Are you ready to take advantage of the new year and the fresh start it offers, and let it motivate you to wipe the slate clean in your recovery – literally? Purging all you don’t need makes room for all of the great things coming your way this year in recovery, and starting right now, you can make it happen step by step. Here’s how.
1. Clean out your physical space.
Clearing out your physical space can be the first step to clearing out your mental space and giving yourself room to do the hard work of recovery. If you do not own many physical possessions, you are off to a great start. If you do, take the time to go through everything – every single thing. For some, this may take a single dedicated afternoon or weekend, especially if you are in early recovery and living in a sober living home or lost quite a bit during active addiction. For others, this will take time, and it can be approached a number of different ways:
- Room by room: The simplest way is to start where you are, the room you spend the most time in, or the room where you have the most items stored away. Some prefer to create piles of things that they definitely do not want, immediately return the things they do to their shelf or drawer, and make a pile of all the things they want to consider. Others go quickly, working on instinct, throwing away everything they have not used in a long time, have no interest in, or that has a flaw that renders it unusable or unused.
- Closets first: It may make better sense to start with first one closet then the next, going from room to room. Because they are smaller and more quickly cleaned up, it can give you a sense of accomplishment that keeps you going.
- Broken items: If you would rather not take on one specific space, go through and pull out any broken or chipped dishes, electronics that don’t work, clothes that are ripped or stained, and anything else that you’ve been meaning to fix or repair in some way and haven’t yet.
- Clothes: Anything you haven’t worn in months, everything that doesn’t fit, and all that you do not like can go.
With all the stuff you have gathered that you no longer want, find the appropriate place to dispose of it or give it away where it will do the most good.
2. Clean up your diet.
The less inflammation you have in your body, the more efficiently your body will function. Your immune system will be stronger, your organs and body systems will be better able to repair themselves, and you’ll sleep better while having more energy when you’re awake – more energy to devote to your recovery. Here are a few easy ways to get started:
- Drink more water.
- Bake foods instead of frying them.
- Cover half your plate in vegetables.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Cut back on or cut out sugars and artificial sweeteners.
- Exchange soda for coffee or half your coffee intake for green tea.
- Choose whole grains.
3. Clean up your life.
Clean living means a lot of different things to different people. Depending on your circumstance, it can mean making healthier choices that improve your physical health and wellness, or it can mean making healthier interpersonal choices that improve your mental health. Here are just a few different options that will help you to remove the behaviors that are not serving you and/or add a few new ones to improve your life.
- Quit smoking.
- Meditate for a few minutes each day.
- Make an effort to be more honest.
- Create a more consistent sleep schedule.
- Exercise regularly.
- Create a budget to manage finances positively.
- Engage in holistic therapies that lower stress.
- Stay connected to positive people and limit interactions with negative or toxic people.
Resolutions for Recovery
One of the best ways to create sustainable positive change in 2018 is to choose one or two things that feel easy to you on the lists above and commit to making it happen. Track your progress, enlist buddies to do it with you, and make it a regular part of your life. No 30-day commitment to a certain behavior, dietary change, or exercise regimen will change your life. Rather, it is recommended to make little changes that feel natural and that you enjoy – the kind of changes that will enhance your life in recovery for the long-term.
How will you clean up your life in recovery in 2018?