Maintaining lifelong sobriety requires a commitment to breaking the self-destructive cycle of addiction. During your stay in residential rehab, you will establish a routine you can continue and build upon throughout your recovery journey. While some of these back-to-basics lifestyle changes are simple – like getting up and going to bed at consistent times – they still require self-discipline and motivation. As you work to rebuild your physical, mental and emotional well-being this National Wellness Month, here are five healthy habits you can adopt for sustained recovery.
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
A significant part of recovering from a substance use disorder involves reversing the damage done by making haphazard, impulsive dietary choices. Besides affecting your relationship with food, substance abuse can cause digestive system inflammation, which impairs your body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the meals you eat.
A few tips can help you start eating a more nutritious diet. At the grocery store, choose as many whole, unprocessed foods as you can, and limit “convenience” meals, which usually have additives like sugar, sodium and artificial colors. Try new recipes, and eat more mindfully.
2. Find a Sober Support Network
Connection and community are the opposite of the isolation that characterizes addiction. A healthy habit for sustained recovery is to surround yourself with positive people who keep you accountable to your goals. As you work to repair damaged relationships, you can also make new friends by attending meetings of AA and other groups. Volunteering and taking classes are other excellent ways to meet people who can become part of your sober support network.
3. Practice Self-Care to Manage Your Stress
Since stress can be a significant relapse trigger, it’s critical to monitor your emotions and recognize warning signs of burnout. Self-care activities like yoga, gardening, cooking and listening to music are healthy habits that can help you replenish your emotional resources. Learn to say no to requests that would overload your plate, and put your needs first.
4. Discover New Ways to Have Fun
Addiction causes brain changes that make it difficult to feel pleasure without alcohol and drugs. One challenge of sustained recovery is finding sober ways to have fun, filling the hours you used to spend getting drunk or high. You can start this process at a rehab that offers activities and excursions for clients.
5. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
Sustained recovery requires patience and self-forgiveness. Take stock of your accomplishments and reward yourself when you reach a goal, no matter how small. You can use sobriety milestones as an opportunity to schedule a check-in meeting with your therapist or recovery sponsor. Reviewing your progress can help you appreciate how far you’ve come on your journey.
Are You Ready to Achieve Sustained Recovery?
At Vista Taos, our holistic programming will help bring much-needed structure and balance to your life, while giving you a taste of the freedom lifelong sobriety will bring. Contact us today to learn more about our unique programming and features.