Getting sober may come with many sudden realizations, such as the amount of time you lost while under the influence. It’s a reality that can be hard for many to grapple with. Low self-esteem is common among recovering individuals and coming to terms with this can be difficult. By pursuing new challenges, you can start to rebuild your sense of self-esteem in recovery. It’s easy to dwell on the past, but the rest of your life is ahead of you. At Stonewall Institute Treatment Center, not only do we offer superior treatment for alcohol and substance use issues, we also focus on getting yourself in the right headspace so that you can get out there and meet your recovery goals.
1. Meet New People
Stagnancy is a big part of addiction. It’s easy for anyone to get lulled into the same daily routines without growing and moving forward in life. When you use, you tend to spend a large amount of time with other people who are doing the same things as you. Meeting new people can introduce you to a new set of healthy habits. Picking a group of people with healthy practices takes the guesswork out of making good lifestyle choices. A group of friends that are inspired to live life to the fullest. Following their lead is the simplest way to get inspired to live a fulfilling life.
2. Learn Something New
Proving that you can still learn new skills will reduce anxiety about the future. Though sometimes hard, it’s possible to quiet that voice of doubt that lives in the back of your head. You just have to prove that you still have what it takes to acquire new skills. Anxiety comes from concern about the future. Nothing is more anxiety inducing than not believing you can start from scratch with something new. If you have faith that you can learn new things, you’ll quickly start to feel better about the road ahead. This is easier said than done. The majority of people go through life with stretches of time spent in stagnancy. Shaking the cobwebs loose and going for it is even harder when you’re coming out of the mental haze of addiction. Push yourself in the early stages of recovery to let go of lost time and get aggressive about tackling fresh challenges. Anything you can do to prove that you still have what it takes to acquire new skills will calm the anxiety you have about the future and build self-confidence.
3. Start An Exercise Routine
Physical challenges are great for building self-esteem. First, physical accomplishments and health goals are straightforward to execute. You put in the work, and the results come. There isn’t a lot of room for judging yourself. This makes exercise habits one of the best ways to prove to yourself early on in recovery that you can stay consistent and get results. The key here is consistency. Any form of physical exercise is beneficial. If you get bored of the same workouts, try a yoga class or go on a long walk with a loved one. Whatever you choose doesn’t have to be strenuous, just as long as you’re moving your body and thus, reducing stress and anxiety.
Making small strides every day refreshes your memory about the benefits of hard work. The emotional satisfaction that comes with that feeling of accomplishment is its own reward. The joy that comes from hard work is easy to forget when you’ve been struggling with the complications of addiction. Exercise reminds you of that feeling of success, and you can use it to translate positive momentum into other, more complicated areas of your life.
4. Share Your Story
Addiction can bring with it a lot of feelings of guilt and shame. The harm that some addicted individuals cause directly or indirectly to their loved ones can be a heavy burden to bear. It can leave the lingering question of whether or not you’re worthy of the love and acceptance you once were. By taking the step to share your full story with the world, you can get confirmation that you are still, in fact, deserving of love. Being vulnerable is also the mark of a great leader, and people respond accordingly. When you take the first step to expose your true self, people react by doing the same, and they share with you the best possible version of themselves. This opens the door to making new connections with emotionally available people who resonate with your story. If you live in the Phoenix, AZ area, the Stonewall Institute Treatment Center’s 10-week alcohol and drug treatment program can be a safe place to share your story and get support from knowledgeable experts and like-minded individuals.
5. Make Space In Your Day For Quiet Reflection
Spending time alone is part of the journey towards self-acceptance in the face of recovery. Just as being vulnerable with others can make connections and build self-esteem, meditating can help you reconnect with yourself. The modern world is so fast-paced and over-stimulating that it can be hard to get quiet time alone. Much of the benefit that comes from meditation is the result of removing all the background noise. A traditional meditation practice is something you can work up to, but initially, blocking off technology-free time to yourself is a great first step.
When you’re ready to kick your reflection time into the next gear, try going on hikes. There’s quite a bit of research on the mental health benefits of what the Japanese call forest-bathing. According to scientific literature, the smells, sights, and sounds of a babbling creek and wind rushing through the trees reduces anxiety. The sounds of nature are the perfect contradiction to the hyperactive stimulus of heavy traffic, computers, and cell phones.
The brain fog of addiction and recovery can make life seem emotionally stifling and overwhelming. Individuals suffering from addiction can have low self-esteem from the regrets that come with wasted time. By putting in the extra effort to reconnect with yourself and the world, you can get in a better headspace for living a productive life. Pushing yourself to master new skills and staying consistent with hard work is the best way to build self-esteem in recovery. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance dependence, don’t hesitate to contact Stonewall Institute Treatment Center today. Call us today at 602-535-6468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.