6 Lifestyle Changes that Help with Recovery

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Cooking food

Addiction does not have a cure. It can be successfully treated and managed, but complacency can put you at risk for relapse. Knowing that you must always work at your recovery, it’s important to make adjustments that are conducive to sobriety.

Below are six lifestyle changes that will align with your goals of leading a vibrant, sober life!

1. Stay Active

It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity) each week. That breaks down to about 20 minutes a day. It’s certainly doable. Being active holds even more weight for recovering addicts. It releases feel-good endorphins in the brain that are essential for keeping a positive attitude in recovery.

2. Eat a Healthy Diet

It takes time to adopt a healthy diet. Most addicts don’t eat a consistent, balanced diet. Some tips for incorporating better eating habits include:

  • Focus on high-protein foods like poultry and lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grain cereals and breads.

  • Establish a consistent routine to avoid feeling hungry (which can be confused for drug cravings).

  • Avoid high-sugar, high-fat foods. They can cause a surge and drop in dopamine levels, leading to feelings of depression.

3. Get Adequate Rest

Getting enough sleep is important. Your body needs this time to restore itself. Falling asleep and staying asleep can be a challenge for newly recovering addicts, but there are ways to help. Start by adopting a consistent sleep routine that gives you 7-9 hours of rest. Other suggestions include:

  • Create a comfortable sleeping environment.

  • Lower the temperature in the room.

  • Avoid napping during the day. Be active.

  • Turn off all electronics.

  • Write in a journal, use aromatherapy or meditate before sleep.

  • Limit caffeine. Try herbal tea instead.

4. Be Spiritual

Spirituality is not about being religious. It’s about being one with the universe and finding your greater purpose in life. By being spiritual, you can fill loneliness and emptiness, and tune in to the environment. Feeling connected allows you to discover where you fit in. And, if you are comfortable, you can connect with a higher power and discover even more greatness in life.

5. Discover New Interests

Hobbies are excellent ways to pass the time, increase confidence levels and re-discover your passions. You can also develop new friendships in the process. One of the most rewarding activities is volunteering. Helping others allows you to feel good about yourself and your purpose in the world. This positivity encourages you to be more successful in your recovery.

6. Find Ways to Relax

Stressful situations can trigger a relapse. In fact, they’re often some of the first reasons why people start using drugs. Find effective ways to manage stress and anxiety, such as breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, journaling or exercise. It’s also important to build a protective life. Don’t overcommit yourself or pile too much on your plate.

Lifestyle changes are essential for reaching long-term sobriety. By adopting these changes early on, you can enjoy a more rewarding and successful recovery process.