GUEST ARTICLE: Getting Through Recovery Successfully: Tips For Life After Addiction by Adam Cook
This week's article comes from one of the founders of the online resource for addiction addictionhub.org, Adam Cook. I hope you all find it useful.
Living through an addiction can take a terrible toll on your mind and body, and even recovery has moments of pain that can be hard to shake. When your physical and mental health have been put on the back burner for a while, it can be difficult to forge a new path and learn how to take care of yourself. Yet that’s exactly what recovery is, and it’s important to find the best ways to help yourself feel better every day in order to truly thrive this year and all the years to come.
You can start by learning how to eat, how to rest and how to stay fit. When you get your body in shape, your mental health will follow. It’s not an easy feat, however. Finding an exercise routine that you can stick to can be tricky, and eating well-balanced meals may prove difficult if you’re used to eating whatever you want. It will take time, but you should explore ways to contribute to your recovery.
Here’s how to get there.
Find a hobby
Hobbies are wonderful ways to get rid of stress and anxiety, two major factors in moving along substance abuse recovery. They can also help you stay active, give you something to look forward to, open up a creative outlet, and can even be a way for you to make some extra money. Seek out a hobby that you enjoy--gardening, drawing, sewing, cooking--and engage in it on a regular basis to find the benefits. Depending on the hobby, you might even be able to ask a friend to join you, a bonus since staying social is another great way to help recovery along.
Getting active is great not only for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. Studies have shown that getting daily exercise can help boost your self-esteem and confidence, and it releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy, making it one of the best ways to fight depression and other mood disorders. Start a regimen that will be easy for you to follow, such as yoga, walking in the evenings after dinner, or playing a sport. If you can mix something that you already enjoy with a form of activity, you’ll be able to maintain it much more easily.
Spending time outdoors isn’t everyone’s thing; sometimes, there are just too many good shows streaming to think about heading outside. But being in nature--and getting some vitamin D from the sun--can help you feel better by reducing stress, eliminating physical ailments like inflammation, and can even improve your short-term memory. Go for a hike, hit the beach, or ride the trails at a local park on your bike. Spending some time outdoors will help you feel ready to take on the world.
Forming new bonds and maintaining old social relationships are incredibly important during recovery. Not only do you need a circle of support around you during this trying time, it’s also good to simply have someone to talk to who has similar interests or understands what you’ve been through. Many individuals in recovery find their relationships damaged or broken by substance abuse, but in many cases, it’s possible to repair them. Be honest about your goals and take things slowly when working things out with a loved one or friend.
Making your recovery a success can be a long road, and it depends on your ability to see things through. Set attainable goals and talk to a counselor or support group so you’ll have accountability. It’s important to explore ways to take care of yourself as much as possible. With a good plan, you can achieve anything.