What you do with your time after leaving the treatment centre can make a great difference in your recovery. The period after leaving the treatment centre can be one of the most challenging in the life of a recovering cocaine user. Even if they’re not faced with the urge to use, they may struggle to find purpose or a place in the world. People who’ve been battling with addiction for years may sober up to a world which seems to have left them behind. With so much time in their hands, it’s only natural for their minds to start to wander.
However, being stuck in your own head isn’t a good idea during this period. With your mind running, it’s quite easy for anxiety to set in. In 2010, a group of psychologists from Harvard conducted an experiment using an app. The app allowed them to check in on 2500 people at various times during the day and check how happy they were. Almost have of the people participating in the study were found to spend their time thinking about something else even if they were doing one thing. The scientists attributed a lack of happiness in the participants to the fact that their minds were constantly wandering. Therefore, you have to realise that while thinking a lot may make you more aware of your feelings, it may also keep you from being happy.
Why Volunteering Matters
There are many ways that you can occupy your time after you leave the rehab clinic. You could try exercising, meditate, spend time with your dog, pray etc. However, getting the chance to focus on someone who isn’t you can be a very good way to occupy your time.
People who spent their time volunteering were found to be less depressed, were healthier and were more satisfied with their lives than people who didn’t volunteer. This was according to a study that was carried out at the University of Exeter Medical School. You’ll also be surprised to note that most religions also state that serving others is the best way to be happy.
Like any new thing, starting out in volunteering can be challenging especially as you try to find something that is a fit for you. The best way to start, is to start small. Doing simple things such as landscaping for a neighbour who can’t do it for themselves, arriving early at meetings and getting the coffee ready etc. can all help. Alternatively, you can decide to volunteer for an organisation. This can be something local that you know about through friends and family. You can also check online to see if there’s an organisation nearby whose work will interest you.
Ideally, you should volunteer for causes that you genuinely care about and something that can utilise your skills. You can also decide to volunteer at a place that will ensure your time is occupied such as serving food, cleaning and various other tasks.