If you’re recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, you want to avoid activities that lead you back to old habits. A rehab program may provide wholesome recreational activities as part of your aftercare treatment, but you may want to seek out other activities on your own. Opting to take up volunteering programs in your community boosts the recovery process.
Our drug rehab treatment programs at Granite Recovery Centers offer you an array of volunteering opportunities to help maintain your sobriety for the long term. They range from events that keep you active to those that give you fulfillment each day as you work with those in need.
The Benefits of Volunteering in Recovery
Recovery from addiction is a process that often involves medication, therapy, and participation in volunteer programs. Volunteer activities allow you to make a difference in life by giving you a new perspective. You learn to care for others in the community while healing from addiction, and you can also reap the following benefits.
Better Mental Health
Volunteering programs foster positivity in life by instilling a sense of well-being and responsibility. You get to know your worth and purpose while giving with the very best of your abilities. Volunteering also allows you to build your working skills and connections with others around you.
Meeting other people with common interests results in a productive support system during the recovery process. It encourages you to remain sober through rewarding activities and mentorship sessions. All these can happen in a safe environment away from drugs or alcohol.
It also reduces stress, anger and anxiety levels, improving health and increasing positive mood. In general, a good mood may boost your motivation to eat a healthy diet and have enough sleep, which will help you in recovery too.
Engaging in a program that benefits the community may also relieve you of feeling guilty over bad habits you had in the past. Helping those in need or helping reduce crime eases the burden of bad memories in addition to educating you on the importance of being generous and content. In the end, your quality of life improves both mentally and physically.
Boosts Physical Health
Most volunteer activities involve walking around, running errands, and pushing and pulling objects over short distances. These activities help build core muscles in your body that increases stability and balance. It helps in harmonizing balance on the pelvic, abdomen, lower back, and hips muscle movements.
Bouts of activity increase your heart rate and blood circulation apart from strengthening the heart. It ensures an adequate supply of oxygen to all body parts, making you healthier as you heal from addiction. It also lowers the risks of having cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, and chronic pain.
At Granite Recovery Centers, we emphasize the importance of exercising regularly and having balanced meals full of nutritious value to your body. Having enough sleep is also crucial in healing from addiction. It allows the mind to rejuvenate, making your mental and physical health better. Combating addiction takes energy, so keeping your body fueled and rested will help you in both your recovery efforts and your volunteer activities.
Improves Your Social Life
You get to interact with people from different walks of life while volunteering, thus improving your social life. Talking to others while working together increases your confidence in social environs. It gives you a chance to grow your skills in non-regulated social settings where you can receive positive feedback from the group.
In the process, you get to practice using social skills that you learned during therapy to maintain relationships founded on sobriety. Volunteering allows you to enjoy activities and social interactions without using drugs that may cause a relapse while healing from addiction. Attending volunteer events can help make you more social, active, and positive in life.
Meaningful connections with fellow volunteers will help reduce anxiety, stress and anger, leading to a better mental health state. The frequent contact builds a trusting connection and people to rely on whenever you get tempted to take drugs or alcohol. Your mentors can advise you each time you seem to stray away and offer encouraging support for long-term sobriety.
You may end up getting reliable friends, a new partner, or even a better job through the social connections you make volunteering. You benefit financially, socially, and health-wise as you recover from addiction.
Increased Quality of Life
The recovery process often feels like a second chance in life. Once you quit taking drugs or drinking alcohol, injured parts of the body begin healing. It is a chance to commit to healthier habits that offer you a meaningful and productive lifestyle. Many volunteer programs for people in recovery offer a peaceful and safe environment where you can avoid stress, anxiety, and anger. You may get to interact with nature, allowing you to feel better emotionally apart from improving your physical wellness. You get to bury sour moods as you enjoy spending time working for the benefit of those in need.
One way to use your skills is to apply to serve as a peer volunteer and advise fellow drug or alcohol users in the process of achieving sobriety. It instills a sense of responsibility and leadership in you that offers motivation while healing from addiction. You get to live as a model of maintaining a healthy lifestyle as you encourage your peers in recovery. Seeing the difference you make can help you feel more satisfied with life.
