When you think of the word “health,” what comes to mind? When you were using, you probably weren’t doing healthy things. The World Health Organization defines health as a complete state of mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. These are needs that remain the same across cultures. When you were using, did you make it a point to take care of your health? Did you make sure that you went to an annual check-up and saw the doctor when you were sick? Probably not.
It’s hard to be a health or fitness lover while you’re stuck in active addiction. Depending on your drug of choice, there is possible damage that you may need to address at some point in life.
Taking Care of Your Physical Health
Just like all well-built machines, our bodies need more maintenance, too. It’s essential you get a full checkup when you first get clean and follow up on doctor recommendations.
It may seem difficult at first, but caring about yourself and your physical health is an important part of recovery. You’ve already taken a significant step towards better health by quitting drugs and alcohol. Now it’s time to focus on your long-term health. How is your diet? Do you eat vegetables and fruit daily? You can nourish your body with better nutrition. Try to get the right amount of fruits and vegetables daily, and try to exercise every day, even if it’s just going on a 15-minute walk.
Taking care of yourself also means regular doctor appointments. If you have health worries, don’t keep them to yourself. You may feel guilty for abusing your body by using for so long – but judging isn’t your doctors’ job. A doctor wants to help you heal, and if you are having problems, it’s best if you make her aware of them. Taking care of hidden or chronic diseases can help you stay healthy for life.
Taking Care of Your Mental Health
Stress is a difficult thing to live with, but it’s also a fact of life. Learning how to live with stress without using substances is an integral part of living in recovery. Taking care of your mental health includes learning self-care techniques, learning to de-stress, and reaching out to others when you’re feeling negative. It also means taking care of any co-occurring disorders.
Depression, anxiety, and trauma are common issues that people deal with in recovery. If you suffer from these disorders, or you think you might have a mental health issue, take care of yourself. Seek out a referral to a mental health professional to get help and learn to live with your disorders.
Reaching for Spiritual Health
In recovery, you are asked to believe in a power greater than yourself. Some people in recovery already know what higher power they believe in, and decide to attend church services or begin meditating. Getting closer to a higher power will make the 12 steps easier to take, and having faith in a higher power can help you find solace during troubling times.
But what about people who don’t have a religion? How can you develop a spiritual life if you’re not sure what you believe?
You don’t have to decide on a higher power overnight. Your spiritual health doesn’t have to rely on a diety to feel spiritual. Do you love spending time in nature? Or do you find a particular musician uplifting? Look for the things in life that make you feel spiritual. Seek out activities that make you appreciate life and the world around you. Ask around to find what other people do when they struggle with spirituality.
Live in a Healthy Environment
Many people find that a sober home is a healthy environment to live in while they are transitioning from treatment to the “real world.” Are you looking for an option like this? Get in touch to learn about our sober living homes and find out if they are appropriate for you. Call us at 760-216-2077.