As you travel down the path toward clean and sober living, it’s important to remember that there’s support for you along the way. A lot of that support will come from the healthy community you’ll build. Much of it will also come from life-giving habits that you establish and maintain. Addiction is pervasive and persistent; its very nature takes over one’s life. With the help of power outside your ordinary self-will, that connection, community, and habit adjustment will stifle the power of the addiction. Here are 5 key habits to develop on your path to recovery.
1. Healthy Eating
Healthy eating reinforces a life that’s well-rounded and energetic. Good nutrition is a mood booster and improves function and longevity. If you’re physically robust from smart eating, you’ll be more likely to move through stress smoothly and avoid infirmity and cravings. Also, try a search using terms like multivitamins as needed for extra support.
A few tips can move you in the direction of more nutritious eating. Eat as many whole foods as you can, and limit convenience foods. Processed foods usually are deficient in nutritional value and likely to contain added salt and sugar. Make sure you get enough protein; it’s especially important for recovering people, as it helps repair damage resulting from substance abuse. Sample a variety of foods, and eat for enjoyment.
2. Sufficient Sleep
Sufficient high-quality sleep will immediately make you feel better and establish a foundation for emotional and mental well-being. Start out by sticking to a regular schedule, even if it’s unconventional. With the help of a medical professional, you can slowly adjust it toward an optimal rhythm. Try to get at least seven hours per night. It helps to avoid screens several hours before going to bed — or try blue light blockers. During the active phase of addiction, sleep is usually compromised. By improving your sleep, you’ll make a quantum leap forward in your healthy sobriety.
3. Balanced Movement
Exercise and a balanced approach to movement help people to do something that counteracts the addictive process. Feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine flood the brain. Cravings for drugs and alcohol decrease. So in effect, you’re bringing on a euphoric feeling without the use of addictive substances. Also, exercise decreases the perception of stress, which in turn reduces the craving for alcohol and drugs. Get started by moving more actively within the limits of your capacity. Then, with a health practitioner and trainer’s help, design an exercise program that’s right for you. Include strength, cardiovascular, flexibility, and agility training. Make it something you enjoy!
4. Sober Community
A clean and sober community proves recovery support. Wholesome, drug and alcohol-free socializing increases overall mental health. It’s essential to focus on positive friendships and associations. There’s a risk for relapse if you’re trying to stay in recovery and still hanging out with people who encourage substance use. Stay connected to supportive friends who also support your sobriety.
Do things that increase your self-esteem. This means doing things that are worthy of esteem; there’s more to it than self-care. This authentic self-esteem helps support the recovery process. You’ll feel better about yourself, and more apt to treat yourself and others with respect and care. These esteemable actions can take many forms. Volunteering in your community, engaging in an enjoyable hobby, being a greeter in your house of worship or recovery place; the possibilities are numerous. The most important thing is that the actions lead to good feelings about how you’re conducting your life.
Be sure to maintain regular 12-step meeting attendance. It’s associated with long-term sobriety. Take part in individual and group therapy as needed, too.
5. Mindful Spirituality
For many, the state of mindfulness is the opposite of the state of addiction. Mindful spirituality doesn’t mean escape; it means looking clearly at one’s self and situation within an atmosphere of acceptance. It involves observation and introspection. Mindfulness can take many forms. It might be meditation, it might have to do with immersing oneself in nature. It might also involve religion and prayer. Mindfulness reduces anxiety, perception of stress, and depression; it’s a key foundation for recovery.
Developing healthy habits is a continuous growth process. These 5 key habits to develop on your path to recovery may help sustain and maintain a healthy happy life.