Keeping Yourself Motivated Throughout Recovery

December 20, 2022

Written By: Lynn C. Santella MSN, RN, CNOR

Overcoming the use of drugs and alcohol and challenging the effects of substance use disorder (SUD) takes a lot of time and effort. There is nothing easy about navigating recovery. With recovery being a lifelong journey, working to maintain motivation for sobriety is essential. There will be both times of great pride and triumph as well as times of stress and doubt throughout each individual’s recovery journey. Employing dedicated strategies for motivation in recovery can facilitate continued healing while helping establish strategies to avoid relapse.

The Challenges of Staying Motivated in Recovery

Navigating sobriety is complicated. Each new step throughout recovery will be met with new challenges and hurdles. For example, the emotional effects of addiction, such as depression, anxiety, and more, can manifest at any stage of recovery – from the first step into detox or after years of participating in outpatient care. Effective recovery plans do not attempt to avoid or push down difficult feelings or stresses but rather create effective plans for coping with them when they manifest.

Navigating urges and cravings, learning to tolerate the stresses of new jobs, repairing relationships, and amending daily routines all take effort. It is normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed at various points. Some may feel stuck or stagnant in their recovery journey if they feel they are not progressing toward their goals at the pace they expected. This is why it is essential to engage in daily recovery strategies to remind an individual of their reasons for pursuing sobriety and to help motivate them to continue pushing toward their next recovery milestone.

Lack of motivation can not only stifle recovery efforts but also increase the chance of relapse. Even if one does not have practiced outlets for new stresses throughout recovery, staying motivated in recovery can keep an individual focused and committed to overcoming any hurdles without turning back to the use of drugs or alcohol.

Employing Daily Practices for Staying Motivated in Recovery

Motivation can be a difficult resource to manage in recovery. However, the most effective motivating forces are things that can be used every day. Making regular use of personalized strategies can ensure that each person is constantly able to engage in effective motivational outlets throughout even the most difficult or unexpected of challenges.

Practice Journaling

Journals are an incredible recovery tool for any stage of recovery. For some, using journals to chronicle experiences can be instrumental in identifying new stresses and strategies. Others can use journals to document their successes or gratitude, reinforcing the fruits of their recovery efforts and motivating them to continue on this successful path.

Using journals to look back on how far an individual has truly come, view the evolution of their goals, and take pride in these accomplishments can help break through feelings of stagnation that may be present throughout recovery.

Use Motivational Reminders

Stress can occur at any time, whether a person is in their own home or out and about. Keeping a slip of paper with a mantra in a purse or wallet can ensure that an individual is never far from motivational inspiration or reminders of their journey. Setting a phone wallpaper with inspirational photos can be a tool for reinforcement and motivation. There are also several apps that can send daily motivational texts to a person’s phone, helping each individual wake up with motivational and positive language to start the day.

Pay Attention to Sleep

Sleep is important. However, it can also be difficult to establish effective sleep routines in recovery. Feelings of anxiety and depression can interfere with an individual’s development of an effective, consistent sleep routine. Going to bed at the same time every night and avoiding things like caffeine before bed can help an individual ensure they are well-rested for the following day. Exhaustion and fatigue can compromise a person’s ability to tend to responsibilities or start the day off right, all of which can have detrimental effects on their daily energy and motivation.

Keep Daily Goals

Having overarching goals is crucial for recovery. But supplementing these goals with simpler, daily missions is essential for managing motivation. Accomplishing daily tasks, such as eating a healthy meal, tending to responsibilities, making it to work on time, or engaging in effective self-care practices, can all be effective daily goals. These regular accomplishments can reinforce how an individual is always making progress in their recovery while providing structure to their daily sober lifestyle.

There is no accomplishment that is “too small” to reward. Having smaller rewards for accomplishing these daily goals is instrumental in fostering motivation and continued success. Even small steps can have a profound impact on an individual’s emotional health and can motivate each individual to continue pushing toward a healthier, sober future. 

Motivation is a crucial part of your recovery journey. Getting the right support throughout detox, residential, and intensive outpatient care is vital for lasting sobriety. We at Buena Vista Recovery understand the need to not only engage with pertinent, proven recovery strategies but also manage your motivation to continue pushing toward your next sober milestones. We offer an array of personalized strategies to ensure that you never feel stuck in your journey, helping you set effective goals while providing resources, individualized care, and more to help you balance your recovery efforts, motivation, and self-care routines. For more information on how we can help you stay motivated throughout your recovery journey, call to speak to us today at (480) 741-9414.