Recovery unfolds one day at a time, but when you take a second to look over the past year you can see: it’s been a rough one. When you’ve just recently completed treatment or are a recovery veteran, the past year likely tested your resolve. But now, spring is unfolding through most of the country, a vaccine is being distributed, and there’s a sense of hope and optimism.
While you’re doing your spring cleaning and decluttering, don’t forget to dedicate time evaluating, celebrating and strengthening your recovery. Here are 12 steps that will help ensure that your recovery is on track and stronger than ever in 2021.
- Check in with yourself. Take a few minutes to think about the past year. What was your biggest challenge in recovery? What was your biggest success? Jot these down and consider how they make you feel. Is there something you want to do differently this year?
- Make a plan. Jumping off the two questions above, think about what’s going well in recovery right now, and what you need to do better. For the areas that need improvement, decide how you can work on them. Be specific.
- Connect with your higher power. Whatever your higher power is — God, nature, the universe — do something that brings you close to it. This can be as simple as going for a walk, but be intentional about dedicating this time to connection.
- Focus on your health. Do something that promotes your physical, mental or emotional health. Maybe that’s making an appointment for a physical that you put off during COVID, or making the first step to find a therapist. Anything that moves you toward a healthier future will do.
- Attend a meeting. Even if you’re no longer a regular, attending an in person or remote meeting can help you reconnect with the principles of your recovery. Plus, your story might bring hope to people who are newer in recovery than you are.
- Make a call. It’s easy to reach out to other people by text, but a phone call gives you a much deeper connection. Pick up the phone to talk to someone you need to catch up with. Be sure to ask them about themselves, in addition to sharing about your life.
- Write a letter. If the idea of a call is overwhelming, you can still rely on text…. in the old fashioned form. Write a letter saying thank you to a loved one who has supported you through recovery, or a recovery professional or sponsor who got you through the rough days.
- Shout your recovery. If you’re comfortable, share your story of recovery on social media. Celebrate how far you’ve come. This lets you acknowledge your progress, helps break down the stigma of addiction, and shows people that recovery is possible.
- Read a book. We’re not talking about The Big Book. Any book that captures your interest will do. Whether fiction or nonfiction, reading will broaden your horizons and challenge you to think a bit differently, and has the added benefit of taking your attention away from screens.
- Make amends. This year has been a tumultuous one, and you might have fractured a relationship at some point. Take inventory of whether there is anyone you need to make amends with, and reach out to them.
- Be of service. Pay if forward by being of service to someone else. If you can help others in recovery that’s great, but this doesn’t have to be complicated. Offer to lend a hand to a family member, or ask your neighbors if they need anything when you go to the store. Putting yourself out there can be awkward, but the benefits are worth it.
- Have fun. Recovery doesn’t have to be serious all the time. You probably have more opportunity for healthy fun now than you ever did during active addiction. Celebrate that by doing something that makes you smile: riding a bike, doing a virtual tour of a museum or connecting with a friend for coffee are all great options.
Keeping recovery on track last year was no small feat, so if you’re here, congratulations! You’re doing hard things and you have the strength to continue living a sober and healthy life.
Sponsored DISCLAIMER: This is a paid advertisement for California Behavioral Health, LLC, a CA licensed substance abuse treatment provider and not a service provided by The Fix. Calls to this number are answered by CBH, free and without obligation to the consumer. No one who answers the call receives a fee based upon the consumer’s choice to enter treatment. For additional info on other treatment providers and options visit www.samhsa.gov.