The role that social connections play in recovery is vital. Humans thrive on having meaningful connections with each other and feeling that they’re important to someone. The quality of those connections is key in recovery, so this could mean going through the painful process of cutting some people out of your life. As painful as it might be, it can help you find and cultivate healthy relationships with people who are supportive of your recovery.
Connection in recovery
One of the most powerful motivators for seeking social connection in recovery is the desire to stave off loneliness. It’s a well-known fact that loneliness can be a significant risk factor for relapse. People in recovery who lack social interactions begin to feel isolated, bored and lonely, which can threaten their recovery.
Having authentic connections with even a small group of friends can provide immense mental health benefits. This is because forming close connections helps add meaning and purpose to your life in recovery. Social relationships can actually play various roles by also being members of your sober support network. These may include:
- A. sponsor
- Recovery community peers
- Facebook group members
- Sober meet-up groups
- People you work out with at a sober gym
- Group therapy peers
- Friends from online recovery forums
- Family members
- Close friends
Although it does take some effort to cultivate close connections and friendships, the part they will play in helping you during recovery is immense.
How to thrive in recovery
The building blocks of a healthy and sustained recovery are multi-faceted, each adds to the finished product. These essential building blocks will make it easier for you to thrive in recovery:
- Social connections: Even a small number of quality friendships can greatly enhance your sense of self-worth. Shared experiences, laughter or tears can bond people together in a meaningful way. When you feel valued, you are more likely to continue pursuing sobriety.
- Purpose: People feel empowered when they reach new goals in life. Setting realistic goals to work towards and achieving them can ignite a renewed sense of purpose. Participating in volunteer activities can also provide you with a sense of purpose.
- Health and wellness: Nurturing your physical and mental health fuels your recovery efforts. You can improve your wellbeing by establishing healthy habits, like getting daily exercise, eating a nutritious diet and improving your sleep quality.
- Sobriety support: A sober support network helps you find people who truly care about your recovery goals. These people provide priceless contributions to your own efforts. These can include your sponsor, your 12 Step recovery group, your therapist, and anyone who genuinely wants to see you succeed in recovery.
- Positivity: Our state of mind has a powerful influence on every aspect of our being. To thrive in recovery, it’s critical that you adopt a positive mindset. Positivity is what gets you out of bed each morning and propels you ahead with the promise of a new day and its blessings.
- Stress control: Stress is a very common trigger for relapse. Learning how to manage stress levels can give you the best chance at success in recovery . There are many relaxation techniques available, like meditation, yoga, deep breathing, relaxing music, massage and aromatherapy.
- Spirituality: Take some time to When the spiritual side of our nature is connected with our Higher Power, we feel that we’re never alone. Spirituality, however you define it, enhances our sense of purpose and improves our overall wellbeing.
Social connections are essential in addiction recovery. Expand your social circle and widen your support network by finding sober groups and activities to participate in. This will open the door to developing new friendships with others who prioritize sobriety, just like you do.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.