Reclaim Yourself Through Wellness and Addiction Treatment. Recovery from substance abuse is more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It’s completely overhauling destructive patterns and habits and relearning how to make overall health a top priority. That includes not only physical health, but also mental, emotional, and even spiritual health, through incorporating healthy routines and practices. Comprehensive wellness in all facets of life will help you maintain sobriety while also giving you renewed energy and strength to fulfill your goals.
Incorporating comprehensive health and wellness practices into your daily life will help relieve anxiety and depression while allowing you to enjoy life more and achieve long-lasting sobriety.
Reclaiming Wellness 101
There are many ways to achieve wellness in all facets of life. At Twilight Recovery Center, we practice a holistic approach to healing, which teams physical recovery with mental and spiritual recovery. To do this, we not only treat patients with in-house rehabilitation, but encourage other wellness practices as well.
Getting the Right Nutrition
Chances are, while in the throes of substance addiction, you were not in the right frame of mind to make healthy eating habits. The combination of drugs and poor dietary choices can, unsurprisingly, wreak havoc on the body. Poor nutrition not only decreases energy and overall physical health but can make you feel tired and more negative. The constant presence of negative emotions can make it easier to turn to drugs as a quick fix to feel better, which ultimately results in feeling worse when the high wears off.
Part of recovery is making sure you are well nourished. Every meal or snack is an opportunity to replenish nutrients lost in the struggle of addiction. It’s not uncommon for people to start detoxification in a malnourished state, worsened by feelings of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. As the body is weaned off of drugs during detox, lost fluids and nutrients must be replaced. That’s why good nutrition is a strong focus in cultivating wellness.
A dietician who is knowledgeable about addiction can help you develop an eating plan that can restore your health. People in substance abuse recovery may need to focus on the following areas:
- Restoring fluids by drinking more water, rather than alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, or caffeinated beverages
- Planning meals and snacks ahead of time, before hunger pangs begin
- Having water and healthy snacks on hand
Many people in recovery crave sweets and other unhealthy snacks to substitute for alcohol or drugs. It’s not uncommon for overeating to become a substitute for getting drunk or high. Therefore, learning to eat well is critical for also learning how to function without substances.
Encouraging Regular Exercise
Did you know that exercise can produce what’s often called a natural high? This is the effect of endorphins, brain chemicals that are released through physical activity. These endorphins also result in a lifted mood, which can ease feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress, and help reduce the temptation to use again. Physical activity, such as sports or joining a gym, also helps fill the time that might otherwise be spent getting high.
Additional benefits of exercise for substance abuse recovery include:
- Increased strength, stamina, blood flow, and healing for bodies that have been weakened by prolonged drug use
- Changes in brain chemistry that fuel feelings of addiction
- Release of neurochemicals that naturally increase energy and feelings of contentment and well-being
- Weight stabilization, improved flexibility, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced blood pressure
- Increased feelings of confidence and self-efficacy
- Reduced dependence, temptation, and “need” for drugs to get by
Cultivating wellness in the form of exercise can help replace old habits with healthy ones, making substances less desirable to cope with negative emotions or boredom.
Learning to Manage Stress in a Healthy Way
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to substance abuse and relapse, especially in early recovery. It can take some time to learn how to replace unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy ones, especially when you have to face stress with a sober mind.
Managing stress in a healthy way can help reduce heart rate, feel calm, deepen breathing, and restore concentration, all while reducing the urge to get high. These practices can also raise the levels of brain chemicals, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for feelings of relaxation and contentment. This is important for healing bodies that have essentially been trained to associate those feelings with drug use.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Calming both body and mind is a crucial skill that is learned in recovery. Along with regular therapy appointments, some of the following techniques can be used for stress reduction:
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Listening to music
- Massage therapy
- Art therapy
- Being out in nature: walking, biking, hiking, or gardening
Practicing Healthy Sleep Habits
The average adult requires 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. This is one of the most effective natural ways of getting enough energy to face the next day. To do this, it’s recommended that you go to bed and get up at about the same time every day. It’s also recommended you limit caffeine intake and the amount of time spent napping during the day, so you’re adequately tired at bedtime.
Seeing a Therapist
It can be beneficial to have an unbiased third party who can help walk you through complex emotions, traumas, and other underlying causes of substance abuse. Therapy is also beneficial for managing co-occurring mental health conditions along with substance abuse.