As someone recovering from drug and/or alcohol abuse, your body is in serious need of some TLC. Making health in recovery a priority is essential. Not only does your body need it, but it is also an essential component to help keep you happy, healthy, and sober. It is proven that adopting healthy habits in recovery can go a long way in contributing to your overall wellness, so making a commitment to small, positive changes, is a great thing to do.
Regaining Your Health in Recovery
Depending on how long you have been influenced by addiction, your body is likely to have suffered at least a little bit of damage from the substances you put in it. It isn’t just the substance, but the fact that during active addiction, most people ignore things like eating well or exercise, because their only priority is their next drug or drink. For this reason, many people who come to rehab are severely malnourished.
Beyond proper nutrition, it is important that you get evaluated for any underlying medical or mental issues once you enter treatment. This way, you know what you are working with and you and your team of doctors can come up with an appropriate treatment plan based on your needs. Many addicts, unfortunately, suffer from diseases like Hepatitis C from sharing needles, and other diseases from unprotected sex. Part of taking care of your health in recovery is confronting these issues and starting treatment. Letting things go ignored will only make them worse.
If you did receive an unexpected diagnosis by your doctor, it is normal to feel some fear and uncertainty, but it is essential not to let this rule your life. By becoming sober, you have a chance to make things better instead of continuing to make them worse. The best thing to do is focus on what kind of positive changes you can make to improve your health, instead of dwelling on what you could have done differently in the past.
Healthy Habits in Recovery
Once you are out of treatment and back in a routine, there are a number of things you can do to help clear and heal your body and mind. First thing first is making sure any conditions you have been stabilized and treated by a medical professional. This applies to any kind of physical or mental condition. Correctly managing a mood disorder or pain can be fundamental to keep your sobriety. Make sure you have a doctor to work with who can help guide you and continue your treatment.
Beyond that, healthy habits are a necessary addition to your lifestyle. As you progress in your recovery, you will continue to get healthier and stronger day by day. And, the better and stronger you feel, the easier it will be to stay sober. To obtain the best possible health in recovery, two big things you can do is eat well and exercise. Before you get overwhelmed, realize that making small changes is the best way to make a slow and steady overhaul to your lifestyle.
Nutrition in Recovery
To eat well, you can start by making sure you are eating nutritious meals regularly. In addition, many go days without eating, so your body still needs to catch up. Make sure your meals are well balanced and try to eat as many whole, real foods as you can. Again, you don’t need to overhaul your diet all at once, just begin by adding some healthy foods, and slowly keep modifying more and more until at least 80% of your diet is healthy!
As far as exercise goes, no one expects you to go straight from drug or alcohol addiction to a tri-athlete. It is all about starting small. Walking is a great way to improve your overall health. You can get a pedometer to track your steps, or try to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. If you need motivation, ask a friend to join you, or take a dog for a walk. The time will go fast, it will improve your health, and you’ll discover new things in your neighborhood by foot!
Health in recovery is individual, as is recovery itself. Take the time to listen to your body and nourish it as much as possible to reverse the abuse caused by addiction.