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Learning to Give Back to Others Can Strengthen Other Muscles in Recovery

When a person struggles with addiction, it is not just about that one thing. It is many other things like the community that struggles. Recovery offers a chance to have a fresh start. It is a chance to find purpose and meaning and direction. Community service and giving back is not always required for people in rehab, but regardless it is a good idea to give back to people who need more than you do.

Serving Yourself First

When giving back to others, it is about them, not you. However, you will find you often get more from it than they do. Recovery is about finding hope in the midst of challenge, and giving back is often about finding hope in the midst of struggle. Some of the clear benefits for people who serve others include:

  • Improved mood
  • Healthier overall
  • Reduced stress
  • Weight loss 

Some people find when they give back, their metabolism kicks up as they get around and do good for others. They begin to lose weight and find hope again. It is important to have a good set of relapse-prevention strategies in place. Giving back is wonderful, but it can be taxing to be out there serving other people. It boosts your mood but you need to be mindful of mental health challenges you face and not overdo it.

Finding a Purpose

There are purpose and power after pain. There is lots of healing that takes place in recovery. One of them is finding hope for life in recovery. This means building health, community, and a greater purpose to life. Whether it is serving others who struggle with addiction or developing a sense of community and purpose from helping neighbors, it is always good to give a little. The new networks can build rapport with neighbors and create space to build bridges of understanding yourself in a deeper way.

Start Now

If you are not sure how to get started, there are some simple ways to do that. The key to success is showing up, but you have to think about it a little, too. Some places you might consider serving can include:

  • Animal shelters
  • Homeless shelters
  • Food pantries
  • Soup kitchens
  • Hospitals
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • Senior homes
  • Veteran’s homes

The reality is you will never be able to serve everyone. Find a niche for you and do good there. Serve and give back so you can find a place you belong and fit in. it will give you a deepening sense of belonging you are missing and can fill you with pride to think you are serving others well. They will also gain from you in a reciprocal relationship, which can be healing as well. Being newly sober is challenging, so go slow in serving others. Give it time and find spaces to donate and give back when possible but don’t give so much you burn out. Go slow and find the places that are right for you before diving in headfirst to serving people. 

Guest House provides quality care for clients seeking support for addiction recovery. We teach people how to live a sober life through programs, therapeutic support, and evidence-based therapies. Our recovery program is staffed by people who understand the power of addiction. For more information on sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call 855-483-7800.