Guest Post: 4 Tips for Staying Strong in a Recovery Program

Recovering from addiction dredges up uncomfortable emotions. You may experience a sense of shame surrounding your substance use, as well as guilt over problems you have caused.

While these sentiments shouldn’t be ignored, they should not define your recovery. This article outlines four ways to stay positive and focused in a recovery program.

Proven Practices to Help You Stay Strong In a Recovery Program

  • Author: Dorothy Watson of Mental Wellness Center (edited by Cassie Jewell, Blog Author)

1. Take Care of Your Health and Your Happiness

If you want to stay strong during your recovery program, it’s important to take care of your body. A balanced diet helps to maintain your health, and the right foods supply the energy needed to get through what can be a taxing process.

Find activities that are relaxing that also involve low-impact exercise. Take a peaceful walk on a trail to connect with nature or practice yoga to improve your physical condition and enhance overall wellness.

Also, create a calm, serene home environment. Start by getting rid of clutter. Clutter contribute to stress and anxiety. What’s more, clutter disrupts the flow of energy in your home. Make it a point to get organized!

2. Find Ways to Manage Your Feelings

Emotions are overwhelming in recovery. Facing your addiction is mentally draining, but understanding your substance use disorder is an important step.

Bustle suggests processing emotions as they arise and finding constructive ways to express yourself. By taking control of your feelings, you take control of your recovery.

Seek professional counseling for help with sorting through the messier emotions. To repair relationships, consider family or couples counseling for difficult conversations with loved ones.

3. Discover New Passions in a Recovery Program

In addition to tuning in to body and mind, recovery requires attention to the spiritual self. In a balanced recovery program, feeding your soul is as important as caring for your physical self. Take time to cultivate hobbies that bring you joy. For instance, many find solace in art while others are comforted by writing.

Think about what makes you happy, and dedicate time for these healthy activities on a daily basis. Staying busy also shifts your focus away from cravings or symptoms of withdrawal, and reduces boredom, which can lead to relapse.

4. Connect with Others, but Stay Focused on You

Your relationships with loved ones form a network of support in a recovery program. Reach out to trusted persons when feeling isolated or anxious, but only to those who genuinely support your recovery efforts. Carefully consider all your relationships, and eliminate toxic relationships in your life. Nurture connections that are positive.

If you need this time for yourself, that’s okay too. Recovery is a time for self-reflection and self-care, and neither of those things make you selfish. They foster healing in a recovery program. Don’t feel guilty for keeping the focus on you.


Recovery from substance use involves working through the pain, but it’s a part of the process. By equipping yourself with the right tools, you’ll overcome self-doubt and remain optimistic. Just remember that this is your recovery program and your opportunity to make a lasting change in your life.

Guest Author: Dorothy Watson

Dorothy Watson grew up with a single mother who suffered from bipolar disorder. Her mom wasn’t properly diagnosed until Dorothy was about 12 years old, so she saw her mom struggle for a long time. Since she has seen how hard life can be for people whose mental health hasn’t been properly addressed, she is an advocate for mental wellness. You can learn more at Mental Wellness Center.

Author: Cassie Jewell

Cassie Jewell has a Master's degree in counseling and is a licensed professional counselor (LPC), licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner (LSATP), and board-approved clinical supervisor in Virginia.

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