Recovery is challenging in many ways, from having to avoid the temptation to relapse, to learning how to live a sober lifestyle. But one difficult part of recovery that isn’t talked about as much is how lonely the process can be. At times, it can feel like no one knows what you’re going through, or how isolated and sad you feel.
So it’s important for an individual in recovery to understand that loneliness is a very normal part of recovery, but also that there are many ways to combat it.
One: Spend Time With A Pet
Pets provide unconditional love, companionship, and support. Dogs, in particular, form loyal and strong bonds with their owners. Dog owners often note that their pets never judge them or look down on them. Spending time with a pet can calm anxiety, and quell feelings of loneliness. Additionally, activities that can be done with a dog, like walking outside or playing fetch are outdoor activities that can be shared together.
Two: Reach Out To A Close Friend
Oftentimes, people don’t know how lonely you are. It’s important to let the person closest to you know how you feel. You can let your friend know that you’re not looking for them to solve all your problems, but just to listen and be understanding. Sometimes venting, and being able to talk to someone can help make recovery less of a lonely process.
Meditation reduces stress, and is used to calm the mind and reach another state of consciousness. During this state, the person will be able to calm all negative feelings, including loneliness. Doing meditation long-term, on a regular basis, can be a major coping tool during recovery.
Four: Join An Activity Group
Find a group that does activities that you enjoy. Although it may be hard to go at first, the act of being together in a group will be a positive feeling. You can even try to organize a group of friends together with a similar interest. What’s important is finding that common ground with people, and feeling connected with others.
Five: Eat A Healthy Diet
What people eat, particularly how much sugar they consume, can have a great effect on someone’s moods. It’s important to eat a healthy diet, with plenty of water, fruits, and vegetables. This will help improve and regulate moods. Eating a diet full of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats can promote weight gain and cause mood swings.
Six: Find Reasons To Be Grateful Every Day
This is an important task that addicts in recovery should remember to do every day. You should think of reasons why you’re grateful every day. Everyone can find something that has blessed his life, and it’s important to reflect on what to be grateful for and to acknowledge it. The feeling of gratefulness is supposed to be the one thing happy people have in common. Despite the trials and tribulations of life, it is also full of blessings. By reflecting on this every day, it will help ward off feelings of loneliness.
Cindy Nichols is an addiction specialist and specializes in residential treatment at Recovery Now TV.