More and more studies have linked good friends to good health, including a lower risk of anxiety and depression and, of course, loneliness. Friendships can be a powerful part of your long-term recovery plan. After all, the right people can help you through the ups and downs and curves as you embark on the road toward lasting sobriety.
That said: Making friends isn’t always easy — and it can be even harder when you’re just getting comfortable with socializing sober. These steps can help ease the process:
- Start with a smile. A simple smile is a great ice breaker. After all, wouldn't you rather speak to someone who has a smile on their face rather than a frown. Take a deep breath and flash a winning smile.
- Put your fears aside: Whether you’re worried about saying something wrong or that the other person won’t like you, try to push those negative thoughts away. Instead, focus on your assets and the qualities that can make you a good friend.
- Take time to give back. Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded folks who may very well become friends. It will also help make you more confident in yourself as you put yourself out there socially.
- Try a new hobby or social sport. Sign up for a yoga class, adult soccer league or local running group. This will help keep you busy, provide a great outlet for stress release and allow you to get to know others with similar interests.
- Put together a social event: Playing host by setting up a sober activity or get-together will help you feel more at ease so you can get to know people better and they can get to know you. Some ideas: a book club, a Bible study, a painting party, game night.
- Take it slow: Developing friendships can take time, so try to be patient. If you choose your friends carefully, you’ll have a lifelong support system.
- Remember that practice makes perfect: The more you make an effort to meet others and socialize, the easier it will become. And by socializing with others, both those in recovery and those who are not but understand your situation, you’ll continue to improve upon your social interactions without the crutch of drugs or alcohol.
Continual Growth at Christian Rehab
At Christian Rehab Network, we can help you explore your own recovery journey while learning to heal relationships and build a sober social network. If you are searching for help strengthening your relationship with Christ while overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call today: 877-310-9545.