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There are many different avenues of recovery and treatment for addiction. With residential treatment being one of those avenues, it is crucial to address how to navigate life after living in a residential setting. The residential treatment creates a haven for those recovering from addiction, with intensive therapeutic services tailored to individual needs. Using the lessons and growth learned from residential treatment makes it possible to make life after a residential experience feel like a continuing safe haven. There may be feelings of discomfort, fear, excitement, or a mix of everything. Regardless, many things can lead to an easier transition into life after residential treatment. 

Be Patient and Mindful

First and foremost, be proud of the accomplishment of finishing residential treatment. Acknowledging an addiction is difficult enough, let alone staying motivated and dedicated to sticking with one’s recovery journey. Moving forward, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to be patient with oneself. Clients are in some of their most vulnerable states after leaving treatment. There is not anyone who wants to relapse while in recovery, but be patient and compassionate if that situation happens. The goal here is to avoid relapse, and there are many actions that one can take that will lead to tremendous success in their journey. 

West Coast Recovery Centers is built upon holistic treatment methods and mindfulness-based intervention opportunities. Outside of treatment, mindfulness should remain a priority in one’s daily life. Mindfulness can be used in various ways, with examples ranging from daily meditations to authentic conversations with peers. Being mindful is the act of bringing thoughts and feelings to a higher awareness in the conscious mind. It is being fully present and engaged at the moment. When temptations and urges to drink or use substances arise, mindfulness can bring those temptations to greater awareness as simply as asking, “Why do I feel this temptation?” Keep track of your progress, set goals, and reward yourself when necessary.

Find a Sense of Support 

Another important factor in navigating life after residential treatment is locating a support group. Individual therapy sessions are fantastic and necessary for some, but group settings can bring about feelings of comfort from others experiencing similar recovery experiences. Group sessions normalize that many people from all different backgrounds experience addiction. 

Group settings also create empowerment. Members of these groups can better suggest healthy coping mechanisms and other advice on staying sober, perhaps because they have been in the same shoes. Experiencing an addiction or being a part of a recovery journey is not meant to be experienced alone. Finding a support system can make all of the difference. 

Replace Old Habits With New Habits

After treatment, returning to an old lifestyle can bring up many past temptations and desires, leading to old habits. Bring awareness to old behaviors or situations that encouraged drug use. Once these situations are brought to light, find healthy replacement behaviors. This could be changing one’s social circle entirely or finding new environments to spend time in. 

Find new ways to occupy time, such as participating in a new hobby or getting a gym membership. A good example of activities that occupy time includes taking yoga and meditation classes from a local yoga studio. These classes will not only help occupy time, but they can encourage mindfulness practices that can also help with one’s recovery. A healthy mind and body can team up together, fostering more energy and clarity for personal growth. 

Create Career Goals

Navigating life after residential treatment includes developing career goals. This could look like going back to school to acquire a degree or specialized certificate in a specific field. Addiction knows no age, and therefore, can lead to disruptions in unfinished education. Allow residential treatment to motivate and empower finishing that degree or learn something new in a career field. 

Career goals can also look like making initial moves to start a business or seeking out job opportunities in general. Find a mentor who will work with an individual to help build career opportunities and overall career skills. Be authentic when applying for job positions, and look for a job that can showcase strengths or possibly passions. This will not only help maintain holding a particular job, but it will also motivate one to get up in the morning and continue their recovery journey

Appreciate Life

Building on patience and mindfulness, showing appreciation is another factor that can help while navigating life outside of treatment. Appreciation can come in many forms, but simply put; it is extending appreciation for things or people that bring joy to one’s life. Highlighting things that one may be grateful for is an excellent way to focus on what is important. Thank you notes and letters, an appreciative phone call or text message, or even volunteering can help foster appreciation. Think of different ways to extend appreciation outward in a community or support groups and encourage others to bring that same appreciation to their daily lives.

Navigating life outside of a residential or inpatient treatment is a complicated process. Recovery is a continuous process, and finishing residential treatment is only the beginning of the journey. Patience, mindfulness, and gratitude are three practices that can advance you on your journey. Finding support groups, other healthy hobbies, and replacing old habits are just a few other factors that can also play a role in making the transition easier. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we have resources and programs that can help make the transition from residential treatment a bit more manageable. We can help you build and maintain a life of purpose and fulfillment. We offer various options to choose from so you can tailor your outpatient treatment experience to ensure success by meeting your specific recovery needs. For more information on the services we provide, call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509. Healing continues with West Coast.