Easing Back Into Society After Treatment

by Sarah Lockwood

For individuals who are in recovery, finding ways to reconnect with other people can be difficult. You may be worried about running into people from your old life, or perhaps you aren’t sure how to forge ahead with a relationship you really care about now that you’re in recovery. Making positive changes in your life is a big step after leaving a substance treatment program, however, and connecting with others is a great way to start.

It’s important to ease into it. Don’t feel you have to run out and make new friends right away or try to heal an old friendship immediately. These are things that take time, and rushing them may only be detrimental to your mental health. If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, which is common for individuals who are in recovery, it’s imperative to boost your self-esteem and confidence before focusing on anything else. Here are a few ways to get started. 

Work with animals

Working with animals has been shown in studies to reduce stress and even lower blood pressure, so it’s a great pastime or job for those who are in recovery. If you are interested in spending time with a sweet animal while making some cash, consider becoming a dog walker or boarder. As a dog walker, you can help out pet owners in your community who need someone to come in and provide responsible care for their dog while they’re away. Boarders take in animals for short periods of time, for various reasons. The pay is great, and you can limit your interaction with others as much as you need to. For more info on becoming a boarder, click here.

Join a club

Finding others who enjoy the same things you do is a great way to make new bonds and build up your confidence. If you love to read, head to the library and check out the events it has coming up. Art lovers might find a local art gallery or museum and get involved with charity work or an art-appreciation group. If you love to play sports and be active, look online to find out what the YMCA offers as far as team activities go.

Give back

Many individuals in recovery find that giving back to their community is a wonderful way to build up self-esteem while helping others. You might volunteer to spend time with at-risk youth or donate much-needed items to a women’s shelter. If you aren’t ready to jump in to something that big just yet, consider using your resources to help from the comfort of your own home, such as organizing a blood drive or gathering warm clothing or donated cell phones for people in need.

Learn something new

Consider taking a class or looking up some online tutorials to learn something new. This is a great way to boost your self-esteem and give you something to look forward to. You might discover you have a newfound passion for something, or it might even spark the desire to go back to school. You can start small by downloading a language-learning app or go big and sign up for classes at the local community college. Whatever it is, have fun with it and set a goal for yourself.

Easing back into society after leaving a treatment facility is never easy. It can take a toll on you physically, emotionally, and mentally and leave you feeling unsure of yourself and the near future. By taking small steps to figure out what you really want and setting goals for yourself, you can learn how to make healthy decisions for a better life.

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About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.

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