More and more studies have linked good friends to good health, including a lower risk of anxiety and depression and, of course, loneliness. Friendships can be a powerful part of your long-term recovery plan. After all, the right people can help you through the ups and downs and curves as you embark on the road toward lasting sobriety.
That said: Making friends isn’t always easy — and it can be even harder when you’re just getting comfortable with socializing sober. These steps can help ease the process:
- Start with a smile. A simple smile is a great ice breaker. After all, wouldn’t you rather speak to someone who has a smile on their face rather than a frown. Take a deep breath and flash a winning smile.
- Put your fears aside: Whether you’re worried about saying something wrong or that the other person won’t like you, try to push those negative thoughts away. Instead, focus on your assets and the qualities that can make you a good friend.
- Take time to give back. Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded folks who may very well become friends. It will also help make you more confident in yourself as you put yourself out there socially.
- Try a new hobby or social sport. Sign up for a yoga class, adult soccer league or local running group. This will help keep you busy, provide a great outlet for stress release and allow you to get to know others with similar interests.
- Put together a social event: Playing host by setting up a sober activity or get-together will help you feel more at ease so you can get to know people better and they can get to know you. Some ideas: a book club, a Bible study, a painting party, game night.
- Take it slow: Developing friendships can take time, so try to be patient. If you choose your friends carefully, you’ll have a lifelong support system.
- Remember that practice makes perfect: The more you make an effort to meet others and socialize, the easier it will become. And by socializing with others, both those in recovery and those who are not but understand your situation, you’ll continue to improve upon your social interactions without the crutch of drugs or alcohol.
Continual Growth at Christian Rehab
At Christian Rehab Network, we can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. If you are searching for help strengthening your relationship with Christ while overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call today: 877-310-9545.
You’ve likely heard that addiction is a family disease. And, along the same lines, recovery is a long, hard road for both you and your loved one with a substance use disorder. In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) created some articles for caregivers to help support and encourage family members and friends struggling with mental illness. Here, we take some of their best tips and talk about how they can help you on your loved one’s journey toward sobriety:
- Maintain your own mental health. This means eating right, sleeping, exercising and managing stress. The more effort you put into your own health, the more energy and encouragement you’ll be able to devote to your loved one.
- Learn about your loved one’s addiction. The more you know about addiction and its treatments, the more you’ll be able to be supportive and understanding as your loved one undergoes rehab. Along the same lines, don’t be afraid to ask your loved one’s addiction counselor or therapist questions or for recommendations on where to go to learn more.
- Listen carefully. Simply listening is perhaps the best way to show your support. Your loved one is going through a tough time and may say some hurtful things. Do your best to recognize the emotions behind the words (anxiety, confusion, fear) rather than focusing on the words themselves, notes the NAMI.
- Resume “normal” activities and routines. While caring for your loved one is a big part of your life, it’s not everything. Do your best to return to your regular routine and don’t forget to make time for fun activities like watching a movie or going to the park.
- Find support. Outside support and encouragement is critical for everyone in the family, not only the person struggling with addiction. And face it: Stress is easier to handle when you regularly talk to people who understand your experience, notes the NAMI.
Healing Families at Christian Rehab
If you or someone you care about is caught in the bondage of drugs or alcoholism, Christian Rehab Network can help. We help families to find faith-based drug rehab programs based in Biblical truth. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.
Nature can play a pretty powerful role in your recovery – boosting your physical and mental health. For one, nature is a natural stress killer. Just think about how relaxed (in mind, body and spirit) you felt last time you spent an afternoon in the sunshine. Spending time in nature has been linked to lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure, better cholesterol and heightened immunity.
Plus, here are a few more benefits that can help your recovery:
- Less anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. This is especially true if you add exercise to the mix. Bonus: The color green (think trees, grass, plants) may even help make exercise easier, according to research.
- Improved sleep. Crack those windows and let the fresh air help you fall (and stay) asleep.
- Reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Smell the flowers; the scent of many flowers has been study-proven to kick the body into relaxation mode.
- More positivity. A stroll through nature can help tame negative, obsessive thoughts, according to scientists.
- Improved social life. Why not ask a recovery peer to accompany you to the park or on a hike.
The Bible says that nature speaks to us of God’s character and His attributes. Spending time in nature gives us a chance to slow down and notice what it’s communicating.
Here are a few ways to enjoy the fall and head outside:
- Go for a stroll and admire the fall foliage.
- Take a long hike.
- Head to your local farmer’s market.
- Plan a picnic in the park.
- Sit under a tree and get lost in a book.
- Start your morning with outdoor motivation.
- Walk or jog outside each morning.
Your Spiritual Guidance
Many rehab services address the physical, mental, and emotional facets of your care, but we believe that spiritual guidance is just as critical. Integrating Bible-based truths into each of our behavioral health and addiction recovery programs, we will work with you to customize your behavioral health or dual-diagnosis plan. To learn more, call today: 877-310-9545.