Did you know?
It takes 21 days to establish a habit.

Overcoming a substance use disorder can take a lifetime to master- and that doesn’t mean addiction recovery is a failed institution- in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

After undergoing drug addiction treatment for a substance use disorder, you still have to fit all the pieces back together to promote a life filled with happiness, fulfillment, and self actualization.

But there’s not a road map. Sometimes we don’t even have a plan.

Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair, and often we get caught up in worrying about what we ought not do instead of positively focusing on the things we can do. 

You are not a slave to your addiction!

Letting go of the past is one of the keys of recovery. Clearing your mind to focus on the things filling you with joy is the best medicine! Obsessing over not using, can actually foment the contrary effect. The more you understand the causes of relapse, the better prepared you are to prevent it altogether!

Below are three healthy habits to adopt when you’re new in recovery- and even if you’ve never been to treatment; focusing on the points outlined below can help you take actionable steps to ridding yourself of substance abuse altogether.

The thing to remember about addiction, is remedying the underlying causes of substance use disorders will set you free- but it’s not enough to identify the roots of abuse, you have to give yourself something else to give voice to the things causing you stress. If using addictive substances or drinking are the only avenues you rely on to relieve stress, you need to arm yourself with healthy, productive ways of coping with everyday life!


Get Active!

If you’re rolling your eyes about yet another section on the benefits of jogging, and getting fit- I’m with you!

But, being physically active is proven to help enhance moods, lift spirits, and combat depression.

When we exercise our body produces “feel good” neurotransmitters in response- we get a type of “natural high.” You don’t have to revert to the storied treadmill if you’d rather go zip lining! There are many forms of getting active, including

  • Daily Yoga
  • Swimming
  • Gardening
  • Martial Arts
  • Nature Hikes
  • Visiting State Parks

Being active is not confined merely to the gym- but of course, going to the gym is an easy way to take care of both your physical and mental health! Getting up and active will help you throughout your entire day!

Immerse Yourself in Your Passions

Don’t waste the energy booned to you from being active, use your forward momentum to make every day a stepping stone to achieving your ultimate goals! Creating measurable, attainable goals is one of the best ways to achieve your dreams and ambitions.


Want to be a writer? Setting a goal of writing a novel right away isn’t reasonable, and may demotivate you from attempting the feat altogether. But if you start out with baby steps (much like recovery) your success is guaranteed! Plan all the baby steps of getting your novel completed, and work everyday to complete at least something.

In terms of writing a novel, or a memoir about your life in recovery you’ll need to read books in your intended genre, do research on how to best approach your topic, outline your book with chapters and talking points, and then get to writing! (Of course this is a simplified version of writing a novel, but you get the idea!)

Always shoot for what’s attainable. For instance: it may make more sense to start with mini eBooks about your topic of interest, as opposed to tackling a 700 page book.

There are contests for literally everything under the sun, poetry, monologues, art, music, racing- you name it, there’s a contest for it. If you want to get out and meet new people with similar interests, following your passions will put you in the environments you want to be in!

Go Out & Meet New People


If you’re not quite sure how to go about following your passions and immersing yourself into hobbies, follow the people who do!

There’s nothing like being in an atmosphere full of people who enjoy doing the same things as you do! Facilitating environments of success is essential to pave the way towards lasting sobriety and happiness! Instead of sequestering yourself from all of your old friends (who may not be ideal for you to hang around, because they are still engaging in the activity you are abstaining from) making new connections is essential to help get you out of your house, and into the action!

But what if you’re petrified of getting out there and meeting new people? Or maybe you don’t know where to turn to to expose yourself to a crowd you would get along with:

Meeting new people is all about how you present yourself, and placing yourself in environments where you want to be!

Websites like MeetUp are wonderful resources you can utilize to pinpoint a niche group in your local area to meetup for local events and planned hangouts. If you’re worried about going alone, bring a friend- or even a family member! Remember, many of the people going to MeetUp groups are new too! You can search for every hobby under the sun like snowboarding, yoga, basketball, trading card games, and acting troupes.

But don’t stop there, check out local events, national parks, and free concerts set up by your city or neighboring communities.

If you want a more tangible means of getting out there and meeting people who are dedicated to the same causes you are, visit VoulenteerMatch.org. On Volunteer Match you’re able to devote your time to causes which you think bear meaning. You can work at your favorite animal shelter, or maybe help out at a homeless shelter. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to fill out your resume, meet new people, and make a difference locally!

Let go of what no longer serves you, and adopt the behaviors that will ultimately make you happy!