Getting Healthy After Addiction: How to Properly Look After Your Physical & Mental Health
When you’ve gone through recovery, you might feel like you’ve been to hell and back. And there’s a good reason for this. Your mind and body have gone through tremendous changes during addiction and during recovery.
Substance abuse over time will deplete the body of key nutrients it needs to function well. And this can have a major impact on your physical and mental health.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of your body while in recovery and beyond.
In this post, we explore some of the most effective ways you can get healthy after addiction.
Eat well-balanced meals
Food is always going to be the best source of nutrition because it includes all the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants your body needs. Although we know a lot about how individual nutrients work within the body, there’s a lot we still have to learn about how nutrients work synergistically. Eating a balanced whole foods diet seems to be the best and fastest way to improve your health. Along with that, avoid processed foods, refined sugar and carbohydrates, and caffeine.
When you’re recovering from substance abuse, the natural balance of chemicals in your brain is going to be out of whack. It takes some time for your brain and body to readjust during recovery, but exercise can help bring some balance. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals to counter the physical strain of exercise. This is where the term “runner’s high” comes from.
Researchers are still learning about exactly how the gut can impact our mood, but they know enough to be sure of the connection. If you have a plethora of harmful bacteria in your gut, which is likely after substance abuse, you may find yourself anxious and depressed more often than before the substance abuse. Some more good news for those who may be overweight: probiotics can help you lose weight.
Addiction is often a result of a major self-love deficiency, and when you’re in recovery, it’s important to re-start your self-love journey. Without self-love, you’re more likely to find yourself reaching for external sources of approval and happiness. Self-love practices can help you find that approval and happiness within. It’s definitely a journey, but make a habit of doing something that lights you up every day. If you like to paint or draw, do that. If you like to sing or play guitar, do that. Be sure to take care of yourself every day.
Work towards goals
You’ll find goal-setting to be an instrumental part of your recovery. Not only can goals give you a sense of purpose, but they can also help you shift focus towards things that are more positive. Start with small goals that you can easily achieve. This will give you the confidence you need to work on more challenging goals. When you get into the habit of knocking out goal after goal, the sense of accomplishment only mounts from here. It’s a great way to keep depression and damaging thoughts at bay.
Pay it forward
Once you feel like you’ve made it to a safe space, keep your momentum going by paying it forward and helping others who are recently out of drug detox centers. Early recovery is a tough time for everyone, and once you’re out of the woods, you can help others who so desperately need support. And in the process, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and purpose.
We all know it’s important to get healthy after addiction. And in most cases, we even know how to do it. But if you want it to have a lasting impact, make and keep healthy habits.