. If you have the strength to ask for help and try sobriety, nothing else will be as difficult. Always wanted to kite surf? Go down to Huntington Beach and catch those waves. Maybe frisbee golf? There are fantastic courses all over Orange County, especially in Huntington Beach. There are fantastic intramural leagues filled with men and women in sobriety. I spent a lot of my early days playing flag football in Irvine, California. Bottom line, get out there and try something new that gets you off the couch.

Let your guard down.

Part of successfully staying sober and enjoying life at the same time is the realization that we cannot do it alone. If we could’ve dug ourselves out of the pit we would have, but alas human willpower will fail us every time. Men have been taught for a long time that we should suffer in silence. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured [2].

We need to realize that we are stronger together and that breaking down the walls your ego has built is essential to finding a solution. We have a problem where we believe everything our head tells us; our perception equals reality. The problem is, we are often wrong.

However, these thoughts and perceptions are natural but the difference is now we share them with each other to get perspective and often arrive at a different conclusion than what our brain told us to begin with. Vulnerability and humility are strengths that should be sought out.

Find time for self-care.

When beginning the journey of sobriety we are often excited at our new found freedom and life, we want to shout it from the mountain tops. We tend to become extremely busy; helping others, working, exercise, social obligations, meetings. These are all fantastic and in the beginning are essential to letting the boredom muscle start to atrophy, but there needs to be balance.

I love movies, I used to watch them all the time in my youth and even more so in my addiction as they became an escape. A strange thing I found when I got sober was that I couldn’t make it through a movie any longer, my brain would tell me I need to be doing something else, I should be busy.

Proper self-care starts with the question, “Am I distracting myself from something that I should be taking care of (homework, school, appointments, work)?” If you can truly say that you’re not avoiding anything you need to learn how to relax. 

For me, that was movies again. For you, it could be anything, a walk with your dog, working on a car, DIY projects, whatever allows you to take a break and just be present with your passion or hobby. It is okay to stop and take a breath, it’s okay to go for a bike ride, its ok to take a nap and it's definitely ok to watch a movie.

Build a community.

This draws from tip number two, but it's essential to find your “flock.” Find those people that you can do stuff with outside of treatment and meetings. One of the best things I ever heard in a meeting was a newcomer raised his hand and said, “Hi, I'm new and I'm looking for the meeting after the meeting.”

A lot of people go out and do things after working on their sobriety. Whether it's playing video games together, ultimate frisbee, or just grabbing coffee and shooting the breeze, these are important to get togethers where it's less serious and you can work on new or lost social skills.

Without realizing it, these will be the people you call when you’re scared, hurt, or feeling lost. The sobriety community is one of the most inclusive groups I've ever encountered. Just admitting you have a problem with drugs and alcohol ingratiates you to the entire community, we get you!! We are not a glum lot. I certainly didn’t get sober just to live a quiet, mediocre life. Get out there and find your clan!

Enhance your spirituality.

Some people get turned off by anonymous meetings because they see it as a religion. I would like to quash this. All 12-step programs require you to believe in something greater than yourself, it does not have to be God. Spirituality has nothing to do with God, I believe spirituality is your ability to connect with your fellow man and those about you. 

Seeking greater spirituality allows you to open your mind to concepts you shunned outright. Willingness is the key and once you get just a bit, the door swings open almost by itself. Adopting an idea that you are no longer in control frees you up and allows you to accept life on life’s terms. Trying new things like meditation can have physiological effects on your body, resulting in lower heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety.   

The beautiful thing is, once you acquire some willingness and allow yourself to turn your life over to the care of something greater, life begins to unfold in front of you in a way you never would have imagined. You can truly live a life beyond your wildest dreams if you simply stay open to new ideas and concepts.

ADDICTION TREATMENT | FRAMEWORK RECOVERY

At Framework Recovery, we want you to get the most out of your addiction treatment program. Choose a life that helps you attain more than sobriety, but choose to be prepared for all aspects of life with us. 

If you or a loved one struggles with substance use disorder, please contact us: Call today

Resources:

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

[2] https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-difference-between-toxic-masculinity-and-being-a-man-dg/

Topics: Addiction Recovery, prevention, Sober Living

Comments