Summer can be an especially challenging time for people in recovery. For instance, you may be turning down opportunities to attend cookouts, pool parties, concerts or outdoor sports leagues because you are worried those settings might tempt you into a relapse.
Having to find new activities to replace ones where you used to drink or use drugs can leave you feeling uninspired and stuck in a sobriety slump. The good news is that there are ways to break out of a rut and move on with your productive patterns.
Are You Stuck in a Rut?
Recovery requires a daily commitment to change, growth and learning. Though it is a valuable health habit to establish and stay with a routine, don’t be afraid to make changes if you find yourself struggling. You may have gotten stuck in a rut if you:
- No longer feel as if you’re making progress with your physical, mental and spiritual health goals
- Are less motivated to put in the effort necessary to maintain your recovery, such as going to individual or group therapy meetings
- Are not getting any new benefits out of your 12-step group
- Have become disconnected from your sober support system
- Have lost the desire to improve your emotional well-being with practices like meditation and yoga
Because getting caught in a rut is such a common problem for recovering addicts, there’s no shame in having these feelings. The key is to recognize the problem early, so you can take steps to deal with it before the negativity becomes overwhelming and leaves your recovery on less-than-solid ground.
Shake Things Up
When you’re in a slump, you may not know how to find your way out of it. One thing to remember is that it’s OK to change a routine that is no longer working in your favor. Everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time, and this could be the opportunity you need to step back and re-evaluate your priorities. Here are some things to try to help you get out of a rut.
- Attend new meetings: If your regular group meetings no longer inspire you, and you find yourself counting down the minutes until they end, search for a new one that takes a different approach. For example, if you’ve been participating in a group that requires you to rely on a higher power, try a secular group instead (or vice versa).
- Plan a getaway: Sometimes, a change of scenery is all it takes to give you a new perspective. Try something you’ve never done before, like whitewater rafting or scuba diving.
- Speak to your therapist: A slump can signify underlying mental health issues like depression that can threaten the progress you’ve made in recovery.
- Reach out to others: When you’re in a funk, you may want to isolate yourself from the world, but detaching from supportive friends and family members is one of the worst things you can do. Instead, invite them to meet you for lunch or coffee and talk through your feelings. They will probably be more than willing to provide advice that helps you find your way out of the fog you’ve been in.
Is It Time for a Change?
Addiction recovery is a journey of peaks and valleys, especially in the earliest stages. However, even people who have been honing their sobriety skills for years can struggle now and then. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of this summer to try some new things. You might be surprised how much this helps you power through a slump.
If you’re looking for a place to start on your path to healing, Vista Taos is here for you. Our tranquil surroundings in beautiful Taos, New Mexico, offer all the most desirable amenities and create an ideal environment for recovery. Contact us today to take the first step.