Tips To Make Recovery Easier
By Contributing Advice Expert View more articles
Recovering from substance abuse is never an easy process. For women who juggle raising a family, a career and social activities, it can be very difficult to overcome addiction on their own.
Getting help with addiction is an important first step on the road to recovery. But ultimately each person has to dedicate time, energy and effort into managing addiction since it is a disease that can’t be cured. The initial recovery is often the hardest part, but the five tips below are ways you can make the process easier:
Focus on Exercise and Diet
Addiction recovery centers like Sandy's Place in Orange County, CA take a very holistic approach to helping women overcome addiction. More and more recovery facilities are getting women to focus on their overall health, not just their addiction.
Making diet and exercise a priority can help you focus your energy on creating healthy habits that replace bad ones. It also helps women focus on taking care of themselves rather than everyone else.
How you are feeling physically also has a direct impact on your mental and emotional health. A wholesome diet and regular exercise boosts energy levels, helps you drop excess weight and is a proven stress reliever. It may help to work with a certified dietician and trainer to create a routine that you will enjoy and stick with.
Keep a Diary
One of the most effective ways to cope with everything that is happening during recovery is to keep a diary. A diary provides a number of benefits, and helps you take things one day at a time. Expressing your thoughts and emotions can help you make better sense of what you’re feeling. It can also help you identify stress triggers (see below) or situations that make it more difficult to manage addiction.
Documenting your daily interactions and thoughts is also a powerful tool that can help you improve communication with your health care team. The more they understand your unique situation the easier it is for them to give you the assistance you need.
Find Your Healthy Stress Relievers
Many people use drugs and alcohol as a way of coping with stress. According to research from the American Psychological Association, women are experiencing higher levels of stress than men, and they are more likely to have physical symptoms. These physical reactions to stress can serve as triggers for addictive behavior.
Keeping a diary is one of the easiest ways to identify stress triggers and note how you react to stress. This information can help you find the best stress relievers for a given situation. Some of the best stress relievers include:
Reading – Studies have shown that reading is the quickest way to reduce stress. Researchers believe this is because reading is a good distraction that diverts our attention away from the stressful situation.
Walking Outdoors – A leisurely stroll outdoors has a dramatic impact on people’s physical and mental wellbeing. A recent study from the University of Michigan found that walking in nature with others is particularly beneficial.
Watch a Funny Video – Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that laughter is some of the best medicine for stress. Laughter provides both short-term and long-term benefits that ease tension and improve mood.
Change Your Environment
Habits are connected to our environment. One of the easiest ways to create new, healthy habits is to simply change your environment. That’s why treatment facilities that put a person in a new environment are effective at breaking habits related to addiction.
Try to find new places to socialize and spend your free time. This will give you the opportunity to experience new things and meet new people that aren’t associated with your addiction.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering does amazing things for our self-esteem, mental health and emotional wellbeing. Numerous studies have shown that the more we volunteer and help others the more fulfilled and happy we feel. Find little ways to help others every day as well as an organization that you can volunteer at on a regular basis. Even small gestures, like taking the time to listen to another recovering addict that’s experiencing a problem, can give you a boost.
Addiction recovery is an ongoing process. That’s why creating healthy habits is critical. These new habits will help you stay focused on managing addiction and help correct problems that lead to addictive behaviors.