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100 Tips for Building a Strong Recovery

100 Tips for Building a Strong Recovery

By The Hope Team

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recovery

Giving up alcohol or drugs puts you on the road to a better future, but you have to keep on taking positive action in order to progress. Here are a 100 tips to help you build a strong sobriety following addiction:

  1. Be grateful for your recovery, this increases the likelihood you will remain clean and sober
  2. Look at each new day as a fresh start
  3. Get up before your addiction does, bright and early
  4. Drink a glass of water when you get up
  5. Aim for progress – not perfection: the only thing you are expected to do is try your best.
  6. Be willing and eventually it will happen.
  1. Do something positive daily: this can be like planting positive karma seeds that will blossom.
  2. Live in the present moment, don’t waste too much energy thinking about the past or future.
  3. Use tools like mindfulness so you are not controlled by your thoughts and emotions
  1. Avoid the tendency to isolate specially when your mood is low.
  2. Learn to listen to your intuition or higher self – this leads to happiness and fulfilment.
  3. Stretch yourself and leave your comfort zone: this develops you.
  4. Reduce the time you spend around negative people.
  5. Think of failure as part of a process – the only real failureis not trying.
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  1. Develop self-compassion so you can be your own best friend.
  2. Replace the negative self talk with positive and inspiring thoughts – ‘I can do this’.
  3. Learn to self-soothe rather than beating yourself up when you make mistakes.
  4. Get the support you need from fellowship groups of any kind.
  5. Reduce expectations on others – nobody is perfect.
  1. Try to be understanding rather than to be understood.
  2. Blog about recovery: this can strengthen your sobriety and help others.
  3. Happiness is not about what you can get – its appreciating what you have.
  4. Aim to be the first to apologise in an argument.
  5. Write a daily journal.
  1. Treat difficult times as periods of growth – keep in mind the words of AA founder Bill Wilson, “no personal calamity is so crushing that something true and great can’t be made of it”.
  2. Have a plan for dealing with relapse triggers hunger,anger, loneliness, and tiredness – HALT
  3. Learn about the relapse process so you can be aware of warning signs in your behaviour.
  4. Practice healthy morning routines: yoga or meditation, and get the day off to a good start.
  5. Understand the importance of nutrition: A balanced diet is the key to a strong sobriety – avoid comfort eating.
  1. Get some exercise every day even if it is only a 20 minute walk.
  2. Avoid rigid thinking, seeing things as black or white: This limits your opportunities in life.
  3. Get involved in some type of volunteer service – this will supercharge your sobriety.
  4. Do service at a fellowship meeting.
  5. If you make a mistake, own up to it quickly.
  6. Don’t waste your time blaming other people for your mistakes – instead just think about how you could have done things differently.
  7. If someone hurts you, use it as an opportunity to practice compassion.
  8. Don’t expect any special treatment from life just because you have given up alcohol or drugs.
  1. Don’t insist that your way is the only right way to recover from addiction – as Bill Wilson once explained “the roads to recovery are many”.
  2. Always be willing to change your beliefs or opinions if it could mean improving your life.
  3. Lighten up and have fun – don’t take yourself so seriously.
  4. Realise that admitting to your limitations, or gaps in knowledge, is a strength and not a weakness.
  5. Try not to judge other people too harshly – most of us are just trying our best with the cards we have been dealt.
  6. Value human relationships above all else.
  1. Don’t worry about what other people think of you because you can never actually know what they think.
  2. Let go of the idea of ever being able to drink or use drugs again in the future – so long as you hold this door open,sobriety will always be a bit of a struggle
  3. Don’t romance the drink or drug – combat these thoughts that glamorise substance abuse by remembering how bad it was.
  4. Try praying sometimes even if you don’t believe in God –it can be a great comfort.
  5. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself to achieve your goals.
  6. Have a mantra to help keep you focussed.
  1. Create a mission statement reflecting your meaning and purpose in life.
  2. Understand the most important thing you can do to make the world a better place is to be a better person.
  3. Self fulfilling prophecy: expect good things to happen in the future, this will keep you motivated to do the necessary work to cause these good things to happen.
  4. The best way to overcome worry and anxiety is to take action.
  5. Accept compliments because these can boost your motivation.
  6. Don’t rely on other people for validation – believe in yourself.
