For people in early recovery, the journey out of rehab and into the world can be draining, but it can also be full of wonder and opportunity. Leaving the comfort of rehab, a place where healing and inner work was done, can be scary and overwhelming at first; however, staying spiritually fit can help maintain that comfort and can instill a sense of empowerment many of us did not have when we were in our disease.

Spiritual self-care is as important as physical and emotional self-care, although it is very often overlooked. Below are ways people in early recovery can connect with their spirit and stay spiritually fit after leaving the bubble of rehab:

Make connections

Whether it’s finding a home group that makes you feel comfortable or joining a gym to be around like-minded people, it is essential to your spiritual health to connect with those around you. People are meant to connect with one another, and recovery programs offer a unique opportunity to do just that. Young peoples’ meetings, refuge recovery, celebrate recovery, wellbriety and gender specific meetings are all great places to connect with people who can support you in your spiritual journey in recovery.

Meditate daily

Taking time to be still and reflect gives the opportunity to connect with yourself and your higher power. Download an app such as Calm that provides meditation exercises and guided imagery. Practice mindfulness and be mindful of your thoughts, words and intentions. When you notice something you wish to correct, take that moment to pause and do so.

Be in nature

It is very often the case that while using drugs or alcohol, people do not participate in recreational activities or spend much time appreciating the natural beauty around us. Now is the time to get outside, go hiking, swim, explore the batting cages or round up friends to play soccer in the park. Participate in the holistic practice of “earthing,” by standing in the grass barefoot, connecting with the earth. Just imagine how peaceful – and how easy – that can be.

Keep a journal

Creative expression is a great way to connect with your higher power and your spirit. Keep a theme-specific journal or just let the words flow; write to yourself or the cosmos. Whatever it is you decide to write about, you will be connecting to your spirit and higher power with every pen stroke.

Congratulate yourself for putting in the hard work and enjoy the path to nurturing your spiritual self. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.

Darby Foster earned a master’s degree in social work (MSW) from California Baptist University, is a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC- III), a certified first responder counselor (CFRC) and personally understands the recovery journey. She is executive director of Palo Verde Wellness Center in Palm Springs and can be reached at [email protected]. For more information, visit

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