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Participating in addiction recovery programs is the first step towards reclaiming your life and becoming sober. Addiction is, however, a long-term illness that requires years of dedication and practice to get past. Even after completing a program you still have a journey ahead of you to live a healthy and meaningful life. While transitioning back into sober living can cause some stress or anxiety, utilizing health and nutrition guidelines learned during your time in rehab can make the adjustment a lot easier. 

After completing a rehab program with withdrawal management services, here are a few healthy lifestyle changes to get your life back on track. 

Watch What You Eat

The drugs and alcohol you consumed over the years have wreaked havoc on your health. In order to improve your health, it is important to indulge in a healthy diet on a regular basis. Instead of consuming foods low in nutrients and packed with additives, chemicals, and other unhealthy ingredients switch to fresh, whole, organic foods. A diet with fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and lean protein will help to strengthen your body from the inside out. 

Exercise Regularly

Physical fitness is imperative to your recovery. Not only does it help you to get in shape, but it assists the body in getting rid of any harmful substances that may still be lingering. Regular exercise also helps to improve the mood by giving you a boost of endorphins and reducing cortisol levels which can lead to mental health problems and relapse. 

You may not be up to a full workout the moment you leave recovery but start developing some type of routine. Start working out twice a week by just walking around your neighborhood for a few minutes. Then, work your way up to jogging. If you’d like support or assistance consider joining classes at a gym where you can get help from staff and support from other participants. 

Uproot Toxic Relationships

Staying on the straight and narrow will require you to make some pretty difficult decisions. This includes the people you associate with. Whether a friend, significant other, or relative, if they are hindering your ability to remain healthy and sober you have to detach yourself. Try to find more positive relationships to surround yourself with. Those who will lend an ear or shoulder to cry on, give positive feedback and don’t make reckless decisions like abusing substances themselves are who you want to center yourself around now. 

Find Ways to Cope with Stress

Though there are a number of reasons that people become addicted to harmful substances, stress can intensify or even trigger a relapse. When rentering the real world there will be a lot of stressful circumstances you have to deal with. Creating a new normal, making amends, and simply picking up the pieces can all cause emotional strain. To avoid using again, it is recommended that you find ways to cope with stress. 

Meditation comes highly recommended as it helps you to focus your attention on the present removing negative vibes. Meditating a few minutes each morning can help you get through the day. Other solutions might include going to a spa for a massage, reading a good book, relaxing in a tub, or taking a small vacation. 

Get Adequate Sleep

With today’s hectic schedules and responsibilities sleep can easily be cut short. When recovering from addiction, however,  sleep is of the utmost importance. When you’re alseep the brain and body detoxify, replenish, and recharge. Failure to get enough sleep can leave you irritable, moody, depressed, stressed, fatigued, and much more which can trigger a relapse. 

Set a bedtime and create a bedtime routine. Get your body into the habit of winding down before resting at the same time each day. Make sure that you have a comfortable sleeping environment as well. If you need to invest in a new mattress, bedding, or window treatments, to improve your comfort levels, it’s worth it. 

Find New Hobbies

While having some downtime is ideal, too much of it can backfire. To sustain a sober lifestyle it is important for you to keep active. A great way to boost your mood and keep you on track is to find a new hobby to get into. Whether you decide to take up art classes, volunteer at a nearby school, learn a musical instrument, or dance it gives you something positive to look forward to which keeps those cravings at bay. 

Continue Seeking Therapy

You may have completed your rehab program but drugs and alcohol have a major psychological impact which can take time to get past. Continuing to see a therapist or attend group therapy is recommended to keep getting the support you need to remain sober. A therapist can help you sort through difficult emotions and set goals. Going to group gives you the opportunity to vent with others who have been where you were, hear their stories, and gain advice on how to move forward.

Sober living isn’t an easy journey but it is possible. Once you’ve left your rehab program it is imperative to make lifestyle changes such as those described above to continue improving your health and overall quality of life. Sure, there may be setbacks along the way, but as long as you continue to stick to the advice provided above you’ll make it through to the other side feeling better than ever.