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How Does Isolation Affect My Recovery?

The sun is showing itself more often and you may be feeling happier. Summer is on its way. Although this is a joyous time for most people, it is not always a happy time for those who experience isolation. No matter your reason for feeling isolated, there are ways to overcome it. Isolation can be detrimental to the recovery process, so it’s important to reach out for help.

At times, it is easy to misunderstand the differences between healthy and unhealthy coping skills. This is especially true when you have been living the same way for so long. Perhaps you did not even realize that isolation was impacting your recovery until this moment.

Fortunately, it’s never too late to change your patterns. You can reach out and find support for your recovery journey. In this article, we will discuss how isolation can affect your recovery. We will also provide tips on overcoming isolation through an alumni program, individual or group therapy, and relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.

The Dangers of Isolation

During recovery, you have been taught to eliminate people, places, and things that are a trigger. Sometimes this can leave you with few options. They say that during early recovery, it is important to surround yourself with positive people that support your newfound life. This is not always so easy to come by.

It can be difficult to break out of isolation when you feel socially awkward or prefer quiet time by yourself. However, according to the American Heart Association, isolation can create a vicious circle. People who are socially isolated are more likely to experience depression, and those with depression were more likely to be socially isolated.

According to research published in Nature Human Behavior, social relationships play a pivotal role in health and well-being. When immersing yourself in isolation, your well-being may decrease. This can cause a domino effect, negatively impacting your health. One reason for this is that when you spend time alone, your brain tends to wander to negative thoughts. In those moments of negativity, it can be tempting to return to old ways of using addictive substances.

How Can I Overcome Isolation?

You must recognize when you are engaging in isolation. Understanding the thoughts behind isolation and your “why” is important as a first step. There are many ways that you can overcome isolation within recovery. If you think you are isolating, more than likely you are. Take the time that is needed to examine your reasons. This will be a step in the right direction.

Depending on the circumstances that have caused you to isolate, here are some options that may help:

  • Individual therapy: No matter where you are in your journey, you can always benefit from talk therapy. This professional will accept you as you are and provide unconditional positive regard.
  • Group therapy: One positive way to overcome isolation is to be a part of a group that offers support and connection. To overcome isolation, you must recognize the need for connection. What better way to do that than to join a group?
  • Invest in yourself: Make your environment comfortable. Perhaps you can splurge on splashes of color or a new pillow. Sometimes all you need is some new energy surrounding you and fresh inspiration.
  • Journal: Writing down your feelings can do wonders for your mind. Explore your reasons for isolation and brainstorm ideas for change. Then as you proceed to change, your journal will reflect your progress.
  • Reorganize: Your environment is a reflection of how you feel. If you want to feel better, it can do wonders for you to declutter your living space.

Benefits of Yoga/Meditation

Another way to overcome isolation is to join a class in meditation or yoga. This can bring benefits in several ways. For one thing, getting out of the house and seeing others who also are committed to their well-being can break your isolation. You will be included in a group that values peace and health. Also, you can use those practices to overcome negative thoughts and emotions which may be causing you to isolate.

Meditation is known to help with depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and any other problems you may have in your life. Engaging in a meditation practice allows you to focus within instead of looking outside of yourself for comfort or validation. Spending time regularly centering yourself and calming your mind can be beneficial for your recovery and decrease your tendency to isolate.

Yoga is a wonderful tool if you are looking to practice controlling your breathing with combined movements. You don’t need to attend a class either. You can create this atmosphere just by following a guided yoga class on YouTube or social media. As your body and mind become purified, you will naturally begin to feel less isolated and alone. You may even find yourself engaging in new socially oriented activities.

How Can an Alumni Program Help Me?

Recovery does not end as soon as you complete treatment. It is a lifelong commitment to yourself and requires ongoing effort. One of the most beneficial things you can do is to have a concrete network of supporters within your recovery.

An alumni program may be what you need to fight isolation and maintain hope in your life. This type of program offers support, connection, healthy coping skills, and all things related to a successful recovery on your terms. What’s more, you can decide how much or how little time you invest.

At The Guest House, we know how important connection is within your recovery. This is why we offer an alumni program that is tailored to your individual needs. We believe the key to long-term recovery is the connections that are present in your life.

Isolating may feel like a safe strategy at first. However, it can be lonely and hard on the human spirit. Acknowledging that isolating is not a healthy coping skill is a step in the right direction. You have been through a lot and want to keep yourself protected and safe from danger. However, it is essential to recognize the impact this can have on your recovery journey. Spending time focusing on connection can leave an imprint of recovery on your heart. At The Guest House, we understand the many different transitions of recovery. That is why we want to help. Our alumni program can provide a sense of connection. Give us a call at (855) 483-7800 today.