How Sober Living Can Improve Your Mental Health

How Sober Living Can Improve Your Mental Health

Sober living has two meanings to it. Outsiders may see it as someone who is clean or trying to get clean after a substance addiction. But it’s also the term used to describe an environment in which that person is supported and encouraged on their path to clean — or sober —  living.

When you’re trying to overcome the dangers of addiction, whether you’ve already gone through a treatment program or are beginning an outpatient program, who you’re around and where you live matters. 

In an ideal world, everyone around you would be on board with your recovery efforts, strengthening your resolve and helping you get healthy. But that’s not always the case, and negative environments can play havoc on your mental health. Instead of staying in those places and backsliding with your recovery, you can stay in a sober recovery home.

How does sober living work, and how can it improve your mental health? We’ll explain those answers here.

1. Understanding Sober Living

We’re not going to sugarcoat it. For most recovering addicts, the battle to stay clean happens day by day, and sometimes it’s minute-by-minute. 

When addictive substances are hard to get your hands on, it’s easier to get through the cravings. Now imagine trying to say no to something your brain is begging for during your withdrawal and transition period when it’s offered to you frequently or available right around the corner. It makes it much more likely that you’ll relapse.

This probability is why many people choose to spend their post-treatment time in a sober living community, such as Studio 64 Recovery. It’s a facility where residents live while trying to transition into their new, clean lives. Each person there makes a commitment to stay alcohol and drug-free and has either already completed inpatient drug rehab or is going through outpatient programming.

In short, you’re surrounded by your peers who have similar goals and understand your struggles. You have an on-site support network to help you through the mental and physical obstacles that are inherent after quitting an addiction.

As you’re learning habits and routines and attempting to assimilate into your new identity, this support makes your success more achievable.

2. The Benefits of Sober Living

Finding a sober living community is advantageous for everyone trying to stay clean. It’s possible to live there during your outpatient treatment program, or you can move into these residences after you finish a program. 

Sober living areas range from single-family homes with a senior resident in charge to monitored, supervised, and integrated. Each category includes an emphasis on independence, life skills development, and transitioning back into society.

Since one of the main challenges to a recovering addict’s mental health is getting their basic needs met, a sober living home takes this worry away. Those living there are all in the same season of life, making it easier to feel understood and accepted.

Life in a sober living home gives you the structure you need to rebuild daily habits, recover physically from the damage of substance abuse, and get access to therapists and professionals who can help you transition.

3. Your Progress Doesn’t Have to Be Linear

Perfectionists expect progress to be linear. You move forward, and any step backward is a failure. But in sober living homes, everyone understands that progress might be two steps forward and three steps back, and that’s okay.

Your progress in recovery is important, of course, and the goal is to have you ready to enter society on your own. However, as long as you’re in the treatment program or in a sober living community that allows you to stay there after treatment is over, you have the benefits of this program.

Success is monitored through factors like drug tests, clinical milestones, and your life skills while living in the home. Many experts suggest staying there for three months or longer.

Your mental health recovery is usually slower than your physical recovery, and your progress can be scattered. Staying in a sober-living environment during this delicate time lets you put your focus on relearning healthy habits and how to take care of yourself and participate in society.

Conclusion

If you’re in an addiction treatment program or have already gone through one, you’ve likely received counseling about the benefits of a sober living environment. You’ll need a referral from your treatment provider and possibly other sources. 

If you’re on the fence about taking their suggestions regarding sober living, consider your mental health. This move could be the short-term solution that propels you forward into a successful, addiction-free future.

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