A healthy lifestyle is something necessary for anyone that is in early recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. It is all too common that when a person overcomes a substance use disorder, they turn to consume large amounts of junk food and sugar to cope with early recovery and satisfy their cravings. Evidence shows however that poor nutritional and life habits can hinder one’s progress in recovery rather than helping it. Many people in early recovery also tend to lack exercise and other healthy habits. Rebuilding your life in recovery doesn’t have to be a negative experience. While there will be days that are challenging, you can still do what you can to make it a little easier. Here are some ways to stay healthy while you’re in early recovery.
Eating Healthy and Staying Sober
One of the best ways for staying healthy early is fueling your body with the right food. Early recovery can be a tough time and many people make it much more difficult by not giving their body the proper fuel and nutrition it needs to heal. A body that has been weakened by alcohol and drug addiction needs time to recover. Try to avoid foods that can cause energy and mood crashes like processed foods, sugary foods and drinks, and heavy carbs. Instead, make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. Something like pizza is okay every once in a while, but not as a daily occurrence. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will also keep you feeling healthy.
Get Physical in Early Recovery
Exercise is proven to boost the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These are two “feel good” hormones and contribute to better sleep, better mood, more energy, and an overall improved sense of wellbeing. It is a great idea to get into some sort of exercise routine to help boost yourself up in early recovery. Some exercise ideas you can benefit from include, yoga, spinning classes, weightlifting, running, and playing sports. Find other sober people that enjoy the same activities as you so that you can have fun at the same time. Doing things like group sports is also a great way to build new friendships with others as well.
Stay Mindful of Yourself and Others
Addiction tends to go hand in hand with feelings of shame and guilt. Practicing mindfulness in recovery can help calm negative feelings and give your full attention to the present moment. Mindful meditation is a highly utilized tool for many people in early recovery who work a 12-step program. It is a powerful tool that means quieting the brain and observing your thoughts while staying completely in the moment. Mindfulness meditation can be done in groups or on your own. You never know what kind of peace and clarity can be brought with this tool until you try it.
Learn Stress Management
When you are in the early stages of recovery, it is imperative to have a stress management plan in place to help prevent future relapse. One of the most powerful tools is known as HALT. This stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. When these 4 basic needs are not met it makes it much more likely for the person to turn to self-destructive behaviors and not health coping mechanisms.
Stay Around Positive Recovered People
Hanging around the same old crown that fueled your toxic traits and behaviors is a sure-fire way to put your recovery at risk. Make sure you are surrounding yourself with people who support and encourage your health and success. When you are in addiction, it is easy to lose sight of the things that matter in life. Recovery opens those doors back up for you. Make sure you do what you can to make the experience as positive as you can by finding different ways to keep yourself healthy and on the road to recovery. Let Evoke Wellness at Cohasset help you on the path to sobriety.