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The road to addiction recovery holds various challenges. You already know that the outcome for your health, stability, and relationships will be more than worth it. This doesn’t always make the hurdles you face any easier to overcome. Your best solution is often to gather a solid set of recovery tools and mechanisms.
The benefits of rehabilitation and support groups are pretty well explored. But a lot of people living with addiction overlook how their surroundings can be an important factor. Where you live and the atmosphere of your home are daily influencers of your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As such, some mindful adjustments here can enhance your living space’s value as an addiction recovery tool.
Let’s take a look at how you can practically create a healing home environment that supports your journey toward recovery.
Utilize Community Assistance
Your home isn’t just composed of the building and decor. It’s also the community you have around you. This is an important consideration when going through addiction recovery. The most effective place to live isn’t necessarily a place in which you are isolated from the world. It can be wise to seek a community designed to support your needs.
If you’re newly out of rehabilitation, sober living housing options can help you avoid relapse by providing a sense of stability. This can be a temporary solution, such as halfway houses that empower you with a steady transition to full independence. Many of these are communities with integrated 12-step programs and support systems to help you maintain employment. Though if you’re looking for something more permanent, it can be smart to search for rental properties with nearby access to support groups and sponsors.
Access to good community experiences can be dependent on the area of the country you live in, as well. It may be the case that the healthiest thing for you is to move away from the community enabling your addictive behavior. However, it’s important to research areas that can fill the void with positive influences.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a search tool to locate treatment programs, groups, and behavioral health resources in different locations. It can also be helpful to find an area with community initiatives connecting those in recovery with volunteer projects. This can provide a positive focus for your energy and help you gain mutual support by connecting with other people living with similar experiences and challenges.
Once you’ve secured a home, it’s important to adopt practices to maintain it. This is not intended to be a patronizing tip — you’re not purposely going to mistreat your space — but it’s also a reality that cleaning and repair needs can get out of hand, particularly if you’re living alone and handling other aspects of your recovery. Keeping your home organized may not always seem like the first priority in your life but it is a useful practice to adopt on your recovery journey.
This is because a cluttered home environment can negatively influence your state of mind. It can contribute to your experiences of anxiety, and growing feelings of dread, and in some cases can result in obsessive behavior. These are certainly not elements conducive to a healthy recovery from addiction.
As such, it’s worth implementing measures to keep your belongings and surroundings in an easy-to-control state. This doesn’t mean you can’t have some personal belongings, but taking a moment once a month or so to assess and remove unnecessary items can be liberating. It’s important to dispose of your clutter in a responsible fashion rather than simply add it to the landfill. Consider giving items away to friends, donating to charity, and recycling old electronics. This means you get to keep your home in check while having a positive impact on the world.
It can also be wise to formalize a structured schedule of cleaning for yourself. Taking an organized approach to your home maintenance does more than get your home in a presentable state. It also gives an additional sense of control over these practices. This can relieve the psychological pressure of having to remember to clean or play catch-up when you fall behind. Not to mention it mitigates the potential to feel additional shame from things getting out of hand.
Among the most effective healing elements you can incorporate into your healing home life are examples of nature. Certainly, taking regular walks in local parks or green spaces is beneficial to your recovery. It gets you outdoors and exercising. But there’s no reason this should be limited to your external life. Bring nature into your personal space.
This can begin with the simple introduction of some house plants. For some people living with addiction, this can feel like a huge responsibility. After all, you’re caring for another life alongside managing your sobriety. However, on a psychological level, it can be a great focus. You’ll learn to attend to its needs in similar ways that you need to attend to your own; carefully and with patience. You and your plants are also mutually beneficial to one another’s health.
Once you’re confident with houseplants, it can be positive to move on to starting a vegetable garden. The mental health benefits of gardening are well-known, promoting exercise and disrupting reliance on technology for entertainment. It can also aid your recovery by naturally raising your serotonin levels and reinforcing your positive sense of connection to the world. Many people find there is a sense of pride in the achievement of being able to cultivate their own food. You’ll find growing healthy produce for your meals helps your ongoing holistic wellness, too.
It’s important to remember that growing vegetables or any other gardening doesn’t mean you need a yard. Even an apartment can be a suitable place to cultivate examples of the natural world. Window boxes on balconies, jars on your windowsill, and a few plant pots on bookshelves can be sufficient. The important thing is to surround yourself with the positive healing presence of plant life so you can bolster your recovery process.
Addiction recovery is a challenging experience. One of the most effective healing tools at your disposal is your home environment. Finding a healing home environment and a solid community location can ensure you have the support you need to navigate the difficulties ahead. Keeping your home clean and organized helps you manage symptoms of anxiety and clear your headspace. Finding opportunities to fill your home with nature offers a focus for your attention and helps you to maintain a healthy diet. Your home is more than just the place to keep all your stuff. When you commit to making positive adjustments in your healing home, it empowers you to thrive beyond addiction.