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A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

How to Cope With Recovery Burnout

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It is not unusual for people early in recovery to experience something known as a “pink cloud.” This is when the initial physical and mental issues of addiction start to fade away and an individual starts to feel like themselves again. However, it is important to remember that this pink cloud feeling often ebbs and flows, especially as one gets further along in their recovery and starts to experience recovery burnout.

What Exactly Is Recovery Burnout?

Recovery burnout is the feeling that one has when everything that they are doing in their recovery starts to feel repetitive and redundant leading to a lack of excitement. Also, recovery burnout happens when the recovery program that someone is participating in starts to feel stagnant, and little to no new progress seems to be happening. This can be particularly dangerous because recovery burnout can often lead to a relapse.

Many people don’t realize just how common relapses are in the U.S. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Current Psychiatry Reports, “It has long been known that addictive disorders are chronic and relapsing in nature. Recent estimates from clinical treatment studies suggest that more than two-thirds of individuals relapse within weeks to months of initiating treatment.” Also, “For 1-year outcomes across alcohol, nicotine, weight, and illicit drug abuse, studies show that more than 85% of individuals relapse and return to drug use within one year of treatment.”

These are not insignificant numbers. This is why recognizing the signs of recovery burnout can be so crucial.

What Are Some Signs of Recovery Burnout?

Recognizing recovery burnout is not as easy as many people think. Unfortunately, it can be recognized too late and cause more significant problems (such as a relapse as mentioned earlier).

The good news is that there are many signs of recovery burnout if one knows what to look out for. The following are just a few of those signs:

  • Stops engaging with a recovery program, such as no longer checking in with a recovery center alumni group
  • Steps away from a recovery community, such as stopping attending 12-Step meetings
  • Starts isolating away from loved ones and friends both in and out of recovery
  • Stops caring about physical appearance
  • No longer focuses on the nutritional aspect of their recovery
  • Starts to feel overly anxious or depressed
  • Stops communicating with others about how their recovery is going
  • Starts to feel “triggered” by people, places, or things
  • Stops wanting to explore new activities and adventures that are now available due to sobriety

If any of these signs start showing up, it is important to try and reach out and tell someone right away, especially someone in recovery. These people will most likely be able to share some of the many effective coping mechanisms that work to combat recovery burnout.

How to Cope With Recovery Burnout

There are many effective ways to cope with recovery burnout. They primarily reside in two categories. The first involves picking back up with activities and modalities that were working before. The second category is finding new activities and modalities that can keep recovery new and exciting.

The following are a few moves that one can make to combat recovery burnout:

  • Reconnect with therapy or find a new therapist or type of therapy
  • Find new recovery meetings or go back to the recovery community that was helpful early in recovery
  • Reenage with a healthy activity that was once enjoyed
  • Get plenty of rest and eat healthy and nutritious foods
  • Engage with new healthy activities such as yoga or meditation
  • Join or rejoin a recovery alumni group
  • Volunteer at a local community center
  • Help another person who is new to recovery

This last activity of helping others can be essential for avoiding recovery burnout. It is even discussed at length in the primary text of 12-Step recovery (also known as the “Big Book”). It states, “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking [and/or using] as intensive work with other [people in recovery]… To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends – this is an experience you must not miss.

Our Primary Purpose at Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, our primary purpose is to help our clients recover by any means necessary. Our primary purpose is also to ensure that our clients don’t just attain recovery, but maintain long-term recovery.

Recovery is all about a new way of life and finding an easier softer way to live without drugs or alcohol. This is what we offer at Lantana Recovery, not just in the short term but for the many years to come. After all, recovery is a journey, never a destination.

Many people can forget the importance of keeping recovery “fresh,” exciting, and new. This means meeting new people in recovery, trying new hobbies and activities, and embracing different kinds of mindfulness practices, such as yoga, massage, and mindfulness meditation, to name just a few. If you feel like you or a loved one may be struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the right road to long-term recovery right away. For more information about the significance of staying connected with a recovery program and community so others can detect if recovery burnout might be occurring, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.