Addiction recovery is more than just changing a few behaviours to overcome bad habits. Once a person has fallen into addiction, it takes a full, holistic approach to help them recover their health in all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Rather than focusing on just ceasing the unhealthy behaviour, it is more effective to turn the attention to overall health and wellness. Often, a person in recovery will have higher levels of success when they follow a daily wellness routine.
Steps for Physical Recovery
Keep in mind that addiction often leads to serious health concerns. When an addict is hyper-focused on the next fix, they will often make unhealthy food choices or skip meals altogether. It can be a challenge to take care of health fundamentals when the person’s days are driven by the need for another drink or dose.
But, physical health is a critical aspect of feeling good so that the person can overcome the addiction. Not only is it important to stop drug or alcohol use, but also it is necessary to change diet and lifestyle habits so that overall health can be improved in the process.
Here are five wellness principles that can be used to boost health using your daily routine:
- Eat a Well-Balanced Diet: It is common for people to turn to junk food or sugar when trying to beat a drug or alcohol addiction. Even though binging on desserts and candy doesn’t seem as dangerous as substance abuse, this behaviour can have an impact on overall health and wellness.
Most people are experiencing serious nutrient deficiencies, which means that they will feel best on a diet of lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A healthy diet is more than getting sufficient calories for the day; the focus needs to turn to the vitamins and minerals that need to be replenished in the body.
- Get Plenty of Sleep at Night: When the body is worn down, it becomes harder to avoid temptations that might trigger a relapse. Often, people find that their willpower decreases when they are running on only a few hours of sleep. Stop burning the candle at both ends. Instead, make it a priority to maintain a consistent bedtime. Be sure that you are aiming for eight hours of sleep per night so that you feel well-rested each day.
There are instances where insomnia can happen in recovery, which means that it might be tempting to turn back to substance abuse to relax at the end of a long day. If you are worried about your sleep habits, talk to a doctor for suggestions to improve sleep patterns
- Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine: How often is stress a trigger that leads to relapse? It is common for recovering addicts to feel good about their progress but quickly slip back into old, addictive patterns after a stressful life experience.
Stress is inevitable in life, and it can come from a variety of sources: work, relationships, family, and more. Just because you are in a stressful situation, doesn’t mean that you need to turn back to the drug use. Instead, exercise can be an effective way to release endorphins, balance hormones, and help you feel in control of your body. Use exercise as a preventive method to avoid a stress relapse in the future.
- Be Proactive with Mental Health: It can be hard to stay away from addictive behaviour when you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Often, these mental health issues are connected with addiction, which means that mental health needs to be addressed during recovery.
Sometimes, the mental health treatments might be simple, such as using a lightbox in the winter months to reduce the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. In other circumstances, it might be necessary to work with a therapist or doctor for other mental health treatments.
- Connect with People: Maintaining healthy relationships gives you the opportunity to feel connected in your life. While you might think that talking to others won’t have an impact on your overall health, this step is an important aspect of improving your overall health.
If you tend to stay inside and avoid social activities, set a goal to talk to someone every day. Look for ways to build relationships with family members, friends, and neighbours.
As you are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction, it is important that you choose the right addiction and mental health rehab to help you develop the healthy habits that are needed for long-term success. A few simple changes in your life can go a long way to ensure that you stay on the road to recovery.