Successfully Staying Sober: 7 Tips To Prevent A Relapse After Rehab

In many ways, addiction can be explained as a neuroplastic event.

When addicted to a substance, our brain deepens its pathways of habits. But these trenches aren’t poured with concrete.

The brain is malleable, changeable, and more impressive than we have yet to discover. This concept, called neuroplasticity, is the white light shining through the bleakest addiction stories.

Staying sober after rehabilitation requires forming new neural pathways. This is how we break out of old habits and begin forming new ones.

Otherwise, we are bound to the roads most traveled in our mindscapes, which means habitual substance use. And we all know how toxic that is.

Here are 7 tips to re-shape your brain to prevent relapse.

1. Think, “What Would Make Me Proud of Myself?”

Checking in with yourself is a good place to start on your road of recovery.

Make a list of the aspects of yourself that you’re most proud of. Omit physical traits and focus on personality characteristics.

How can you heighten those? How can you expand upon those?

Knowing what you value helps you bring more of that into your life. If you value your humor, look into something like stand-up comedy. If you value resiliency, look into something like endurance sports.

The idea is to create an external realm that matches your internal realm. Continue learning more about yourself and fine-tuning your world to encourage and support you.

2. Continue Initiating Change

In shifting your external realm, you’ll welcome infinite opportunities to change. Change can be tough (you’re changing neuropathways, after all) but a new life is what you’re looking for, right?

When the old ways don’t work, toss them overboard and invite newness. You know that drinking doesn’t work for you, so throw it to the wayside.

Along with the habit itself, kick out everything that’s associated with drinking. This may mean drinking hangout spots or drinking buddies.

These no longer serve you, as your views and priorities are in the process of re-aligning.

Get creative with your life. How can you rework what’s in front of you to create something new?

3. Remove Yourself From Toxic Relationships

A key place to start with creating a new life is assessing your relationships. Do your relationships serve you?

Do the people in your life support who you are and hold you accountable? Or do they abuse and enable you?

This is an area of your life to get cut-and-dry. Even if you’ve known someone for a long time, you can’t have them around if they’re hindering your growth. Especially on the arduous journey of recovery.

Removing yourself from toxic relationships shouldn’t result in isolation. As you begin filtering through the people around you, continue growing your circle. Find local support groups where you can find peers going through the same things.

4. Incorporate Exercise

You can find support groups through exercise. Make friends with similar interests that aren’t substance abuse.

Exercise gives you structure, productive use of time, community, achievements, and health benefits.

When you exercise, your brain releases neurotransmitters. These include endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.  Essentially, these neurotransmitters regulate your emotions and brain functions.

Similarly, alcoholism affects your brain’s release of dopamine and serotonin. By exercising through recovery, you will boost your brain’s ability to re-stabilize itself. Plus, it will increase your ability to learn and remember.

Along with mental benefits, exercise has obvious and numerous physical benefits. It helps regulate metabolism, cardiovascular functions, and the lymphatic system. This will help your body through recovery as its regaining homeostasis.

5. Eat Clean

If you pair exercise with nutritious eating, you’ll feel so much better through the recovery process.

Research shows there are many foods that help with detox. Additionally, studies show that nutrition components such as gut hormones affect our emotions and cognitive processes.  Grab a kombucha or other fermented foods and get your gut happy.

What we eat fuels our bodies and minds. It’s important to eat as healthy as possible to give ourselves the best opportunity to thrive and succeed.

On the note of eating clean, remember that your goal is to become independent of substances. In addition to alcohol, this may include nicotine and caffeine. The idea is to re-orient your body’s systems to regulate itself, without any additives.

6. Staying Sober Requires Creating Structure

You can create stability through structured living. This could mean an exercise schedule, meal planning, or daily organization tasks.

Structure creates security and clarity in your life. It’s easier to accomplish goals, such as sobriety, when there’s less chaos and changing variables surrounding you.

In addition to the general goal of sobriety, create short- and long-term goals. Make short-term goals that seem impossible to fail at, such as staying sober for one hour or taking out the trash.

Building up your success rate and confidence through small steps helps you advance towards long-term goals.

7. Look Outside of Yourself

While it’s your own recovery process, don’t overlook the need for outside support.

Humans have always gravitated toward creating a community. Think about what we know of tribes. Each member has a specific role so that everyone can take care of each other.

We discussed support groups of peers earlier, which is crucial to success. To supplement that, consider various professional therapies.

Psychotherapy is an umbrella category of treatment. It covers therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychoanalysis. Even if you haven’t participated in any therapy before, it may be beneficial and helpful to your process. Learning the workings of your mind in a structured setting helps you heal traumas and wounds.

You can also choose to seek out holistic therapies (scroll down to view what we have to offer). The list includes massage, acupuncture, amino acid replenishment, and more.  Using external resources gives you the best chance to not only recover but to become the best version of yourself that you’ve ever been.

Stay Confident

You’re doing the right thing. The right thing isn’t always the easy thing, especially when it comes to staying sober.

Continue thinking and acting in ways that will transform your life. It’s yours and nothing is set in stone.

Give us a call if you have any questions or if you’re interested in any supportive services.

References:

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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