Addiction and substance abuse often wreaks havoc on your health. The cravings for a substance can overtake anything else, including what you need to do to take care of yourself. You simply want more and more of the drug, ignoring your needs for food, sleep, activity, and connection with others. That’s why setting up daily routines is such an important part of the recovery process. By doing the same things on a regular basis, you help to set down new, better habits that can advance your health and help you thrive in sobriety.
1. Wake Up Ready
Your bed can be very relaxing, and staying in it for a long time is often a strong temptation. Many people struggle with feeling dread and hesitancy having to wake up in the morning, having a hard time getting out of bed. To get past this barrier, it can be helpful to focus the mind on positive things for a moment. When you first wake up, think about what you have to be grateful for, and become aware of your body and breath. By focusing your attention on these positive experiences, you will awake more conscious and ready to start the day.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast
The time between dinner and waking up is the longest amount of time to be without food in the day. Eating soon after waking up rejuvenates your glucose, or blood sugar, and quiets down the “hunger hormones” such as ghrelin. This means that skipping breakfast can make you overeat for the rest of the day. A healthy and small bite to eat first thing in the morning also gives you more energy, and may even increase your mental sharpness. A breakfast most supportive of your health will include a bread or grain, a dairy product, and a fruit or vegetable.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Water is a vitally important part of your day, and many people become can become mildly dehydrated without even realizing it. Water allows your body’s cells to reach their maximum efficiency, helps retain your body’s fluids so they can function, and help your muscles feel energized and your skin clear. Sports drinks, fruit juices, and teas can also have some benefits, but nothing hydrates as well as water, and caffeine can even dehydrate you further. Try to drink water with every meal, and keep a glass or bottle of water with you at all times, and take sips during the day. When engaging in rigorous physical activity or exercise, you should drink 3 to 4 ounces of water every 15 minutes.
4. Get Moving
Regular physical exercise is one of the most important habits you can form to increase your strength, because working your muscles helps them gain ability to move more efficiently, and your heart and lungs to keep working properly. Exercise also produces large amounts of neurotransmitters that produce pleasure, and good and relaxed feelings, which can make it easier to manage the stresses of life. A workout of stretching, followed by controlled working of different muscle groups, or going on a simple walk, run, or swim can dramatically increase your energy levels and make it easier to face the day.
5. Early to Bed
How you feel and function during you day often has a lot to do with how much sleep you get during the night. Regular sleep rejuvenates and repairs your body, allowing you brain and health to function at the highest level possible. While each person’s sleep needs may be a little different, most adults need between six and eight hours of sleep each night. Going to bed at the same time every night makes it easier to get into a pattern of regular sleep, which can ensure that you are getting a full night’s rest.
Thinking about all the different things you can be doing to increase your health can easily get overwhelming. Trying to do everything, and think about it all at once can get overwhelming, so it’s important to think about taking things one step, and one day at a time. Over time these habits will become more and more automatic, and you will start to see a difference in how you feel.