With New Year’s around the corner, it’s a great time to commit yourself to change. Most people use this time of the year to focus on their physical health or careers but we suggest giving attention toward your mental health. By making your emotional health a top priority, you increase your chances for long-term sobriety.
As you ring in the New Year, here are some goals to keep in mind for better mental health in 2018.
Pay Attention to Your Emotions
Drugs and alcohol numb your emotions. As you start to feel again, your natural reaction may be to ignore these feelings. Don’t do this, as this will only worsen the situation. Whether you’re feeling anxious, sad or depressed, confront these emotions. This is how you feel, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Even if you can’t control the situation, you can control how you respond to it.
Stop Replaying Past Mistakes
Recovering addicts sometimes replay past mistakes in their head over and over again. If you have a tendency to do this, put this negative thinking in the past. Yes, it’s harder said than done, but what you’re doing is kicking yourself when you’re down. The 12 steps will help you work through these emotions, as you’ll learn to forgive yourself and others. Until you work through them, remember that you are human and humans make mistakes.
Put Yourself First
You may want to prove to others that you’ve changed, but this will come in time. Instead, use your energy on your health and wellness. Make it a priority to eat healthy meals, get adequate rest each night and participate in some of your favorite activities. By treating yourself right, you will boost your recovery and learn to listen to and respect your body.
Spend Time Outdoors
Fresh air is rejuvenating to the soul. Unfortunately, it’s winter and many people spend the bulk of their time indoors. If you live in a cold-winter state, still make time to go outdoors for fresh air and Vitamin D. Walk around the block. Get the mail and tidy up your yard. Go birdwatching. Have a cup of warm tea on the porch. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from new scenery.
Live in the Moment
A great New Year’s resolution for 2018 is to live in the moment. The past is the past. It’s done and we can’t change it. The future is ahead of us, and no one knows what it will bring. What you should do is focus on the here and now. Enjoy your time with loved ones. Start up a new hobby that brings you joy. Take in the small details such as the sun shining down on your face. There’s so much to appreciate in everyday life.
Most importantly, remember that each sober day moves you further away from your addiction. There IS a huge benefit to time in recovery. The longer you remain sober, the lower your risk for relapse and the easier it is to fight temptation. Keep your head up and look forward to another year free from drugs and alcohol. You are doing a great job so far!