When someone suffers from addiction there are numerous aspects of their life that can begin to depreciate, causing them to be unhealthy mentally, physically and spiritually. Substance abuse can cause people to neglect important areas of their everyday life making it harder for them to experience wellness. In recovery, improving wellness not only helps addicts feel better it also makes it easier for them to remain sober. Focusing on wellness can help reduce the risk of relapse and allow addicts to get much more out of their recovery. There are several different areas of life that people in recovery can focus on so that they can take steps to greater wellness.
1. Physical Health through Diet and Fitness
It is common for people with addictions to let their physical health deteriorate because they focus much of their energy and time on substance abuse. They might eat very little or eat too much unhealthy food and rarely exercise. In recovery people need to improve their wellness by focusing on eating nutritious foods, getting a moderate amount of exercise and sleeping eight hours a night every day. If you have not been to the doctor or dentist for a while it might be a good idea to get a checkup, cleaning and tests to make sure you are in good health. It is important to know numbers like your blood pressure, BMI, blood glucose and blood lipids to prevent disease. It can be helpful to remember that physical well-being is closely connected to mental health and overall wellness.
2. Social Wellness through a Network of Friends
When recovering from an addiction one of the most important things to have is a support network of people you can trust to help you through tough times. Social wellness means engaging regularly with others and working to feel more comfortable in everyday social interactions. It is okay if you’re not a social butterfly but connecting with at least one person a day can keep you on track and improve your mental health as well. Attending group meetings can keep you socially connected and prevent the kind of isolation that can be dangerous to recovery.
3. Saving Money and Building Financial Wellness
Worrying about money can cause too much stress and be damaging for a person in recovery. Addicts might tend to overspend or let their financial situation fall apart while engaging in substance abuse. It is important as a sober person to get better control of your finances by making a budget and sticking with it, working to pay off any debts and putting some money into a savings account every month to reduce anxiety. The more you are able to save the less you will worry about unforeseen expenses when they come up.
4. Coping with Emotions the Healthy Way
Emotional wellness can be challenging but it is a key element in addiction recovery. For many addicts, the only way they’ve learned to handle their emotions is to turn to substance abuse for relief. In recovery they must learn to cope with feelings in different and healthier ways that will improve their overall emotional well-being. Recovering addicts need to learn techniques like relaxation, meditation, stress management strategies and problem-solving skills.
5. Spirituality as a Form of Wellness
Out of all the areas of life that people might focus on in terms of self-improvement, the one that may be most neglected is spirituality. We are all spiritual beings that need to find meaning to our existence and feel connected to something larger than ourselves. Improving spirituality does not necessarily mean going to church, it could be your own spiritual practice that feels significant to you.