Starting Over After Addiction: Establish a Healthy Lifestyle and Habits

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I am excited to share a guest post by Adam Cook. Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources. He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction.

According to a 2017 Pew survey nearly half of us have a family member or close friend who has been addicted to drugs. If you’ve found yourself in this precarious position, there are treatment options available. However, going into treatment is often the easy part. It’s the reintegration into society that is difficult for most. When we go back to our day-to-day lives, we are reacquainted with the anxiety, the temptations, and the ease of substance abuse. However, by committing to a healthy lifestyle and habits that contribute to sobriety, you can avoid relapse.


Find Your Support System

 So often we turn to drugs or alcohol because we feel alone and so our choices don’t have any consequences. When you have a support system that believes in you and wants your happiness, you have people to turn to when you are feeling tempted. Furthermore, having people that count on you provides motivation to keep up your healthy lifestyle.

 If your human support system is a little lacking, you’re not completely out of luck. A lot of people find that the best support system has four legs. Service dogs are known to help people cope with difficult emotions including anxiety and depression. As someone in recovery, adopting a dog gives you someone to be responsible for. You have to be there morning and night to make sure Fido is cared for. In return, you get 100 percent, unconditional and nonjudgmental love and emotional support in return.


 Establish a Routine

 Daily routines aren’t just good for those recovering from addiction. They are helpful for everyone from little kids to aging adults. Routines make us more efficient. Having a time slot for each activity we want and need to do helps ensure it gets done. When we live by routine, we save time and energy otherwise spent wondering what needs to be done. Routines help up break bad habits and instill good habits. They give us the momentum we need to reach our goals.

Healthy habits we should all include in our daily routine:

●     Wake up at the same time everyday.

●     Make your bed.

●     Meditate each morning.

●     Eat a healthy breakfast.

●     Exercise.

●     Do something that contributes to a personal goal.

●     Challenge yourself to learn something new.

●     Practice gratitude for your gifts.

●     Improve your surroundings in some way.

●     Connect to beauty.

●     Check-in with those you love.

●     Disconnect from electronics an hour before bed.

●     Practice good sleep hygiene.


 Avoid Temptation

 A lot of drug and alcohol use is normalized in our society. As someone recovering from addiction, it’s in your best interest to avoid situations that can prove too tempting. While this sounds simple, it’s not always the case. You never know what might trigger a craving and when and where those triggers can pop up.

 If you find yourself tempted, the first thing to do is get out of the environment as soon as possible. Separating yourself from access to drugs and alcohol won’t kill a craving, but it can help prevent you from making regrettable choices. Next, contact someone invested in your sobriety. Call a sponsor, message a loved one, or even go home and play with your dog to remind yourself that others count on you to make the right choice. Finally, engage yourself with a “clean” activity that distracts you from wanting to use. You can get a natural high through exercise or find your focus with meditation. Whatever it is that makes you feel better without turning to substance abuse, do it.




Addiction ruins relationships, careers and bodies, but recovery is possible. Having a support system keeps you accountable for your actions. A healthy routine provides structure and self-esteem that encourages sobriety. Finally, if you find yourself tempted, remove yourself from the environment, contact someone invested in your sobriety and engage in a sober activity that helps alleviate the anxiety your craving produces.


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