Homesickness in sober living is understandable. However, an essential factor is remembering the importance of healthy choices in treatment and recovery. In addition, you have a built-in support system and an opportunity to spread your wings and fly. Also, know that you are not alone. In therapy, you can discuss your feelings about living in a sober living home. Homesickness in sober living is similar to college kids’ feelings when they leave their lifelong homes to go to school. You need to educate yourself about feelings of homesickness. It does take time to adjust gradually to your new life and home.
Should I be Concerned about Homesickness?
Homesickness can bring out many different emotions and feelings. Some people experience distress, depression, and anxiety. Understanding what to expect is reassuring. The first thing to know is, homesickness while in sober living will diminish. Practicing new coping mechanisms is an excellent form of coping with homesickness.
Homesickness is not a mental illness. The feelings of anxiety or depression will lessen gradually over time. Homesickness in sober living is a collective experience with the other housemates. Finally, talk to your therapist if homesickness does not ease and you feel it affects your life.
The Effects of Homesickness on Mind and Body
The emotional and physical effects of homesickness are similar to those of mental health disorders. Dealing with homesickness in sober living, you can discuss these feelings with other people in the home. They may not be able to identify what they are feeling. Processing emotions and feelings is a new experience for someone just out of treatment. Emotional and physical symptoms sometimes experienced with homesick include:
- Depression or anxiety
- Feeling out of sorts or irritable
- Lack of motivation
- Difficult focusing
- Feeling isolated
- Headache and body aches
- Difficulty establishing sleep and eating patterns
- Lack of energy
Practicing New Healthy and Positive Coping Mechanisms
Your feelings of homesickness in sober living are normal. However, the range of emotions and feelings can take you by surprise. Allow yourself to feel the senses, and don’t instantly judge yourself for how you think. There are no expectations except sobriety. Remember how you have learned to process your emotions and feelings healthily and positively.
Mindfulness and Meditation
To cope with feelings of homesickness, try practicing mindfulness and meditation. This helps process emotions. If you didn’t learn any mindfulness or meditation practices while in treatment, you can take a class, read a book yourself about it to learn or consult with your therapist. However, it is crucial to reserve judgments about how you feel and find acceptance.
Pursue Positive Outlets for Your Feelings
Creative activities like art, writing, or dance are excellent for expressing emotion and feelings. Some turn to individual exercise or team sports. Homesickness in sober living can leave you feeling low. Encouraged to participate in positive and exciting ventures.
For instance, writing is very therapeutic for some. Journaling is an activity that involves no rules, no expectations, just writing. Listing emotions and feelings you are experiencing, progress in the sober living house, and accomplishments you make. Dreams and visions for the future are great topics to undertake. You will soon forget homesickness in sober living once you get busy.
Music Can Soothe Your Soul
Listening to your favorite tunes, designing new playlists, and exploring different types of music is mood-altering. You can alleviate homesickness in sober living if you listen to music that makes you smile and feel happy. Listening to music can entice you to sing and dance, which is an excellent therapy for the blues.
Bring Personal Items from Home into Your New Space
Treat your homesickness by asking a family member to bring you some personal favorite items from home. Pictures, a favorite blanket, and other sources of comfort can relieve sadness and promote familiarity with new surroundings. Objects that remind you of good times past are easy to embrace.
Rebuild Relationships and Discover New Friends
Reconnecting with loved ones is the perfect method of curing feelings of homesickness in sober living. Moreover, practicing communication skills and healthy connections can also boost confidence in recovery and prevent relapse. Discovering new friends within the household is an exciting option. Your housemates are feeling the same things you are and need to talk. Reinforce their desires to stay sober, and it will also come back to help you by learning how to build trust.
Initiate New Sober Traditions
Initiate new sober traditions in two different ways, individual and group. Recognizing that many of the old habits you participated in revolved around drinking or drugs, it’s vital to change your scope of thinking. Others may be experiencing homesickness in sober living. Helping others to embrace new sober living traditions can be fun and challenging. In conclusion, it’s good to hold your memories close, but making new memories is a sign of moving forward.
Explore the New Neighborhood
There is nothing like discovery to take your mind off homesickness in sober living. Adjusting to a new environment is stepping outside of your comfort zone. Checking out new restaurants, parks, and support groups nearby is great fun. It is comforting to be familiar with your surroundings. Practice some bravery and assertiveness and see your new world.
Find Solutions to Homesickness in Sober Living in California
Riviera Recovery Center is located in Los Angeles and offers aftercare programs to help you cope with your feelings of homesickness in sober living. Preventing relapse is part of our mission. Contact us to hear the options open for you to participate in. We encourage treatment graduates to stay connected and be available to new sober lifestyle support systems. Contact Riviera Recovery today to speak to a counselor.