It can be difficult to return to the real world after rehab. In the real world, there are emotional and behavioral triggers that could encourage you to return to your old ways. Keeping your confidence up is the best way to ensure that you do not relapse and are successful after treatment. Here are some tips for keeping your self-esteem high.
1. Build Mastery
The first thing that you are going to want to do when you're out of rehab is to build mastery--or have a sense of accomplishment so that your rational mind is in charge over the emotional mind. According to DBTSelfHelp.com, it is vital to build mastery in basic aspects of life (e.g. balanced sleep, balanced eating habits, etc.) in order to avoid negative emotions.
When you get out of rehab, you might feel incompetent in many areas of your life. You might be starting a challenging job search, having family members check your room to make sure that you are staying sober, and encountering challenges that leave your emotionally wrecked for a few days. In order to keep your self-esteem intact through these challenges, you want to build mastery in other areas. If you are amazing at painting, building with interlocking blocks, cooking, talking to friends, playing video games, etc. do those things. Your talents and hobbies will help you feel more in control and more like you are going to be able to get through your challenges.
At the same time, start something small and new that you will be able to master after a few hours of practice. This will help you show yourself that even if you are incapable of dealing with something at first, that you will eventually get better at it.
2. Metta Meditation
Another way to increase self-esteem after getting out of rehab is to practice metta meditation, a popular Buddhist practice. The idea behind metta meditation is to focus on trying to cultivate benevolence towards a wide range of people. You start with yourself and then move on to someone who is close to you; then you move to a person who you know but don't have any strong feelings about; then you move to someone who you have a hard time with, and lastly, you think about all the people in the world.
Metta meditation helps you focus on the thoughts you have about yourself, other people, and the world around you. By identifying any negative thoughts that you might have, you are able to shut them down and put more emphasis on thoughts that are not going to be damaging to your self-esteem.
3. Write Down Good Things in Your Life
Finally, take a journal and commit to spending every evening writing down three or more good things that have happened to you that day. If you can't think of anything, write down things in your life that you are grateful for, such as your family, your dog, or the fact that you made it through the day without relapse. This will help you realize that there are good things in your life and disprove some of the negative thoughts that you might be having. Doing this makes it easier for you to regain a sense of self-worth.
Talk to a rehab center, like Pacific Ridge, if you need more tips on how to stay on top of your recovery.Share