Environment plays an integral role in recovery and can affect each individual in a variety of ways. Addiction recovery is a complicated journey, and taking advantage of all resources available can provide the best path to sustained sobriety.Looking at one’s environment and using it for change can give the sense of agency and support necessary to mitigate stresses and promote a new, healthier lifestyle.
The Role of the Environment
Each individual’s environment is comprised of many components. The objects and decoration in one’s room, the people they live with, and the attitudes and cultures of the communities at large all affect a person’s recovery. Acknowledging these impacts is crucial to learning to use one’s environment to their advantage, either by removing unnecessary stressors and reminders of past use or by ingratiating oneself into new communities that understand and support a changing lifestyle.
The Need to Change Your Living Space
There can be many ways in which one’s living space impacts their sobriety. Even if an individual has removed alcohol and drugs from the house, the home environment can still be filled with reminders and stressors that once promoted the use of these dangerous substances. Rooms where a person used to drink by themselves, if left unchanged, can continue to harbor these connotations, creating urges and cravings to reengage with addictive substances.
Pictures or other reminders of time using addictive substances will also impact a person’s sober efforts. This can happen either by causing cravings or prompting an individual to romanticize their use, potentially leading to a slip or relapse.
Changing an individual’s living space is essential to creating a new outlook on sobriety. Cleaning their environment to reflect a more organized mind and repurposing rooms to reflect newfound sober interests are ways in which the environment can reflect an individual’s change and a resource to promote other healthy behavior. Changing one’s space does not end with changing the bedroom or family room. Instead, it also means entering new communities and places to create a fresh outlook and purpose in sobriety.
Acknowledging the Digitial Landscape
Digital spaces are common in daily life in which one checks social media, connects with friends and peers, or works. Even setting appointments for oneself can be made digitally. These digital spaces are just as important an environment as any other, and it is important to address how they may impact one’s sobriety.
Social digital environments, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more, are prevalent spaces for individuals to post and communicate. They come with their own atmospheres that may not be conducive to one’s ongoing sobriety. Judging a person by the number of likes one gets or promoting unnecessary and unhealthy comparisons to others impacts emotional health.
Those navigating sobriety can be met with the stress of these digital spaces. Changing one’s digital environment is just as important as changing their physical one. Avoiding these social sites for more supportive ones, such as SoberGrid, can ensure that an individual’s digital spaces are conducive to the sober lifestyle one is developing.
Different communities will also have varying levels of understanding regarding addiction and recovery, with some more informed and supportive than others. It may be necessary to distance oneself from previous friend groups or social circles that do not understand or support sober efforts while looking to new environments that can facilitate newfound interests, hobbies, and lifestyles.
Finding local hobby groups, sports leagues, and social outlets based on sober interests can reinforce one’s sober goals while rewarding an individual with the most effective and personalized recovery outlets possible.
Likewise, finding a dedicated recovery group is paramount to creating a genuinely informed and supportive sober environment. Engaging in detox, residential, or outpatient recovery program alongside peers who share goals, demographics, and struggles can be an incredibly powerful environment. Developing these social circles can create a compelling and supportive safety net for one’s continued recovery efforts.
Changing one’s environment is an intricate part of the recovery process. It may require individuals to relinquish things that were once comfortable to best prioritize their newfound sobriety. Finding a safe, intimate space for one to engage in their interests and pursue sober goals is essential.
Coupled with a comfortable recovery atmosphere, these environments can empower individuals to facilitate their own change in life while avoiding and processing daily stress. Environment plays a prominent role in not just pursuing sobriety but sustaining it, and making a change to one’s home, community, and digital footprint is an essential exercise of agency to prioritize a healthy and sober future.
Your environment plays a prominent role in your recovery, and having a dedicated, safe space to engage in recovery efforts can be a crucial resource. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, located in Santa Ana, CA, we understand the need to change your environment and fill one’s space with supportive imagery while eliminating unnecessary stressors from the environment. From detox to residential, we have curated an atmosphere based on healing, helping you process stressors in a safe space while personalizing your recovery strategies and coping techniques. We offer an array of programs, from medication-assisted treatment (MAT), 12-Step programming, and much more, to create a recovery plan that is right for you. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique needs and goals in recovery, call us today at (714) 492-1119.