Life in recovery poses a unique set of challenges. Old self-destructive habits were sabotaging your happiness and comprising your life. Substance abuse was an all-consuming motivator and now that you are clean and sober, life may feel different and overwhelming.
It is normal to go through an adjustment period where you are finding your feet in recovery. You may feel intimidated by social activities that involve alcohol and may feel that you are losing out on all the fun. It is important to take time to reflect here; to realise that ‘fun’ didn’t really last all that long, and it drove you to a very dark place.
To get your life on track, you need to direct your energy and focus on something positive and life affirming. Learn new habits, take up new hobbies and challenge yourself. True recovery means taking ownership of your own happiness.
Cape Town has a number of world-class rehab centres that boast highly successful treatment plans as well as a chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Cape Town is fast becoming a destination for rehab tourism. Luxury private rehabs offer competitive rates, access to excellent therapy and a chance to experience a new country.
If you are new to recovery, here are a few tips to keep you on the right track.
Take Care of Yourself
Treat yourself to something special. Go for a manicure, a massage, read a book. The simple things matter. You have a responsibility to yourself to look after your health and your body. This does not necessarily mean a punishing gym routine or embarking on a very strict diet, it means finding out what works for you. It means taking time to prepare healthy, nutritive meals and engage in regular exercise that you can include in your schedule. Use it as an opportunity to unwind and relax.
Allow Yourself to Dream
You came to rehab knowing something needed to change, this is your opportunity to put that change in motion. Cognitive therapy and life coaching can be a big help in identifying opportunities and creating achievable objectives in your life. Personal development is an important part of creating a meaningful life in recovery.
Spend Time With Family And Make New Friends
Recovery and healing do not exist in a vacuum. Trust and relationships need time to heal but your family are a valuable part of your support structure. Continue with family or couples therapy, communication is key to preventing relapse but also strengthening relationships. It is equally important to make new friends that share the same mindset as you. Your old friends may simply have been ‘drug buddies’ who had a negative influence on you. Seek out people who build you up, not break you down.
Go on An Adventure
If you want to meet like-minded people, opt for a guided tour. There are a number of tour operators that offer a range of sober, exciting excursions in and around Cape Town which will help you appreciate your sobriety and teach you mindfulness. Mindfulness in recovery helps addicts and alcoholics deal with cravings, compulsive urges and difficult to handle emotions like fear, depression, anxiety and pessimism. Mindfulness teaches one to develop the capacity to better understand our emotions, what emotions we are attached to that decrease our resistance. Attachment to negative emotions locks us in a cycle of regret, blame and ultimately hopelessness.
Recovery is not a race. It’s not a competition. It is the opportunity to unlock your true potential.
With its plethora of physical activities to enjoy, Cape Town offers a multitude of opportunities to get the blood going, sweat it out, recentre or simply unwind. Visitors can take part in anything from kayaking to mountain climbing, kloofing, swimming, diving, fishing, horse riding, whale-watching, paragliding, trail running, yoga on the beach and more.
Offset your recovery by going horse riding on the beach, cycling on the promenade, hiking with your pooch, visiting a farmer’s market, kayaking with penguins, cherry picking, sipping tea in the park, sailing on a luxury yacht, doing the acrobranch, going mountain biking, riding a jetski, relaxing on a secret beach, visiting a night market, going sandboarding on the dunes, racing a drone, swimming in a tidal pool, doing an overnight hike, going kloofing, snorkelling with seals, hiking Table Mountain, tandem paragliding, exploring a cave, braaing on the beach or going camping.
The majestic wildlife right in Cape Town’s backyard from roaring lions to gentle giraffes add to it being one of the world’s most iconic recovery destinations. Closer to home, the urban jungle offers an array of species from dassies to quagga, whales, penguins, seals, baboons and flamingos.