Completing a treatment program is only the first step in achieving lifelong recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Once your treatment is over, there’s still work to be done – it’s likely that your entire lifestyle will have to change.
When you were in the thick of your addiction, you were probably neglecting your own health in favor of the drugs or alcohol. Now that you’re in recovery, it’s important to prioritize your overall wellness in order to stay healthy and happy and away from a relapse.
These are some of our favorite ideas for making your wellness a priority:
Eat A Healthy Diet
You know what they say: You are what you eat.
One of the most important components to physical wellness is what you put into your body. Aim to eat a healthy diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in sugar and processed fat. Eating well can help your body begin to heal from the damaged caused by substance abuse.
Exercise is a great tool for those in recovery. Numerous studies have shown that exercise can improve a person’s self-esteem and release feel-good hormones. Some of the benefits of exercise – better sleep, increased mood, reduced anxiety – can help manage some withdrawal symptoms.
Exercise doesn’t need to be overly strenuous, either. Start with taking a daily, hour-long walk or trying out a yoga class. Playing team sports like basketball or soccer are another great way to ease into a new workout routine.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk
12-step groups often talk about the importance of talking about your problems, and this shouldn’t stop once you’ve completed your treatment program.
If you start feeling like things are becoming too much, or you’re struggling with any aspect of life, find someone you can reach out to. If you haven’t already, find a local 12-step group that you can meet with weekly or monthly so you always have people to talk to when you need to get something off your chest.
Take Time for Yourself
Taking me-time is important for everyone. As you find yourself living a “normal” life, free from addiction, the stresses and demands of work and family may begin to wear on you.
Learn to recognize when you’ve got too much going on and figure out where you can make time to take care of yourself. Maybe you can book a relaxing massage treatment, plan a weekend trip away, or even just spend a day at home cozied up with a coffee and a good book.
Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle
Remember, your body and mind have just gone through a stressful experience with your addiction. It might feel tempting to jump headfirst into a new job or a new relationship as soon as you’re out of treatment, but don’t place unnecessary stress on yourself before you’re ready to.
For example, when you’re ready to go back to work, start out working two days a week. When you feel like you’ve adapted to that, talk to your manager about working three days a week. Take things slowly and ease your way in.