Our bodies and minds pay the price when we are in active addiction. Some of us experience extreme weight fluctuations, memory loss, deterioration of teeth and gums, slowed cognitive functions, and much more. For those of us who make it to addiction recovery, the damage we have done can serve as a deterrent from staying clean and sober, but if we practice healthy habits, we can make repairs and learn to love ourselves just as we are. Here are the top 5 habits you should adopt to regain a healthy mind and body while in addiction recovery:
- Stay Hydrated – We need water not only to stay alive, but to keep each and every one of the approximately 37.2 trillion cells in our body functioning their best. Properly hydrating ourselves actually gives us more energy, improves short-term memory and cognition, clears our complexion, and makes us healthier and happier in general. The body has a natural detoxification process, so providing it with water will allow toxins to flush quicker and help us avoid sickness and feel better overall. Keeping a reusable water bottle on us throughout the day can improve our water intake and replenish our bodies and minds.
- Find the Right Sleep Routine – Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule will keep our minds on track and allow our bodies to repair while we rest. As adults, it’s recommended that we get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each day, for some of us that may be consecutively or split between the night and a nap in the day – finding the sleep schedule that best suits the needs of our bodies will grant us the best success in addiction recovery. Getting the right amount of sleep will allow us to remain alert throughout our days, help rebuild our memory, and provide our bodies a chance to naturally heal the aches and pains from the day prior.
- Give Your Mind a Daily Workout – There are plenty of ways to take your brain to the “gym” nowadays. Reading is always a classic route when it comes to working on maintaining focus, building vocabulary, and using our mind’s eye. There are plenty of apps developed for phones and tablets that are specifically geared towards building up certain skills such as short-term memory and comprehension through gamification. Getting creative is also a fantastic way to get blood pumping through our lobes – take up a new hobby such as painting, drawing, writing music or poetry to rev up the imagination.
- Get Moving – Whether it be hitting the gym, going on hikes, taking a swim, or enjoying a yoga class, physical activity can be the best way to keep our bodies healthy, raise self-esteem, and get endorphins and adrenaline flowing. Many of us in recovery deal with severe body image issues due to the weight gained or lost while in active addiction or early sobriety; we can work on getting our bodies to ideal fat and muscle masses through a healthy fitness regimen. Getting active provides us with physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes spiritual fulfilment which many of us need in order to stay clean and sober.
- Eat Well – Nutrition is something that many of us completely neglected while in active addiction. Consuming foods that provide us with essential vitamins, minerals, and energy can help us bounce back from the havoc we wreaked on our bodies and minds and allows us to function better in everyday life. Eating “brain foods” such as fatty fish, blueberries, and broccoli provides the kind of fats your brain cells crave to protect them, improve memory, and build new nerve cells. Anything we put in our body can either help or harm it, so doing a little research can go a long way when it comes to identifying which foods can give us what we need.
Addiction recovery can be stressful, especially at the beginning since everything is so foreign to us, but if we incorporate these healthy habits into our new lifestyle, the stress will be a lot easier to deal with. Keeping our minds and bodies active, fed, rested, and hydrated will guarantee us the strength and energy we need to maintain our sobriety. Try utilizing these 5 tips in your addiction recovery to see and feel the difference!