How To Make Lent Habits Permanent In Addiction Recovery
Some people find Lent to be a great opportunity to practice sobriety. But many who give up substance use during this period can find it difficult to carry the practice into the rest of the year.
Others may already be in addiction recovery, and used Lent as a time to give up things that distracted them from recovery — social media, talking to people associated with drug use, etc. — or pick up habits to promote growth and recovery.
Here are some practical suggestions on how to keep the momentum you gained from Lent going far into the future.
Practical Tips For Making Lent Habits Permanent
Being sober during Lent may have presented some challenges, but staying the course for longer will likely need long-term changes to habits, all while experiencing cravings and social pressures.
Read on for suggestions on how to continue to change your relationship with substance use.
Recognize Your Progress
As always, one of the best ways to make progress is to look at how far you’ve come. Reflect on your experience of giving up substance use and how it made you felt.
Acknowledge and celebrate all of the progress you made during Lent. Even taking one step toward sobriety is a step in the right direction.
Reflect on what practices worked for you during Lent and which didn’t, and use that information to plan improvements to your sobriety process now that Lent is over.
Go To Weekly Therapy
Many people use Lent as a time to start new habits as well in addition to breaking old ones. A great new habit that many people have been adopting in recent years is attending therapy.
Addiction therapy can be a great way to take care of yourself and release unhealthy mindsets that may be holding you back, whether addiction-related or not.
If you vowed to go to therapy once a week during Lent and found it beneficial for your addiction recovery process, consider committing to weekly or biweekly sessions moving forward.
Continuing past the end of those 40 days will encourage even more growth, and may be key to staying sober long into the future.
Attend Church Or Another Community Gathering
For people who believe in religion, going to church may have been an essential aspect of committing to habits of Lent and a relationship with God.
Maintaining or increasing your church visits can be a great way to keep up your goals. Studies have found increased coping and lower levels of anxiety associated with spirituality and faith.
If you do not identify with faith or want to explore other non-religious groups, you can find a similar sense of structure and community in book clubs, volunteer groups, sports teams, and more.
Contact A Friend Once A Week
Consider scheduling a weekly call or meeting with a friend or a group of friends. This could be a trusted person or group of people who understand what you’re going through.
Having a scheduled time to meet with them will give you something to look forward to, and easier access to people who can gently hold you accountable if needed.
Avoid Triggers And Practice Self-Care
Knowing how best to avoid your triggers can be crucial in recovery. During Lent, you may have given up some of these triggers to focus on faith, sobriety, or recovery.
Self-care will be an essential part of helping you to recover from this emotional work.
Activities of self-care can include:
- gratitude journaling
- other practices of psychological wellness
Limit Social Media
A common vice to give up during Lent is social media. Many find this a very useful exercise for a variety of reasons, including helping with sobriety.
Photos of substance use by friends and family are very common across social media. The people who share these mean no harm, but nevertheless, it can be triggering.
Consider limiting social media to improve your mental health and keep the momentum of sobriety going.
Go To AA Or NA Meetings
According to a study on religion’s role in addiction recovery, 73% of addiction treatment programs in the U.S. include a spirituality-based element, initially popularized by AA.
Community is an incredibly important part of any religion. Likewise, this community is important to sobriety. It provides a source of support, acceptance, love, and understanding.
Addiction Treatment At Recovering Champions
Our treatment center provides a lasting community of care and support. As Lent comes to a close, if you or a loved one is in need of substance abuse treatment, call us today.
Recovering Champions Editorial Team
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This page does not provide medical advice.