Addiction recovery can feel like an intimidating journey if you are new to treatment. Transitioning from the emotions and habits you lived with while suffering with addiction is not an overnight process, and you will learn to replace them with healthier versions over time. Luckily, you are never alone in recovery and there are resources available to support your healthiest habits as you grow them. Whether you support your physical strength by eating healthy food or lean on your treatment provider during recovery challenges, you are in control of the actions you take to treat yourself well. Beginning your recovery with these ideas in mind will help you adapt and stay creative as you build a new lifestyle in this new stage.
Wellness plays a crucial role in your recovery success beginning the moment you cease your substance abuse. Physical withdrawal is a grueling experience that can drain you of energy and nutrition in the process. You can prepare yourself for a healthier withdrawal period by relying on hydration and essential vitamins and minerals to restore your physical strength. You may find your symptoms improve and your energy slowly restore itself after a few days of integrating a diet of wellness. Consider eating a small amount of whole foods (if possible) and adding more ingredients you enjoy as your strength returns after withdrawal. From there, you can work with a nutritionist or teach yourself a few healthy recipes that will get you excited to begin feeling good.
The challenges and mental patterns you experience during addiction may have interfered with your past personal goals and purpose. One of the psychological challenges of addiction is that your fulfillment center becomes attached to the substance you are using, and in recovery, you’ll need to rewire the thought patterns that support a healthier means of fulfillment. If you begin recovery and feel anxious about filling your time with healthier activities, use these ideas to get busy and find purpose in other ways. Get involved with organizations that support others in recovery or who struggle with mental health challenges. Journal your goals and find inspiration through self-help books or challenges. Volunteer as a peer mentor or begin writing about your recovery as a healthy coping mechanism. As long as you feel excited and fulfilled by your new activities, you are well on your way to a lifestyle full of purpose in recovery.
Arguably the most important habit you will need to maintain during recovery is to receive treatment from your healthcare providers continuously. Recovery is a lifelong journey and your needs will change over time, so lean on your professional support system to adapt along the way. Make regular visits to your primary care doctor and be proactive about appointments with your licensed psychologist. Learn the warning signs of a relapse and pay attention to any triggers you may need assistance with in challenging situations. Think about ways you can communicate with your support system and devise an emergency protocol so your loved ones know how to get you help if you need it. Integrating these habits of asking for help into your normal routine will help recovery feel far more manageable and hopeful in the long-term.
Taking care of yourself may be a habit you need to relearn in recovery. Addiction has a damaging effect on both your psychological desires and physical habits of treating yourself well. As you begin treatment, brainstorm with your psychologist to create a simple self-care routine that you can build as you gain motivation. Self-care can look like whichever habits make you feel inspired and healthy in your recovery and can change over time. Perhaps self-care initially means getting more sleep if your energy levels are drained in withdrawal. Maybe you learn to meditate in order to build a healthy coping mechanism for challenges. Even journaling your emotions may help you process your stages of recovery in a healthy way. As long as you begin rebuilding the habits and reinforcing thought processes that support your wellbeing, your self-care will only improve over time.
Thinking about lifestyle changes early on in recovery will help you start small and adapt to challenges using healthy coping mechanisms. You are not alone in relearning or creating these new habits, so ask for help regularly and take actions with the intention of feeling good. You will experience your energy levels and physical strength improve over time and learn how to treat yourself well despite any triggers or stressors. Take your time and integrate these tips as you begin a fresh start in recovery and learn how to love your new stage of life.