Moving to a transitional living facility can be a significant undertaking, but it may be the best thing you can do after addiction treatment. You may not be ready to move back to your former living arrangements and resume your routine so soon after the initial phase of recovery. The risk of relapse is greater when exposed prematurely to the environment and lifestyle that led to your substance abuse.
Sober living residences provide a near-normal drug and alcohol-free environment and prepare newly recovering individuals to live independently. Transitional living offers significant health benefits but also comes with a few challenges.
Read on for the benefits and challenges of transitional living and tips on making the transition go more smoothly.
Health Benefits Of Transitional Living
- Reduced Risk Of Relapse
One of the main benefits of transitional living is relapse prevention. The risk of relapse is significantly reduced in a safe and stable environment without drugs and alcohol. A study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that even the most motivated individuals find it extremely challenging to stay on track in recovery in a living environment that encourages drug and alcohol use.
In addition, the structured environment in sober living residences can help you sustain an addiction-free life. Accredited facilities like West Coast Recovery Centers offer various support services to help you develop a positive mindset and acquire coping skills in preparation for living independently.
- Improved Physical Health
Transitional living is a great way to get back on your feet. The program provides a safe place to live while you work toward self-sufficiency and stability. The program also includes access to medical care and other services designed to help you stay healthy.
Physical health is essential because it can impact your mental health and happiness. When dealing with physical ailments, people are likely to experience emotional stress, which can lead to depression or anxiety.
Physical health issues can also lead to financial stress, making it difficult for people to pay their rent or other bills if they’re not working or receiving disability payments. More than helping you stay sober, a transitional living program promotes your overall health and wellness.
- Enhanced Mental Health
Opting for transitional living means that you’ve made some significant changes in your life, and it’s likely that you’ll be making more. Building social connections is one of those changes that can benefit your mental health and, ultimately, your addiction recovery.
It’s essential to rebuild your social network and connect with sober people, such as those from your support group or group therapy sessions. You can forge deeper connections with these people because they have experienced your struggles and can relate to what you’re going through. Furthermore, support group members can motivate each other to stay committed to sobriety and recovery.
Transitional living also fosters a healthy lifestyle through recreational and mindful activities that can help recovering individuals cope with life’s stresses.
Challenges Of Transitional Living
- Establishing A New Routine
One of the challenges of transitional living is establishing new routines. It’s easy to fall into old habits unless you replace them with healthy and productive ones. To make this work, you must be intentional about making changes. Here are some tips to make it happen:
- Schedule Your Day: One way to establish a new routine is by scheduling your day. Doing so will help you stay on track with what needs to be accomplished and when it needs to be completed. It also makes you feel like you have more control over your life, which can be empowering and fulfilling.
- Start Small: If establishing a new routine seems overwhelming, consider starting small. Focus on one or two essential things that contribute to the attainment of your long-term goals. Once those become part of your routine, add another item or two until you start doing them without conscious thought. It’s a gradual process that works best when it’s slow and steady rather than fast and hard.
This can be a time for self-reflection and learning about yourself. It’s crucial to take time for yourself during this transition, so schedule time for some fun.
- Living With Others
If you’re used to having your own space, sharing a room with one or more roommates can be an adjustment. Start by being open and honest about what you’re looking for in a roommate and what you can provide. You may want to share a room with someone with similar interests and goals or someone with a vibrant and pleasant personality.
If you have trouble getting along with your roommates, try to work out any issues by talking them through. If that doesn’t work, speak to the staff about ways they can help resolve the situation, such as mediation.
Some people find that living with others helps them make lasting friendships and connections that strengthen their sense of community. However, others feel overwhelmed by having so many people around them all the time. You must feel comfortable in your living situation before committing yourself to it.
- Developing New Habits
Developing a new habit can be challenging. It takes time, effort, and consistency to establish healthy habits. It’s no secret that the more times you do a specific behavior, the more likely you’ll repeat it in the future.
One of the best ways to develop a new habit is by creating an environment where it’s easy for you to do what you’ve set out to do. For example, if you want to start exercising but find yourself making excuses, then make sure you lay your workout clothes out the night before so that when you wake up, all you have to do is put them on and go straight out the door.
- Take A Break From The Past
The past is over, and you can’t change it. But you can learn from your past mistakes and use that knowledge as a springboard for wiser choices for a better future.
You’ll be stuck in the past forever if you continually revisit it with regret or remorse. It’s time to take a break from the past and move on with your life.
- Stay Positive
Staying positive is one of the most important things you can do while staying in a sober living residence. A positive mindset and healthy attitude can aid in your recovery by helping reduce the risk of relapse. It can also help ease the pain and stress brought on by your situation.
Here are some ways you can stay positive:
- Focus On What Is Working Well In Your Life: If something is going well, focus on it to appreciate it more. If something has not gone as planned or expected, give yourself time to think about it and devise a solution. Try not to dwell on things that don’t work out as expected because this will make you feel negative about everything else in your life.
- Do Something Fun: Find time for leisurely activities that bring joy into your life, such as watching movies or playing games with family or friends. This can make you relax and avoid stress, helping you maintain a positive outlook despite life’s challenges.
Be mindful about breaking a negative pattern of thinking, so you can focus on getting stronger physically and emotionally.
- Take It One Day At A Time
Taking it one day at a time is a good way for people to tackle major life goals. The idea is that you don’t try to think too far into the future because it can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on what you need to do today and then take care of whatever needs to be done tomorrow when it comes along.
This can make any goal a little less daunting and spell a big difference in how you feel about your life. If you look at each day and do what needs to be done, you will find that life gets easier over time. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be bumps along the way, but if you focus on taking one day at a time, those bumps will become more manageable as time goes on.
Taking your addiction recovery one day at a time requires a daily commitment to sobriety. It’s a sacred promise to yourself that you will not give in or give up despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges. It also means being grounded in the present moment, focusing on the here and now instead of lamenting the past and worrying about the future.
Transitional living bridges the gap between inpatient or residential addiction treatment and independent living. The program provides a safe, structured, and substance-free environment, reducing the risk of relapse and helping recovering individuals adopt a healthier mindset and lifestyle.
You’ll be most vulnerable after the initial stage of your recovery, and you may not be ready to resume your normal routine in an unsafe environment. Sober living residences provide a solid support system and prepare you for the challenges of independent, addiction-free living.