Spring Cleaning Your Recovery

Well spring is here once again and it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Admittedly, this isn’t intended to be a Martha Stewart style guide to a clean house, but rather some tips for internal spring cleaning—a little refreshing of the soul.

We all know that addiction doesn’t magically vanish in a matter of days. True sobriety requires a lifestyle of recovery and a daily commitment to personal growth.

Here are some ideas to give your spiritual life a little jumpstart and help you start off this spring strong in your recovery.

1.Write a thank you note.

Gratefulness is key to success in recovery, and a thank-you note is one of the simplest ways to flex your gratitude strength. This spring, push yourself outside your comfort zone and write even when you may not love the gift itself. Challenge yourself to appreciate the thought behind the gift and refocus on the giver. Although it may feel contrived at first, this mental state grows stronger with practice.

2. Share your story.

Sharing your story has tremendous healing power for yourself and for others. Not only does sharing your story decrease your body’s stress response, stories help build intimacy and connection with others. Ultimately, stories link us together and show that we are not alone.

This season, seek opportunities to share your story with a new audience, perhaps an online forum or on a guest blog post.  Add your voice to the many who are trying to break the stigma of addiction and give hope to those who are seeking help.

Sharing your recovery story is the single most courageous and powerful thing you can do to make a difference.

3. Invite the newcomer out for coffee.

Giving back is the 12th step of Alcoholics Anonymous, and it is the culmination of all the previous steps. Modeling, helping, supporting, sharing, serving–this is how you live the program and share it with others.

“The joy of living is the theme of A.A.’s Twelfth Step, and action is its key word. Here we turn outward toward our fellow alcoholics who are still in distress. Here we experience the kind of giving that asks no rewards. Here we begin to practice all Twelve Steps of the program in our daily lives so that we and those about us may find emotional sobriety. When the Twelfth Step is seen in all its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it.” – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 106

4. Forgive someone.

The path to healing and serenity begins and ends with forgiveness, the process of letting go of resentment. Bitterness and resentment destroys more alcoholics than anything else, therefore forgiveness must be a daily routine of our new life of sobriety.  Asides from the benefits to our recovery, research shows that forgiveness aids psychological healing, improves physical health, and restores a victim’s sense of personal power.

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” – Suzanne Somers

5. Attend an alumni event at Duffy’s.

Everyone needs an extra boost of encouragement now and then. Duffy’s aftercare visits can be the perfect opportunity to refresh your spirits and help you refocus on your recovery. Aftercare sessions occur every 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoon of the month, beginning at 1:30, although many guests come early for lunch. For more information about aftercare, give us a call! You know we’re happy to hear from you.

6. Tend a garden.

Since ancient times, the therapeutic benefits of garden environments has been known to increase physical and mental health. Gardens stimulate our senses and provide an outlet for creativity and expression, as well as a place for cultivating beauty and finding serenity. As a relatively low-cost and effective therapeutic hobbies, gardening can be the perfect way to begin your spring season.

“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.” -George Bernard Shaw

7. Eat healthy.

As we mentioned in previous posts, a healthy diet promotes physical and mental healing. Physical health is directly related to the vitality of our spiritual and emotional health, and what we choose to consume has both immediate and long-term results.  Research also shows that good nutrition, combined with the Twelve Step program results in less alcohol craving and a better chance of staying sober.

8. Stay active!

Staying active is one of the best ways to keep boredom at bay, improve physical health, and strengthen relationships with your family or friends. Getting active doesn’t have to be complicated; sometimes, it’s just getting out of the house and doing things, such as walking the dog, gardening, or going downtown with some friends. No matter how busy, we can all do the best we can with the time that we have.

9. Keep a journal.

Even if you are not a big writer, journaling can be an enriching and therapeutic habit. Journaling gives you a mental “time out”, and allows you to meditate and clarify your thoughts and feelings at the end of a day, or the beginning of a new week. Best of all, you can look back at old entries and become encouraged by how far you’ve come.

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” -Christina Baldwin

10. Pick a new hobby.

Addiction used to be a big part of your life, and the void needs to be filled with something meaningful and constructive once the addiction is gone. Recovery is more than just putting away the old; it is a process of rediscovery. Recovery ignite passions and renew interests, from music to rock climbing  to going back to school. Starting a new hobby is a great way to meet new people, express yourself creatively, bolster your recovery, and generally, provide another way to enjoy life.