Addiction often comes with poor eating choices and even destructive food habits. Now that you’re in recovery, you might notice the ways your body is out of shape, unhealthy, or losing its strength. You might recognize that you were once more flexible or stronger. Certainly, getting sober is a great way to support your body’s health. And now that you’re free of drugs and alcohol, there are a number of other ways to take care of your mental and physical well-being. For instance:
Regular Exercise – Exercise not only has an array of physical, emotional, and psychological benefits, it can also be used as a coping mechanism in recovery. For instance, in the past, when you might have reached for a drink when life got stressful, now you can go for a run, take a walk, or practice yoga. These are healthier options for managing life’s day to day anxieties. Vigorous exercise can help release tension and vent anger. Also, physical activity can release endorphins, boost positive feelings, and affect one’s overall mental health. Exercise can also help with the health of the brain, including making new neural connections, which alone can facilitate enduring change. Ongoing physical exercise can make feeling better happen more often.
Healthy Food Choices – Another significant way to feel better is through nutritional eating. In fact, healthy eating can aid the healing process of sobriety. Returning to a diet that is rich in nutrients can help replenish the body, giving it energy, repairing organ tissue, and strengthening the immune system. It can also provide restoration to the brain, an organ that is heavily affected by addiction. It’s common for many people to be confused about what types of food would be best for them. For this reason, it could be a good idea to work with a nutritionist.
Because so many addiction treatment centers and sober living homes are recognizing the need for healthy eating in recovery, they often include a nutritionist in their programs. In fact, many treatment centers argue that feeling better as a result of eating well reduces the risk of relapse – similar to the effect that exercise has on a person. Along these lines, nutritionists believe that many addicts are so unfamiliar with the feeling of hunger that they can sometimes misinterpret that feeling for a desire to drink, leading to relapse. This is a mistake that can be remedied during recovery with frequent, healthy meals.
Sleep Well – Get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. The process of healing requires a significant amount of sleep. And as someone in recovery, you are undergoing physical, psychological and emotional healing. Sleeping can be difficult for some. However, establishing a regular sleep schedule is the first step. For instance, if you decide to go to bed at 11pm each evening, stick to that schedule so that you’re body and brain are used to that routine. There’s no question that addiction can a severe effect on one’s ability to sleep. Finding the right sleep schedule, sticking to that routine, and making sure that you get 8 hours of sleep each night can support your physical, emotional, and psychological health.
If you’re interested in taking good care of your body, getting sober is a great first step! Now, exercise, good sleep, and healthy food choices can really enhance your mental and physical well-being.
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