The beginning of a new year is often viewed as an opportunity to start over from scratch. The end of the year is generally a time for reflection as many people consider what changes they can make to improve themselves moving forward. Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition practiced by many people and in most cases these decisions focus on self-improvement. Improving physical and mental health are often at the top of most people’s lists. For those people struggling with addiction, a desire for self-improvement may include resolutions to achieve sobriety and overcome substance abuse to improve their overall well-being.
For many people coping with addiction, the end of the year is a difficult time. The holidays can be a troubling stint for many reasons. Although this season is a cause for celebration, it can also be a great source of stress, especially for those who are estranged from family and friends. This can make the promise of a new year seem like the perfect opportunity to start fresh, make amends, and enter treatment.
Sobriety as a New Year’s Resolution
Making a New Year’s resolution to enter treatment is a great first step, but the follow-through is just as important. Many resolutions are not kept for a variety of reasons. Goals that are simply unrealistic, too difficult to measure, or too broad can feel overwhelming. This can be especially true when addiction recovery is your main goal. Making the choice to enter treatment is step one but doing the work to find what program suits you best can be daunting. Breaking up your goal into smaller, specific, achievable pieces can help you ultimately be successful in the long-term.
- Honesty with yourself: Identifying your addiction and what kind of help you need requires you to reflect and be honest with yourself. You may also seek the perspective of loved ones to help you accurately gauge what kind of treatment you may require. This can help you identify what program best suits your needs.
- Consult with professionals: There are countless programs to choose from and it can be overwhelming when you start to consider the options. Meeting with a professional who can help you narrow down your choices can make it much easier. Many programs have admissions counselors you can speak to about treatment options. Additionally, you can speak with your primary care provider or a therapist about treatment and recommendations that they might have for you.
- Follow-through: Once you have done the research and have chosen the program that best suits you, be sure to follow-through with the commitment. Many treatment facilities can work with insurance providers regarding costs so you can start your recovery right away.
- Commit to the program: Early recovery can be difficult as your mind and body adjusts to the absence of substances. Over time, withdrawal symptoms will subside and you will learn methods of coping with your cravings and various triggers. Your needs will change throughout the course of treatment. Be open and willing to make adjustments when necessary. This will improve recovery outcomes and strengthen your sobriety.
Entering treatment for addiction may be your ultimate New Year’s resolution, but as you work through recovery, setting goals is vital to the process. Your goals in recovery can be combined with your New Year’s resolutions to keep you motivated and on the right track. Some ideas for resolutions may include:
- Taking up a new hobby: In recovery, you may find you have a lot of free time on your hands now that substance abuse does not run your life. Discovering what interests and inspires you will keep you on course in treatment. Uncovering new hobbies can help improve recovery outcomes. Not only does it allow you to build healthy relationships with others, but it can serve as a healthy coping mechanism for stress.
- Investing in your relationships: Addiction can damage your relationships with friends and family. While they might not recover overnight, making an effort to rebuild relationships is an important aspect of recovery. Treatment is an opportunity to mend relationships, rebuild trust, and establish healthy boundaries. Your loved ones can be a great source of support in recovery.
- Making time for self-care: Self-care can often be overlooked as we prioritize our responsibilities and obligations, but it is important to maintain your physical and mental health. Self-care can take on a number of different forms. Meditation, exercise, journaling, and other activities can be cathartic and healing for your mind and body. Making an effort to incorporate regular self-care activities can reduce stress levels which can also lower the risk of relapse.
- Giving back to your community: Volunteering is a great way to support your own recovery as well as those around you. Making a commitment to help your community can be fulfilling and guide you to appreciate the opportunities you already have in your life. Also, giving back to others makes you feel positive and can help you build healthy relationships with others. It also is an effective way to distract yourself from stressors or triggers that can threaten your sobriety.
- Celebrating your achievements: Part of recovery is learning how to celebrate yourself. It is easy to get lost in thought thinking about the past and become highly critical of yourself. Rather than focusing on mistakes of yesteryear, making a choice to celebrate your successes can help you reflect on the work you have done to achieve sobriety. Learning how to change your mindset to prioritize the positive outcomes of treatment will help strengthen your recovery and increase your ability to find the silver lining.
If you’ve relapsed or want to get sober for the first time, 2021 is your chance. Contact Nexus Recovery Services today to find out how we can help.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.