8 Things to Do After Leaving Rehab

Completing a treatment program will transform your life and make your family members immeasurably proud. However, there’s no

Highway Sign - Rehabilitation

denying it can feel quite daunting at first. During substance abuse treatment, you learn skills and improve your mental health — but at first, you may feel unsure about how to apply them to daily life. 

Read our 8 tips about what to do after rehab to help ensure you start as you mean to go on and give yourself the best chance of a smooth recovery journey.

Life After Rehab Will Be More Fun Than Before!

One of the most vital pieces of information for anyone with a substance use disorder to understand is this: You’re likely to experience boredom. This is because you’ve removed an activity from your life that you had dedicated a lot of time, energy and dedication to. Rehab will equip you with the necessary tools to fight through this boredom and discover ways of filling your time that help you meet your goals.

Goals don’t have to be over the top, either; you could simply want to watch more movies, get better at applying make-up, play more sports, go for more walks or spend more time with loved ones. Of course you could aim to create a vlog, make a podcast, master a sport or follow your dream career path, too. All of the above will make you feel much better in the long run than continuing down the narrow and self-destructive path of substance abuse.

Before you start a treatment plan, your brain is in a very different state than how it’ll be when you finish. Many people who are in the throes of addiction can’t imagine a sober life, mistakenly thinking they’ll be bored or won’t know how to fill their time. There’s a simple biological reason for this: Your dopamine circuit is disordered and no longer serving you as a whole person, just the substance of abuse.

When you’re drug- and alcohol-free, there’s so much more you can do with your time and money. Substance abuse is an expensive habit, and you can invest that cash in future goals or use it to pursue hobbies you’ve always wanted to pick up since you were a kid. 

8 Things to Do After Drug Rehab

The best way to prevent feeling uncertain when you finish drug or alcohol rehab is to work on a plan of action during treatment. This way, you’ll be prepared and ready to begin your plan once you complete rehab. When you make preparations and put thought into the future, it’s much easier to deal with. Even if your plans change and you need to make adaptations, having a framework in place will relieve anxiety.

It’s also vital that you have a support system in place to cheer you on and keep you accountable. Don’t worry if you don’t have any sober friends currently; you’ll find plenty of recovery support in your rehab program as well as in 12-step programs during and after treatment. 

1. Get an Aftercare Plan in Place

During your time in a treatment center, you’ll work hard with counselors and case workers to implement a long-term plan. If you’ve uncovered mental illness or underlying trauma, you might require ongoing psychotherapy, and recovering addicts with challenging home lives might require family therapy. 

For some people, sober living is advisable to bridge the gap between rehab and daily life. No matter what shape aftercare takes, make sure you’re thinking about recovery as an ongoing process. 

2. Set Your Daily Routine in Stone

Every successful person practices daily habits that help them retain self-discipline. As someone in recovery, self-help is of the utmost importance. While it’s very unfortunate you have a chronic disease that makes some aspects of life harder for you, you don’t need to become a victim to it. 

By getting up early in the morning, setting goals, working hard, rewarding yourself for a job well done and staying fit and healthy, you build self-esteem. When you’re brimming with natural confidence, drug or alcohol abuse don’t hold the same appeal anymore.

It’s crucial to never be hard on yourself and make sure you have holidays and lazy days when necessary, but having an overall structure you stick to most days will help you immeasurably.

3. Find Joy in Movement  

If you’re not into exercise, you’re probably sick of hearing about all the different benefits of it. But seriously — if there’s one pastime that will help you get through the difficult situations and the hardest aspects of recovery, it’s working out. You don’t have to go to the gym or start running if you don’t like the sound of those. Any form of regular movement will boost your natural feel-good hormones, provide opportunities to socialize and keep you looking and feeling great.

COVID-19 has reshaped the world as we know it, and one of the benefits is greater access to online fitness classes. If you’re too shy to go in person, try a remote dancing, yoga, calisthenics, boxing or martial arts class online.

4. Focus on Nutrition 

Processed foods and sugar are almost as harmful as substances of abuse when they’re eaten in vast quantities. If you don’t already have a diet rich in vegetables, whole foods, healthy protein sources and whole grains, now is the time to start.

5. Fix Your Mindset for Success

The way you think about yourself has a massive impact on the way you behave. As such, in order to behave in a way that gets the results you want to see, you need to think about yourself in a certain way. Mindset is crucial when it comes to making changes and implementing new habits in your life, so make sure you’re fully invested in your own potential for growth.

6. Make Plans With Sober Friends and Loved Ones

There are so many things you can now do that you weren’t able to when you weren’t sober. Catch up with everything you’ve been missing out on, whether it’s sports, attending shows, visiting museums or going for long walks. You’re now in a position to spend quality time with the people you care about most.

7. Rediscover Your Passions

Everyone in the world has dreams and passions, from wanting to be a singer to playing football. Those passions you loved as a kid don’t need to remain in the past! You’ll have the best chance of recovery if you’re so distracted from drugs and alcohol that you simply don’t need them anymore. Don’t let limiting beliefs hold you back from doing the things you love.

8. Attend Regular 12-Step Meeting Support Groups 

Twelve-step programs have been helping recovering addicts remain sober for almost 100 years. Support group meetings are so effective because they encourage you to be open and express your feelings, provide accountability and give you a sense of responsibility as you progress and start to mentor new members.

Start Addiction Treatment Today

If you’re ready to get help for drug or alcohol addiction so you can start putting your plan for the future into action, call Changing Tides today at 252-715-3905.