  7. Write letters to yourself in the future (one year, five years, ten years, and twenty years) as this can help you clarify your goals – the website is perfect for this.
  1. The occasional ‘bad day’ is normal, but if things are persistently bad, it usually means you need to change something.
  2. Don’t feel ashamed of your years of addiction because it got you to where you are today.
  3. . Understand that often the best you can do to help another person is to fully listen to what they have to say.
  4. Avoid saying negative things about other people – it makes you look bad, and it there is no real benefit to this type of gossip.
  5. It is good to have goals in recovery but understand the most amazing things in your future are going to be completely unexpected.
  6. Don’t spend all of your life waiting to happy – remember the warning of John Lennon “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.
  1. Understand that you can only experience love to the extent that you are willing to open your heart – if you don’t riskbeing hurt, it is hard to experience real love.
  2. Try to recapture the sense of awe about the world that you experienced as a child.
  3. Accept that there may not be clear answers to the bigquestions in life, but you can learn to enjoy the mystery of it all.
  4. Lighten your load in life by learning to forgive – if you want other people to forgive your past mistakes, you need to be willing to do the same for them.
  5. See the word as a magical place – the fact that we are here at all is already amazing.
  6. Develop your spiritual life – this doesn’t mean you have to become religious, just walking in nature can be spiritual.
  7. Accept that things are going to hardly ever turn out exactly as you planned, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing– in fact, what the universe gives you may often be much better than what you originally wanted.
  8. Don’t spend more than a couple of hours a day watching TV.
  1. Delay any decision to relapse by at least one day and use this time to seek advice and support – if 24 hours passes, and you are still thinking of relapse, delay for another day.
  2. Understand how good nutrition and exercise can help manage symptoms of depression.
  3. Know that the only way to stay on track in life is to be willing to admit it when you get lost.
  4. Always be quick to forgive yourself after you mess up, but don’t waste time making excuses or trying to justify bad behaviour – your job is to learn and grow.
  5. Enjoy a balance of hobbies, interests, and activities in sobriety, so you don’t become too obsessed with one of them.
  6. Try to have at least one regular physical activity in your life, so you are not always stuck inside your thoughts.
  7. Try to read one book every month – this will expand your universe.
  8. Don’t resist your feelings because this is what causes most of your pain – if you are feeling sad don’t make things worse by feeling guilty about being sad.
  1. Make large goals more manageable by breaking them down into smaller goals – use rewards for achieving each stage as a way to keep you motivated.
  2. It is recommended you avoid making more major changes to your life in the first year of recovery (e.g. moving house or starting a new romantic relationship).
  3. If you are unemployed stay positive and keep looking for work – persistence pays off.
  4. Understand that what is often needed is that you change your perspective on a situation rather than trying to change the situation.
  5. Remember the serenity prayer – “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
  6. Build up a network of sober friends – if you are in a fellowship group, collect phone numbers and email addresses.
  7. Try to always say ‘yes’ to new experiences and opportunities.
  8. Remember that so long as you are clean and sober, you are doing something right.
  9. Always be willing to ask for help when you need it because this is the key to success.
  10. Don’t pray for an easier life – pray for more effective tools for coping with difficulties.
  1. Learn to rejoice in the achievements of other people.
  2. Understand that you learn far more from listening than you ever will be talking.
  3. Devote at least 20 minutes each day to relaxation.
  4. If you are starting to feel fed up with fellowship meetings,try going to different groups
  5. Don’t bother with excuses for why you can’t do something– only focus on solutions.
  6. Never take your recovery for granted because it puts you at higher risk of relapse.
  7. Learn to delay gratification – the best rewards in life oftenrequire a bit of sacrifice initially.
  8. Develop positive habits because then doing the right things becomes effortless.
  9. Develop a beginner’s mind so that you are always able to learn new things.
  10. Understands that most of your limitations are put there by you.
  11. If you are able to let go a little in life, your life will improve a little – if you are able to let go a lot, your life will improve a lot.
  12. Never stop trying to achieve your dreams – don’t give up before the miracle happens.

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