5 New Year’s Resolutions for People Wanting Recovery
Whether you’re reading this before the new year bell has rung or you’ve fallen upon this two weeks into the new year, you need to know one thing: every day is a chance for you to start anew. It doesn’t just have to be in the new year.
One of the most challenging yet influential lessons we can learn as individuals is understanding that changing unhealthy habits and behaviors is never easy. Still, when you create a routine and keep your head held high even when you slip up, it’s one of the most empowering feelings a person can have.
Now, when it comes to taking care of your mental health, it’s essential to jump on it as soon as possible. However, that doesn’t mean there comes a time when it’s too late. Every day is a new chance to begin – even 1% better each day is a win. Here are a couple of things you can try this new year that involves you transforming your life and getting back to where you belong – on top.
1. Begin journaling – start a gratitude list.
When you’re struggling with recovery, focusing on all the bad things in life can be easy. Often, we become so focused on everything wrong that we lose sight of everything good. This year, keep a gratitude journal by writing down at least one thing you are grateful for daily. Many people benefit from practicing gratitude.
- Remind yourself of what you are grateful for daily, like your recovery. This is an excellent way to remember what you are working toward.
- Your gratitude list serves as a reminder that there are so many things in your life that you must keep fighting for – a supportive friend, someone who loves you unconditionally, a comfortable bed to sleep in each night, and sunshine and cool breezes.
2. Acknowledge and give yourself credit for things you’re doing well.
Successful behaviors can include:
- Keeping to a routine.
- Practicing mindfulness when you’re overwhelmed.
- Saying no to something that makes you feel uncomfortable within your healing process.
- Enrolling in treatment.
- Getting out of bed.
- Attending a therapy appointment.
- Texting your therapist when you feel the urge to use behaviors.
Having a supportive friend or family member by your side can be helpful when you’re having trouble coping with your diagnosis. Recording your achievements and favorite moments throughout your recovery will also help you prove that you are improving – even if it is slowly.
3. Replace old, self-destructive rituals with new, self-care ones.
You can replace your old bad habits with new good ones; over time, the negative will have very little control over you.
- If your self-talk is negative, try reading an affirmation each morning to replace it.
- If you are tempted to fall back into unhelpful coping mechanisms before bed, create a ritual in which you light a candle and journal before going to sleep.
- Stop yourself from getting sucked into a negative mindset by reading a positive quote, watching an inspirational video, or watching a funny YouTube video instead.
- Proper nutrition and hydration are self-care. The body needs healthy nutrients to function. Therefore, prioritizing nutrition and drinking plenty of water is a great way to improve overall well-being.
- Get plenty of quality sleep. Create a schedule and bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Redefine fun for yourself. Drug and alcohol addiction causes changes within your brain that rob you of the ability to feel joy without them. Finding new ways to have fun is one of the biggest challenges of recovery. As you learn to stay sober long-term, you may even have to force yourself to do things until your brain chemistry returns to normal. The good news is that faking it ’til you make it can promote the natural production of your body’s “feel-good” chemicals if you engage in healthy, positive activities.
4. Make mistakes and allow yourself to learn from them.
Being perfect is a strange pressure we put on ourselves, especially when we know it doesn’t exist. We can feel ashamed and inadequate when we fail to meet our high standards or create unrealistic expectations. But the reality is that recovery and life are not perfect – we can always be better. Sometimes we will mess up, take wrong turns, or make poor choices – and that’s okay. You are not a failure as a person or a failure at recovery because you make imperfect mistakes – it’s part of being human. Rather than putting unnecessary pressure on yourself to recover perfectly, permit yourself to make mistakes.
While letting go of perfection is important, it does not justify engaging in certain behaviors. Recovery acknowledges that mistakes can be made and that improvement is still possible. It is important to remember that your mistakes and struggles do not detract from your accomplishments. You can and will disappoint people yet still be loved and valued despite that. If you’re struggling, your worth isn’t diminished, and your mistakes don’t reduce your ability to recover. You’re doing your best to fight the darkness you feel and take care of yourself, and that’s all you can do. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. You’re capable of recovering, and you’re enough.
5. Change your environment.
To maintain your recovery in 2023, eliminate toxic people and influences from your life to create a new, positive, and recovery-friendly environment.
- When dealing with toxic people – those you cannot avoid – set clear boundaries about what you will not tolerate.
- Utilize your voice and ask for what you need instead of waiting for others to support you.
- Rather than visiting triggering sites and places, consume media and spend time in spaces that empower and calm you.
- Take note of the people, places, and activities that make you happy and alive, and try to incorporate them into your life as much as possible.
- Research and choose a rehab center that fits your needs and desires for a beneficial recovery.
By changing your environment and your surrounding people in this way, you may feel shame for being selfish, but the reality is that it’s an act of self-care. You deserve to exist in a space that feels safe and conducive to your recovery. It is your right to express your feelings and to stand up for yourself. Likewise, you deserve to eliminate people and things that drag you down. There is no shame in putting yourself first.
Begin Addiction Recovery Now
Most people do not seek substance abuse treatment until they have reached their own “rock bottom” – when they are so sick of losing everything they own to addiction that they will do anything to get well.
When you recover, you can reclaim what you lost or perhaps even what you never had. It is possible to feel grateful for everything you have still been blessed with. The most important things you still have are your life and a chance for a better, sober future.
Recovery looks different for everyone, but self-care is a crucial component. You can start at any time. If you begin by being intentional with your healing, giving yourself grace, and making small but consistent steps, you’ll be able to reach the recovery goal that you have in mind. If you are concerned about your recovery and are struggling to get the help that you deserve, call Discovery Point Retreat at 855-306-8054 today to seek treatment.