Increases Your Productivity
A structured volunteer program ensures that you stay busy during free time to prevent engagement in activities leading to relapse. You may get to take care of animals or clean up a park to occupy your mind and time. Volunteering encourages focus on wholesome activities to help you overcome old temptations of addiction.
Volunteering also gives you a sense of purpose that increases your motivation to work on achieving set goals. Recovery involves a daily commitment to staying sober, and as you chart your progress with others in recovery, it can strengthen your resolve.
While helping others, you get to aid in creating solutions to emerging issues in your community. You improve yourself and the community, leading to better relationships and increased self-confidence. Making a difference through volunteering can help reduce anxiety, giving you back more of your time to spend on worthwhile pursuits. You end up benefiting in many ways as you maintain sobriety.
How to Volunteer
Volunteering offers rewarding opportunities that increase your quality of life with each positive deed. Choosing the most suitable program requires that you consult a recovery counselor before settling on an activity. They may suggest that you engage in some of the following activities while recovering from addiction.
Building homes for the less fortunate helps you do constructive work to engage your mind and body. You need to enjoy doing hands-on work, be practical and be active to do well in construction. The process allows you to work in a team with other recovering volunteers, ensuring that you feel free to share your experiences without criticism. It might not be simple at the beginning, but you can help build a supportive network of friends and peers as you build homes.
The manual labor involved helps release stress and increases your focus to accomplish the project. You get encouraged to remain sober apart from feeling contented once people start living in the house. You should also end up sleeping better due to the regular physical exercise.
Caring for Animals
Volunteering with animals allows you to experience love and affection unconditionally while recovering from addiction. You feel wanted and appreciated for the work well done, and you help save animal lives in the process. When you volunteer at an animal shelter, you may be asked to take dogs on walks, feed them and wash them. You might even provide a home for an animal from the rescue center.
You’ll end up developing a connection with the animals when you spend free time with them. Taking on the responsibilities of their care helps ensure that you do not fall back to your addiction habits, hence increasing your chances of achieving sobriety. In addition, you may build good communication skills suitable for your career.
Research has also found that animals, whether owning or simply caring for them, is good for your mental health.
Donating Funds and Time
Donating funds involves giving financial and material support to the less fortunate, such as the homeless. Volunteering may include gathering donations and sorting through them by adding funds or organizing donated materials. This helps in building accounting and technical skills that can lead you into a financial career.
Volunteer at a community outreach center by educating others or planning social and support activities. Organize workshops or public talks for recovering individuals and try encouraging them. Visit rehab centers to motivate people who have lost hope or are suffering from severe withdrawal.
You can volunteer to prepare a meal for people at a homeless shelter and serve them in your free time. Under a volunteer coordinator’s guidance, you can shop for ingredients and prepare a meal for those in need.
Outdoor activities like planting trees help you build strong bones and a healthy body. The fresh air you breathe calms the nerves and replenishes the body for a productive day. Together with the exercises from moving around and lifting objects, you can improve your physical health as you volunteer and heal from the damage addiction did to your body.
Plant trees in parks, teach others how to do it, and encourage people on the importance of going green. You can also maintain park grounds by watering the grass, mowing, edging, applying fertilizer to the ground, and distributing recycling containers. The focus and time you spend are worth your while to benefit you and your community.
It might interest you to learn more about the different species of trees and other plants you come across. The curiosity may lead you to apply for a botanical course that helps in your future career prospects as well.
Become a mentor to others by motivating them to quit addiction as you share your own addiction and recovery story. You can help others be aware of the bad habits they need to avoid and the smart choices they can make to recover. You can reach out to more people through virtual mentorship sessions or meet them in groups.
Not only can you offer mentoring to adults, but you can be a mentor to youth as well. You both benefit from each other as young individuals get a role model and help you appreciate the beauty of the world.
Mentorship can also include tutoring students who need help in a subject. You can boost your self-esteem by helping others increase their skills.
Recovering While Volunteering
The recovery process is full of triggers that can tempt you to go into relapse. Volunteering helps you avoid stressful triggers as it includes many fun, social and productive activities that occupy your free time. An addiction counselor from Granite Recovery Centers can help you choose one that suits your liking and needs.
In the end, the right decision helps you achieve sobriety while improving your quality of life. The steps offered above have helped many addicted individuals who wished to change their lives.