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5 Ways to Cope With Depression During Recovery
It would be nice if life after addiction was always rosy, but the truth is that everyone encounters experiences that are challenging to overcome. Depression is one of these common challenges that pose a threat to your sobriety by causing you to lose sight of what matters. During your treatment, you learned how to recognize the signs of depression such as prolonged sadness, a lack of interest in your normal activities and feelings of low self-worth. When these symptoms arise, it is important to accept them as a normal part of your healing and take action right away to make sure that you get the help you need to stay on the right path for sobriety.
Assess Your Lifestyle
Sometimes, depression has an identifiable cause, and addressing the reason brings relief. For example, you may have been staying up too late and fatigue has started to wear your spirit down. Alternatively, a major life event may have occurred such as a recent loss that has left you struggling to come to grips with the change. Spending some time assessing the events in your life gives you a starting point for finding the problem that needs to be addressed. It is important to note, however, that depression does not always have an obvious cause. For this reason, it may take professional therapy to help you learn how to regain control over your emotions.
Talk to a Mentor
During treatment, you were surrounded by support in a safe environment, and you may be dealing with depression now that you are forced to live within a world full of triggers. Talk to a sober living mentor about the emotions you are experiencing so that they can offer you ideas for support. Remember, your mentor has been through this before, so being open to their advice will allow them to help you stay sober through this difficult time.
Start a Recovery Journal
It is important to recognize the achievements you have made since you started your sober living journey. Start a journal, and record your successes so that you can refer back to them with gratitude and pride. If you are experiencing negative emotions, then journaling about them is also a great way to find release. Sometimes, putting how you feel on paper is all it takes to feel better.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Addiction takes a toll on your body, and you will continue to experience more energy and happiness as it heals. Until then, focus on eating a nutritious diet, working out and staying engaged in wholesome activities. Physical activity increases endorphins in your brain that lift your mood, and staying busy will keep your mind off of your negative emotions.
Lean On Your Support Network
Depression often makes a person want to isolate themselves, but you need your sober friends and family members now. Be willing to share your problems with those who love you so that you will feel surrounded by support. Remember, each member of your social circle has chosen to help you along on this journey, and their love will help lift the clouds of depression.
It is important to address depression quickly when it occurs during recovery because the negative emotions can weaken your resolve for sobriety. By implementing multiple strategies to battle your depression, you can rebuild the positive mindset you need to remain strong in your recovery.
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By Robert Hunt
Robert Hunt is a recovering addict of 7 years. He has devoted his life to helping others suffering from chemical addictions as well as mental health challenges. Robert maintains many blogs on drug addiction, eating disorders and depression. He is a sober coach and wellness advocate and a prominent figure in the recovery community.
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