The best thing anyone can find is proper support during addiction treatment. The recovery journey can be grueling depending on the extent of addiction. From the effects of withdrawal, the need to cope with mental illness and the circumstances leading to addiction, it is all so much to deal with. While you may not take away the pain, you can help a loved one cope with treatment by keeping his spirits up. Try these 5 practical tips to help keep your loved one’s spirits up during treatment.

1. Stay Awake Together

Most people dealing with mental illness have a problem getting proper sleep. Insomnia is also a common withdrawal symptom. It is likely that your loved one is experiencing the same. Find out if they could be struggling with lack of sleep. The problem with lack of sleep is that it entices other evils such as need for medication to cope or get sleep, overthinking, and body strain. You can help deal with the stress by keeping your loved one company. Think about activities that could make them happy. You can play games or you could read them a book or poetry. If you know the movies they like, commit to watch it with them when they are struggling to find sleep. Playing games is a great distraction, or discover the latest series together.

2. Music and Letters

It’s true not everybody is artsy; but there is something about music and healing. A number of addiction treatment centers use musical therapy as part of the treatment plan. Music works even for children. Better, music can be taught, so they do not have to be music lovers to get distracted. These are some of the ways you can use music to brighten up their spirits

– Analyze lyrics

Pick a random song and talk about its lyrics. This music could be from their favorite list, it could be from their past or just relevant to their struggles. Lyrical analysis will help in unpacking emotions especially when they find lyrics that connect with their experience.

– Improvise music playing

Playing instruments allows socialization, emotional manifestation, and exploration of therapeutic themes such as love, frustration, fear, conflict, or communication. For instance you can play a drum, rain stick or thunder tubes to signify a storm. Soft chords instruments can be used to enhance reflection and meditation.

– Write songs

Is it getting too dramatic? Not at all! Have you ever heard that writing helps us vent out emotions and help visualize. Mental health illness takes away the ability to stay calm and express the overwhelming emotions. Make sessions for you and your loved one to write songs as a fun activity. Unbelievably, these lyrics might help unpack different emotions in a very positive and rewarding way. Heck, try and rap your souls to the new lyrics. In fact, if you have time, how about you try some instruments that can match up with these lyrics? The whole process can be very validating and it can help in improving self-worth. There is also some sense of pride when you can listen to your own creation.

– Listen to the music actively

Sometimes, you may just need to sit by them and listen to music. It can either match or alter their mood. You also need to be aware that it can also enhance feeling of anger, depression and anxiety. Start with music that matches the current mood and then shift to a more positive mood. Scientifically, the repetitive and rhythmic nature of music engrosses the neocortex in our brain to help calm us and ease impulsivity. Apart from music, once in a while drop your loved one letters. It will help say things that you won’t be able to verbally. There is something about letters in this internet age. They are so sentimental and human. It will just pass raw emotions of care and love. It will also encourage them to write back, which is a great way of unpacking emotions.

3. Accompany Them to Treatment

Therapy and counseling sessions can be draining. Not to mention that this journey can feel very lonely. Help your loved one walk this journey, because it is tedious, overwhelming and lonely. Attend group sessions with them if you can, and do not miss on family support groups and other family interventions. If you can, wait outside as they take treatment. Visit regularly if they are inpatient care. When a loved one is going through addiction treatment, everyone will tell you to allow the consequences take effect. However, offering support does not mean you are enabling them. It will encourage them to keep pushing with recovery.

4. Love Genuinely

Most times, you will not like the behavior of a loved one when battling mental illness. They can be irritable, disorderly and difficult to predict. If they are dealing with substance abuse, they could have been violent or disrespectful at one point. However, this is a disease. You know the person before the disease and you should continue loving the person. This is not the time to be judgmental and make them feel guilty for their behavior. They already feel bad enough. We live in culture that encourages us to cut off toxic people. Instead of cutting off a loved one, here’s how you can show love – No judgments or guilt tripping – You are a good person with good intentions and so is your loved one – Separate the person from the disease – Talk about addiction and addiction treatment, and let them know it is a disease while letting them express their feelings and fears – Be there for them

5. Hope is the Best Support During Treatment

Your loved one is battling to get better. It is tough going through addiction treatment, isolation and the emotional turmoil. Sometimes the consequences could be worse; legal problems, money issues and even broken relationships. They could even be dealing with a relapse and all the feelings of guilt and regret are overwhelming them. You work is to assure that if they keep going, it gets better. Laugh about the bad days and encourage them to talk about it. If they can talk and laugh about it, they can have control over it. Remind them that things get better and tell two or three stories of successful recovery. Empathize with challenges of addiction treatment and allow them to go through the pain. Going through treatment doesn’t have to feel that bad. You can help your loved one get through the bad days with these tips. Sometimes, you need professional counseling to help cope with treatment. If you need  professional guidance and tips on how to care and offer support during treatment, reach out to us.