motivated throughout the time you are making changes by doing a mix of
things instead of burning out by focusing solely on one aspect of your
life and your needs. Lifestyle
balance is an essential tool and foundation for sustainable change. When
working to live in recovery there will be many different pressures to
MEET YOUR NEEDS
One essential approach to finding the stamina to keep
is to have a balanced lifestyle which meets all your needs. Doing something different when feeling demotivated is often enough to restore the will to keep going.
To deal with addiction, addicts need to have a healthy mix of activities in their life as this mix helps to build resilience and self esteem. A life with limited experiences lacks the range of opportunities to meet your potential. A life of balance gives the opportunities to have fulfilling and esteem enhancing moments. The more diverse the lifestyle is, the more opportunities that present to build self esteem.
A life in balance will have time where all a person’s different needs can be realised. You can be motivated by meeting the the rich mix of personal needs in life. To meet those needs there should be times when you are in company, time alone for quiet reflection.
To grow in confidence life should offer times to meet the varied needs of the individual, there should be time; to meet your creative needs, social needs, solitary needs, physical needs, spiritual needs, intellectual needs, economic needs, identity needs, political needs amongst a vast array of complex needs.
CONNECT WITH NATURE
It is vital to connect with nature to meet a basic spiritual need. This can be as simple as going for a walk in a park, or skimming stones in a local pond, whilst if you want a more hands on link, get involved in conservation work, or do a little creating by growing food or plants. Whatever is right for you, find space each week to spend a little time connecting with nature and notice how your sense of self is restored.
A one dimensional life, one without balance or variety, limits the opportunity to meet those needs and so stifles the sense of personal fulfillment and self confidence. This lack of personal fulfillment serves to raise a sense of failure and prevents self acceptance undermining any pride and respect one has. It is this sense of being lost to themselves that many addicts use substances to evade. Addicts know that the substances will not restore this sense of loss but use the substances as it numbs the pain and confusion of their identity crisis.
To be motivated to work towards a real lasting change an addict needs to slowly reconstruct their lives so that it has meaning and joy for them. This can be immensely challenging as many addicts are ashamed of who they have become and how they have behaved whilst in the grip of their addiction. As part of the pain of addiction, many addicts have so little confidence and self esteem that they do not believe in themselves, that they can restore that lost individual nor even if they could, that they are worthy of the happiness that has eluded them for so long. The rest of this section offers simple steps to take to build self esteem so that those changes can take place.