For people in recovery, sobriety should be separate from New Year’s resolutions. However, the holiday season does present the opportunity to strengthen your sobriety.
At the end of each year, many of us reflect on things we would like to improve or bad habits we would like to quit. Some will foster these thoughts into resolutions for the New Year. Often these resolutions set lofty expectations that are difficult to meet, at least in the immediate turn of the calendar. Soon, many of us leave our resolutions behind as the daily grind takes over and we postpone our resolutions for another year.
Making Recovery Resolutions
For people in recovery, consider the following options for simple self-improvement as you plan your resolutions and attainable goals for the New Year:
- Simplify Your Life
Clear out the clutter from your life. Make a manageable schedule for the year and stick to scheduled days and times for washing the car, cleaning out the garage and fridge, organizing your closets. Include deliveries of your unwanted items to local charities and reinforce the positive energy.
2. Explore Your Creativity
Develop an outlet for self-expression through creativity. Try your hand at painting or photography, take up knitting quilts for family and friends, write short stories or poetry, take a pottery class – artistic expression is very therapeutic. You may find a hidden talent. Share your creative pursuits with others.
3. Give Back
Few things are as fulfilling as giving back to the community. Helping others new to recovery or getting involved in service with your AA group are great places to start. Serve meals at a homeless shelter, volunteer at a food bank or find an opportunity that can use your specific skill set.
4. Eat Healthy
In addition to staying physically active, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial. Build a reasonably healthy eating and nutrition plan that fits with your lifestyle and schedule.
5. Get Active
A healthy body and healthy mind are essential to staying on track with your recovery. For example, if lifting weights or running 10Ks are not your thing, try taking a brisk walk or go for a swim.
6. Learn to Meditate
Meditation is a powerful, essential tool in developing mindfulness. Empower your recovery by starting with a meditation practice focused on gratitude. Begin your day in gratitude. Reserve five minutes each morning to offer appreciation. Keep it simple or more profound, but make sure to start each morning in thankfulness and set the tone for the day. As you build your routine, expand your meditation practice.
7. Strengthen Relationships
Breathe fresh air into your relationships. If needed, have those tough conversations, then commit to building a new foundation of kind, constant and honest communication. Show appreciation for the people you love through random acts of kindness. Furthermore, be present in the time you spend and make sure your loved ones know what they mean to you.
8. Develop a New Skill
By developing a new skill or engaging in new healthy hobby, you can expand your mind and your network. Social hobbies like sports and personal hobbies like bird watching, metal/wood fabrication or learning a new language or instrument – they all have incredible benefits.
9. Deepen Your Spirituality
Strengthen your spirituality and connection to your higher power. Fold in practices such as engaging in spiritual activities, praying, reading inspirational, spiritual books and affirmations and integrating spirituality into your interactions and relationships.
10. Read More
Put the phone down and turn off the TV. Integrate reading into your extracurricular schedule. Be sure to include inspirational and motivational books in the mix. And, set a goal for how many books you aim to read in the coming year. Then have fun picking and choosing the titles that will make your cut. Be sure to keep it positive and focus on learning something from each book.
Preventing Holiday Relapse
Having a sober holiday strategy and attainable goals for the new year can help you evolve your recovery from addiction and avoid holiday relapse. Additional support is available through Valley Hope Addiction Treatment and Recovery, including recovery resources and opportunities that help empower your sobriety.
If you or someone you care about relapses or continues to struggle with substance abuse, don’t wait to get help – hope and healing are available at Valley Hope 24/7.
For immediate help, call our Local Admissions Team at (800) 544-5101 and give yourself and your family the gift of recovery this holiday season.