Addiction recovery doesn’t end when a person finishes at rehab. Recovery is a lifelong pursuit of positive habit building, maintaining mental wellbeing and avoiding negative triggers that may lead to relapse.
Executives who leave rehab and enter back into their fast-paced, overwhelming and stress-induced work environments, though, may have a hard time avoiding relapse.
It can be easy to slip into old habits and get caught up in the culture that created an addiction in the first place.
This is especially true given that rehab is a safe and comfortable place to be – it’s designed to help people in recovery slow down, take stock and make space to overcome their unique challenges.
Leaving, then, can pose new challenges in the recovery journey.
Here’s how executives can stay sober beyond residential treatment programs.
Avoiding common temptations after rehab
It’s a tough transition to go from a safe and secure environment and back into the real world.
You may find yourself faced with common triggers or situations that spark bad habits. Old friends, certain family members and burnout at work, for instance, are all things you’ll likely face as you return to normality, and these may be the things that caused an addiction to form in the first place.
Knowing how your ‘real life’ affects you and how to spot the signs of negative habit forming, then, will help you protect yourself against relapse.
To help with this, there are a few things you can begin to do when you leave a residential treatment program, including:
- Finding a reliable support system. Surround yourself with people in your life who have your best interests at heart. Old colleagues who encouraged negative behaviour, for example, are probably best avoided after rehab.
- Set goals for your future. Like anything in life, an overwhelming and unrealistic goal will have you procrastinating and looking for an escape. Instead, set smaller and realistic goals that help keep your recovery on track, and acknowledge the victories when they happen.
- Set a daily intention and remain grateful. There’s a lot to be thankful for in life. Perhaps you have a supportive family, or a job you love and that caters to your recovery, or a friend who you have shared experience with. Whatever it is, find something to be thankful for each day.
- Create new healthy habits that replace the old. Prior to rehab, you might have spent your time drinking in bars after work. Instead, use this time to hit the gym and get in some exercise. By creating new habits that make you feel good, you can set yourself up for long-term success.
Whatever it is, your life after rehab shouldn’t look the same as your life prior to it. After all, it was this old routine that caused you to feel burned out, unhappy and unfulfilled, and this led you to rehab in the first place.
Instead, encourage new and healthier habits to form, and set firm boundaries with those around you to ensure that you’re focusing on becoming your best self and not falling into old routines.
Consider attending a sober living home
Sober living homes (or halfway houses) are becoming increasingly more popular. They’re an effective middle ground between rehab and real life, and they allow you to loosen the reigns of specialist support and manage those negative triggers that still exist in your everyday life.
By attending a sober living home, executives can slowly begin to return to the workplace and venture back into the real world, all while learning how to apply the tools and techniques from rehab into their everyday environment.
Halfway houses add a layer of stability and insulation for executives recovering from addiction, and they help them avoid relapse. What’s more, they’re a great way to form social connections with others who have experienced addiction and form a strong support network prior to going home.
The benefits of staying sober
A strong support network is one of the best things you can establish as you’re leaving rehab.
After all, humans depend on humans to make good decisions and maintain healthy habits. We’re creatures of influence, and it’s easy to fall back into old addictions. Without good people around you, it can be difficult to remain sober when rehab ends.
And the benefits of remaining sober are too good to miss out on.
Besides the health benefits and the feeling of being in control of your life again, sobriety helps you:
- Making new, sober friends
- Save money
- Enhance your mental clarity and excitement for life
- Acquire more energy to do things you enjoy
- Look and feel better about yourself
- Become a source of hope for others who are struggling with addiction
Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction might be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do (much harder than the 80 hours a week you were working way back when). It’s a lifelong commitment, and by making the effort, you can find yourself with newfound strength and fulfilment in your life.
In turn, you can find yourself happy once again.
To find out how White River Manor can help you stay sober, contact our specialists today.