Dealing with addiction is not an easy thing to do, but implementing these 10 practical tips will help you in your recovery process.
1. Tell your friends and family about your addiction.
If the problem stays hidden, it is easier for you to continue to use alcohol or drugs. Even though it may be difficult, level with the people you are closest to about the situation.
2. Ask them for their support.
Breaking free from an addiction is a very difficult thing to do, and you don't have to go it alone. Explain that you will need their help to stay clean and sober, and ask for it when you are tempted to start drinking or using again.
3. Find a new group of friends to hang out with.
As your addiction progressed, you probably started spending time with people who either had similar addictions or were tolerant of the fact that you were using. Part of the addiction recovery process is to leave your former friends behind and start spending time with people who are not addicts.
4. Join a club or take a class in something that interests you.
You will want to find ways to fill up your time so that you aren't tempted to start using again because you are bored or lonely. Now is the perfect time to sign up for a class or to join a club. Not only will you keep busy, but you will meet some new people to spend time with.
5. Have a plan to deal with cravings.
By taking the time to plan what you would do when you feel tempted to start using again, you won't be taken by surprise when that situation arises. Make a list of things that you can do to get past the urge to use again and keep it handy.
6. Start eating well.
You may not have been following a balanced diet when you were using, and it's important to eat a balanced diet as you go through the recovery process. It will help your body recover from the damage caused by your addiction.
7. Exercise regularly.
Exercising has a number of health benefits. It releases endorphins, the body's "feel good" hormones, for starters. Being physically active gives you more energy and helps you to deal with stress more effectively.
8. Get enough sleep.
When you are well rested, you are able to deal with the demands of daily life much easier. You may be less tempted to go back to your former lifestyle if you go to bed at a reasonable time each night.
9. Develop a positive outlook.
The fact that you developed an addiction doesn't make you bad or weak. It does make you human, though. You can't go back in time and change events that have already taken place, but you can make better decisions and positive changes going forward.
10. See a counselor.
Counseling will help you to understand what drew you to drugs and/or alcohol. The process will also help you to recognize circumstances that may trigger a craving and develop strategies for dealing with them.