Addiction is a complex disease that leads to self-destructive behavior, a host of health problems, or sometimes death. When a person struggles with addiction or substance use disorder, they continue using drugs or alcohol despite any harmful consequences. This is due to the brain’s chemical and physiological changes that make an individual unable to stop using. A healthy lifestyle in recovery makes it easier to stay sober.
Since the brain changes with addiction, it will take time for the brain to learn how to function without drugs or alcohol. Focusing on healthy activities in recovery will help you maintain sobriety and sustain your physical and mental wellbeing. Physically recovering is a vital part of the recovery process, and establishing new, healthy habits can lay the foundation for years of health in sobriety.
Ways to Stay Healthy
Maintaining an active lifestyle will give you less time to think about using drugs or alcohol. Staying active lessens the risk of boredom and promotes mental, emotional, and physical health. Participating in healthy activities supports cardiovascular health, reduces weight, builds strength and stamina, and rejuvenates the immune system. Exercise and good nutrition can help decrease symptoms of depression or anxiety. It can also regulate restful sleep patterns.
Another way to stay healthy involves keeping a journal. Writing allows you to reflect on your progress and see how you managed emotions and challenges in early recovery. Developing new routines will replace old habits and helps you to avoid thinking about using drugs or alcohol.
Managing Stress in Recovery
Mindfulness of self and others allows you to be in the present. Meditation and yoga are healthy activities that use deep breathing techniques to clear the mind and renew the spirit. Meditation stimulates and trains your brain to be happy without the need for any addictive substance.
An article about oxygen levels and brain function for the Lung Institute (2016) states, “When you’re calm, breathing becomes easier, and stress levels are lower. Deep breathing, meditation, and positive thinking exercises are good ways to help you relax. Exercise also increases the oxygen in your blood.”
Certain drugs and alcohol can result in decreased blood concentration and deprive brain tissue of oxygen. A lack of oxygen to the brain can lead to brain cell death and coma. Staying active helps boost morale, reduces stress, and makes the recovery process much more comfortable.
Gratitude in Recovery
Substance use disorders and addiction can make you feel guilty, scared, and alone. Gratitude means being mindful of the positive things that you have received in recovery. Pay attention to the little details of your day that you can be thankful for, and you will discover the goodness in life. In recovery, you will find a new perspective on the world.
When you begin to feel the positive effects of the changes, it will be easier to stick to them. Having gratitude will increase your quality of life as you practice self-care. Focus on healing yourself first. Then it will be easier to work on broken relationships.
Leonard Jason, a community psychologist at DePaul University, remarked on the importance of helping those in recovery transition into society. He stated, “Just getting people clean and releasing them to the social environments that helped encourage the substance use and other negative behaviors (such as crime) has been shown to be not effective.”
Transitioning Into a Sober Lifestyle
Here are some helpful tips to help you transition into a sober lifestyle:
- Eat nutritious foods. Most people do not maintain a healthy diet during their time of using drugs or alcohol. Eating healthy foods will help to restore physical and mental health.
- Get enough rest. Addiction often disrupts sleep patterns. Ensuring you get enough rest will translate to higher energy levels, a better mood, sharper mental alertness, less illness, and more.
- Find new, healthy, sober activities. While actively addicted, your mind is clouded with toxic substances, your mental and physical health is affected, and your spirit is broken. After treatment, you can discover your interests, find hobbies, and participate in healthy activities to maintain good health.
- Learn to love yourself. Practice self-care and discover what your goals are. This will help you decide what you want to do and have in life.
There is no cure for addiction, but treatment is available, and there is hope in recovery. Treatment can be tailored to your unique needs and will help restore your health, renew your spirit, and allow you to enjoy a new, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyle in sobriety. You will have the ability to explore the world around you, find new things, and nurture your needs productively and healthily.
When using substances, health may not have been at the forefront of your mind. You may have neglected not only your body but your mind and spirit as well. You may have been broken and finally decided to seek treatment. While in recovery, learning to live a healthy lifestyle is essential. You must nurture your mind, body, and spirit. To do this, you can find a new diet and exercise routine, keep a journal, find new hobbies, and, most importantly, learn to love yourself. At Achieve Concierge, we believe in treating the person as a whole with a holistic approach that encompasses the mind, body, and spirit. Addiction can make you feel isolated, but you are not alone. We want you to feel comfortable with our caring and dedicated team of professionals. We offer same-day appointments as well as at-home appointments. For more information about our services, call (619) 393-5871.