Once you have made the important decision to invest in personal rehabilitation, it’s helpful to have some strategies by your side to get the most out of the experience. Going to rehab is an opportunity to focus on yourself: to put everything else on hold and pay attention to your own needs.The mindset you go into treatment with can have a big impact on what you take away from this time to reflect and recharge, and there are certain things you can do to maximize the effectiveness of your program. Here are five helpful ways you can make the most out of rehab and gain lasting strategies for long-term recovery.
Stay Positive. It’s easy to go into rehab feeling defeated. Most people make diligent attempts to overcome addiction on their own with little to no results, and going to rehab can feel like throwing in the towel. However, for many people, attending inpatient treatment is a bridge to long term recovery and provides the tools to make lasting change possible. It is helpful to cultivate an attitude of optimism and gratitude while in treatment to lift your spirits on hard days and to help you stay centered when you get back to your day-to-day life. Activities like making a daily list of people and things you’re grateful for can reinforce optimistic thinking and instil hope. Other practices like guided imagery meditations that focus the mind on relaxing thoughts and sensations can help you sustain positivity. The most important key to staying positive is never giving up. There will be days that seem harder than others, but learning some coping skills to enhance your sense of hopefulness will make overcoming challenges much easier.
Get Involved. During your stay in treatment, there will be countless activities offered to you each day including: talking with a counselor, support groups, art and music therapy, meditation, exercise, 12-step programs, and hands-on activities like wilderness and animal therapy. Try to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as you can. Doing so will keep you active and give you the best chance of developing insight and recovery tools that will aid in your long-term sobriety. You might also stumble upon new hobbies, interests, and coping techniques that can become important parts of your life back home, so try as many things as you can while you have the chance to explore and focus on yourself in a therapeutic environment.
Connect with Others. Addiction causes many people to isolate themselves from their loves ones and peers. Learning how to reestablish and build positive connections is one of the most important tenets of long-term recovery, and treatment is a great place to work on rebuilding this skill. Although you may be entering rehab with walls built up between you and the outside world, learning how to slowly let down your guard and share your journey with those around you will make it easier to reach your goals. One of the best aspects of treatment is the opportunity to meet other people who are facing similar challenges. By connecting with others and getting to know your peers, it becomes possible to build a personal support network of people who can help you on the road to recovery.
Create a Wellness Plan. Personal recovery is a journey that involves a person’s mind, body, and spirit. Paying attention to your needs in each of these areas can be very helpful in getting the most out of treatment. Being kind and gentle to your body through eating well, getting enough sleep, and being physically active helps support balance and fights depression and anxiety. Engaging your mind through reading and journaling can help you gain insight about yourself and unwind stress. Taking care of your spiritual needs in a way that personally fulfills you, like meditation or prayer, is also an important aspect of well-being. Creating a wellness plan while you are in treatment can help you feel your best on every level, which will support you in getting the most out of rehab.
Be Honest. Although it can be challenging to open up about many aspects of life, sharing your story can be an incredibly therapeutic experience. Feelings of fear and shame often convince us that we are alone, which leads many people to bottle up difficult emotions, thoughts, and experiences. Being honest about your story helps you let go of a piece of that burden, and it might inspire someone else who is facing the exact same challenge. Treatment is a place to let go of the baggage that has been holding you down and to reach out for help. Being honest with your therapists, peers, and, most importantly, yourself is the first step to getting help.