Socializing is something that comes naturally for some people but is harder for others. Whether you fall on the spectrum of being an extrovert or tend to lean more towards introversion, it is always important to work on maintaining your social ties. Friends and other types of social connections have the power to help lift your mood, and you’ll find that having sources of support around helps you to make it through difficult moments in your recovery.
While you might know that friendships are important, you might find it hard to start socializing again in your early days of recovery. After months or years of using drugs or alcohol, you might not know what you like to do anymore or how to make friends when you are sober. This common recovery challenge is easier to overcome when you give yourself some slack. Being social doesn’t come naturally for many people. Yet, you can start figuring out how to boost your mood by becoming more social in recovery by using these simple strategies.
Start by Placing Yourself In a Sober Environment
Are you worried about having to turn down an invitation to a party because you know that people will be drinking? Or, are you just not ready to tell new people that you meet about your recovery yet? These types of concerns are normal, but you don’t have to hide under a rock until you feel stronger in your recovery.
Instead of staying home, you can choose to put yourself in an environment where everyone is on the same page. Sober living residences put you in instant contact with people who already know what your commitment to sobriety means. Whether you decide to join in on the backyard barbecue or want to celebrate someone’s birthday at a sit-down dinner, you can rest assured that no one will be pressuring you to drink or use drugs.
Commit to Trying New Social Activities
Even in a sober environment, you might initially find it hard to feel comfortable putting yourself out there. Feeling a little socially awkward is normal when you are still trying to figure out who you are as a newly sober person. However, you also don’t want to let a little awkwardness stop you from branching out and enjoying an activity that could lift you out of a bad mood. It is incredibly hard to rise out of a funk when you’re spending all of your time in your room. So, make a decision to get out there and give socializing a try, even when you aren’t feeling your best.
A huge part of sober living is being willing to try new things. You might think that the basketball game your friends are playing looks exhausting, but tossing a ball around could be what helps you break up those dark clouds of gloom. Or, you may think that there’s no way that you could be useful volunteering, yet doing something good for others can give you an instant mood lift. The next time you get the chance to socialize, consider accepting any offer that comes your way. As long as it doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol, you’ve got a good chance of getting something positive out of it.
Continue to Build Your Social Network
It is often easier to start with making one new friend and adding on others as you develop each relationship. Over time, you’ll eventually find that you have a solid source of social support to keep you busy and improve your mental health. As you expand your social network, you also want to make sure that you continue to be a good friend.
Building your social network works best when you engage in these activities that support your recovery.
- Attend counseling sessions to work on your mental health •Practice positive communication strategies to minimize personal conflicts
- Continue to work, go to school or engage in volunteer work
- Focus on also inviting other people to enjoy sober activities with you Being social requires you to be the friend that you expect to find in others. This means remembering that accountability is critical for making sure that you don’t backslide in your recovery.
Now that you understand how and why you want to be more social, go on and take a chance. You never know when your decision to talk to someone new could lead to you finding your new best friend. Making strong social connections begins early in your addiction recovery. Are you ready to build a sober group of friends? We’ve got just the place to go. Give us a call at 614-705-0611 to jumpstart your social life.