Going to rehab is a brave, challenging and truly beneficial decision—it’s a choice to improve yourself. While there are struggles you might face throughout the program, recovery is a process that continues long after you leave the treatment facility. Everyday life can be stressful enough as it is, so it’s a good idea to develop a plan for your transition out of rehab and what your life will look like after. Here are some strategies you can focus on to make your adjustment smoother.
Engage in Relapse Education
Recovery from an addiction is a long journey and relapses can sometimes be a part of that process. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40-60% of individuals who go through an addiction rehab program relapse at some point, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Even after overcoming of a period of crisis, living with an addiction can be a long process of both good days and bad. As such, being aware of the risks of relapse can help you develop strategies to prevent it. Take time to understand the process and signs to help you better understand what you’re experiencing now and what you will likely experience in the future.
Create Strategies for Managing Cravings
Image Credit: Morgan Sessions
With the potential for relapses in mind, what’s your plan for managing a craving when it hits? You might not think this will happen to you, but there are various circumstances in your life that might be a trigger. If these occur, it’s important to have a concrete action planned that you will take to prevent relapse. Will you talk to a specific person? Go for a run? Attend a support group? With the help of a mental health professional, figure out what your strategy will be and share it with people close to you so they can support you in making positive choices and sticking to your strategy.
Build a Routine
Rehab programs tend to have very structured schedules to help facilitate your recovery. While the flexibility of coming home might be appealing, it can also be very disorienting. One way you can ease your transition is by planning a routine for your life at home while you’re finishing up your program. Remember to include time for studying, regular exercise, healthy meals, family gatherings, any post-rehab meetings and, of course, some of your own leisure time. This will help you apply those healthy habits you learned in rehab to your daily life and promote your long-lasting recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re having trouble forming or adhering to a routine either; the people around you want you to succeed.
Hold on to Strong Relationships
Image Credit: Charlie Foster
As you will have learned throughout your rehab program, recovery is not a process that you should go through alone. Instead, find people in your life who love you, who you trust and who can support you on your journey after rehab. There may also be some relationships that need to be repaired from before you entered your program. Find ways to connect with these people to work towards healing the relationship. Above all else, surround yourself with good people and learn to be both gracious and accepting of the support these individuals offer.
As you know, addiction and mental health conditions aren’t a walk in the park—they can be difficult to grapple with and take a lot longer to recover from than you would like. They demand a lot of your time, energy, money and even relationships. Another aspect that is often neglected when you’re in addiction or crisis is your leisure time. Passions, hobbies and fun activities all enrich life, bring joy and help you grow. Therefore, as you plan your transition back into everyday life, remember those activities that you really enjoy and find ways to integrate them back into your routine. Don’t be afraid to try something new or take a risk, and be sure to laugh and enjoy yourself along the way.
Any transition can be tricky, but change is a fundamental part of being human. On your road to recovery, anticipate the bumps that could happen along the way so that you can face them head on and brace yourself for change. Transitioning back into everyday life is definitely a big change, but with a new outlook, it will definitely be a welcome one.
Feature Image: Brooklyn Morgan