Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. These strategies can help ensure a successful transition back to normal life after rehab.
Completing rehab is an important first step on the road to recovery, but it’s only a part of the process. If you are in rehab, or have been recently, you can congratulate yourself on getting through what is probably the toughest part of recovery. However, your journey has only just begun.
Life after rehab presents its own challenges. Some of these you will take in stride, but most likely, there are some aspects of transitioning back into the swing of things that you will struggle with. Preparing yourself for these challenges will drastically reduce your chances of relapse.
Following these six strategies will help ensure the time, effort and money you have put into rehab will not go to waste:
1. Find a Good Aftercare Program
While it’s important to be proud of your achievements in rehab, one of the most immediate dangers is overconfidence. Most likely, you’ll be feeling healthier and more content than you have in a long time, and looking forward to getting back to your life. We advise extreme caution during these tricky first weeks. If possible, avail of aftercare services at your rehab center. Many provide facilities and programs designed to ease you back into life after rehab. If your rehab center isn’t in your immediate area, make sure you have access to online counseling, as well as support groups close to where you live.
2. Add Structure to Your Day
During your weeks at rehab you will have become accustomed to having a daily structure in your life. It is important to continue this after rehab. This isn’t to say you should follow the exact same activities and routines from rehab, but it is important to fill your days with worthwhile activities that support your recovery. Above all, be sure to keep busy. Boredom is one of the most common relapse triggers and should be avoided at all costs.
During your rehab you will likely have partaken in all kinds of therapeutic activities, such as swimming, yoga, meditation and more. Try to keep these going after rehab while adding a few hobbies and activities of your own. Overall, do your best to stay healthy and try to maintain a good diet.
3. Learn to Spot the Warning Signs
Relapses don’t just happen suddenly and out of the blue. There are almost always a range of factors that contribute to an eventual relapse over a period of time. Identifying what these factors are and eliminating them from your life is a key part of a successful recovery. Luckily, if you have attended a quality rehab center, you will already have been taught how to identify many of these triggers. The causes can be complex and varied, so it’s important to always remain vigilant as stressful situations will inevitably arise in your day-to-day life that were not covered in rehab.
4. Remember Your Training
Knowing how to identify these triggers is just one part of the process – you’ll also have to deal with them as they occur. You should have been equipped with the tools you need to do this while in rehab, so be sure to remember your training and use these methods regularly to keep them fresh in your mind. Methods such as mindfulness meditation, urge surfing and other exercises can help you get past the tough times while minimizing the risk of relapse.
5. Build a Support Network
As much as possible, try to surround yourself with people who can provide you with the support you need to make a complete recovery. For many people these will be family and friends, while others prefer counsellors, sponsors, support groups or even online forums. Which ever you feel more comfortable with, it is important to have someone to talk to when you need a little support.
6. One Slip-up Isn’t the End
Life after rehab is a balancing act. You do, of course, want to work hard at your recovery and give it every chance of success. On the other hand, being too hard on yourself isn’t a good idea either. Expecting absolute perfection from yourself will only cause you undue stress. And if you do slip up, remember that this is just one small blip in the many weeks of progress you’ve made. One mistake isn’t the end of recovery. Forgive yourself and get back up on the wagon.
If you’re struggling with or recovering from addiction of any kind, Thailand offers some of the highest quality addiction treatment and aftercare in the Asia-Pacific, at very affordable prices. Check out our detailed comparison of Thailand’s best rehab centers.