Many people who struggle with addiction end up in a rehab facility. Some never expected to be there, while others go to one voluntarily or by court order. Regardless, the physical and mental changes that happen during a stay at a treatment center can be difficult to manage. However, there are things patients can do to ease their transition from home life to this new setting and ease the discomfort that comes with it. These steps might not be enough on their own to make rehab a positive experience, but they can make the process more bearable.
Find Your New “Home”
When looking for a new home, you usually start by browsing online listings and checking out some real estate websites. However, your rehab facility isn’t a home in the traditional sense. It’s a safe place where you’re receiving treatment, and some patients find comfort in creating this new living space to feel more at home.
The first thing you should do is look around your room or suite for any decorations that can make it feel more personalized. This might mean posters on the wall of your favorite band, sports team, or movie. Perhaps you want to hang up some photos from home as a reminder of what you’re leaving behind and why you’re in this facility. If there’s any room left over, it might be nice to add some plants or flowers that can brighten up an otherwise drab space.
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Many people who go through treatment claim there’s nothing to do at the facility. It can’t hurt to find something constructive and positive to do with your time. Breaking up such a long stay into manageable chunks of time might also help prevent burnout and teach you how to use your time more effectively. You could start a journal or a scrapbook, learn a new language or take up painting.
If you can’t find something rewarding to do with your free time, ask the staff for suggestions and encourage yourself to participate in social activities like group sessions and community outings.
Stay Connected with Friends and Family
Some addicts choose to go to rehab to get away from their family and friends. This allows them to focus on their recovery without the distractions of these relationships. However, this mindset often makes patients feel more alone in the world when they’re surrounded by others who are also struggling with addiction.
Sending letters or calling home can help you maintain these relationships and feel less isolated. You don’t need to talk about your addiction or treatment unless you want to, but talking with your loved ones over the phone allows you to let them know how you’re doing and show that you care.
Many addicts find it difficult to get up and move around after a long time of staying sedentary during their addiction. But exercise isn’t just good for the body, it’s essential for the mind as well. It helps improve your mood by releasing endorphins and combating feelings of loneliness and isolation.
You can participate in a variety of physical activities at rehab, including yoga, swimming, and hiking. If you’re not busy with such things or don’t feel comfortable doing them alone, start by incorporating more activity into your day-to-day life at the facility. Set a goal to take a walk around the facility, and encourage others to join you on your strolls.
Make New Friends
It’s easy to feel lonely in rehab and become withdrawn from others around you. However, it can be even more difficult to make new friends when everyone comes from different walks of life. You don’t have much in common with this group at first glance, but you can still develop relationships with the people around you.
Start by doing something nice for someone else. Volunteer to help serve food or drinks at mealtime or spend time talking with someone who looks like they could use the company. Eventually, you might find that simply getting to know these people can allow you to relate and connect.
One of the best ways to make a rehab facility feel like home is to find productive and meaningful ways to fill your days. While you might not be able to take a walk in a nearby park or listen to music from your favorite band, there are plenty of activities that can help pass the time and make you feel more at ease.