How to Take Care of Your Mental Health in Sobriety
Before getting sober, people typically abuse substances as a form of coping mechanism. To explain, many individuals suffering from drug or alcohol addiction also suffer from additional mental health issues. As a result of these mental health issues, some people begin to self-medicate their emotions and feelings. However, all this does is conceal the symptoms, leaving their mental health issues dormant and unresolved. Therefore, individuals need to learn how to properly take care of their mental health in sobriety.
Taking care of your mental health in sobriety can seem like a daunting task. Without the aid of substances, you will have to face uncomfortable situations and emotions head-on. Fortunately, there are healthy coping mechanisms that can help to soothe your mental health issues. Let’s take a look at a few.
Continue to Receive Professional Help
Oftentimes, individuals in recovery from substance use disorder believe that their work is done upon completing addiction treatment. This cannot be farther from the truth. Drug and alcohol addiction treatment is intended to give patients the ability to fully recover from the physical aspects of addiction while beginning their mental health treatment. However, mental health treatment is most effective when individuals utilize therapy and psychiatry after completing a rehab program.
Professional mental health specialists can help you to build upon the foundation of recovery you have already built. Additionally, if you have any underlying mental health conditions, therapy is a great way to uncover and treat such ailments. All in all, professional therapy is the most effective tool for treating mental health issues in sobriety.
Find Support and a Community to Become Active in
While most people already have support systems, such as family and friends, finding outside sources of support is extremely beneficial. To explain, sometimes our friends and family are less likely to call us out when we are behaving ineffectively. By finding new support systems, you can gain an unbiased, outside source of advice and education.
Additionally, many people in sobriety have found that attending support groups or communities can greatly impact their mental health. For example, communities such as Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and Women/Men for Sobriety have been providing recovering addicts and alcoholics with the support and sense of community they need for decades. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health in sobriety, it may be time to consider attending a support group or sober community that can provide you with the experience, wisdom, and advice you need to protect your sobriety and mental health.
Practice Self-Care Regularly
Self-care includes any form of activity that provides you with a sense of comfortability and calmness. For example, if you thoroughly enjoy reading, painting, or even taking hot baths, these activities can be utilized as self-care. The key to self-care is self-discovery. Once you begin to recognize which activities make you feel relaxed, you can start practicing self-care daily. Additionally, always make sure that you leave yourself at least one hour a day to practice self-care.
Also, a huge aspect of self-care is being able to say no to people. Oftentimes, we forget that we are allowed to decline our friend’s and loved one’s invitations when we would rather stay home and practice some much-needed self-care. As a result, we stretch ourselves thin attempting to people-please. Instead, learn that it is okay to say no when your friends ask you to go out with them.
Reevaluate Your PPTs (People, Places, and Things)
When you begin your life in sobriety, you may have to upgrade the people, places, and things in your life. For example, before getting sober, you may have spent a lot of time frequenting bars or clubs with friends who drink. Obviously, going to clubs with friends that you used to drink with is never a good idea as a recovering addict or alcoholic. As a result, it may be time to find new friends, activities, and places to hang out.
While finding new friends can be nerve-racking, there are plenty of resources to help you. In fact, social media apps, support group meetings, or group hobbies and activities can provide you with the outlet you need to make new friends. Finding friends who share the same interests, background, or even experienced the same trauma as you can boost your mental health in sobriety incredibly.
Do You Need Help Managing Your Mental Health in Sobriety?
If you or a loved one are in need of addiction and mental health treatment, look no further. CWC Recovery understands the complex relationship between mental health conditions and addiction. Our professional and state-licensed staff can help patients build a foundation of mental health recovery while working towards long-term sobriety.
“The synergistic relationship between mental health issues and substance misuse is often complex. For many consumers of treatment services, attempts at relief have led to a frustrating history of the ‘whack a mole’ phenomena where symptoms are addressed only to be replaced by different symptoms in their absence. At Comprehensive Wellness Centers, the foundational belief that drives our innovative model is that it is rarely a single issue that brings an individual to treatment. Therefore, treating the whole person is a necessity. Our mental health program is available to help our clients address their mental health concerns while building greater self-acceptance and new coping tools.”
Whether you are just now starting your journey to sobriety and need to learn how to stay sober or you are already sober but struggling to care for your mental health, help is just a phone call away. By working closely with you to identify and treat your individual needs, we can provide you with the tools and resources you need to achieve optimal mental health in sobriety. Contact us today for more information on our treatment programs and resources.
Medically Reviewed: September 4, 2020
Medical Reviewer | CWC Recovery Staff
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.