By guest author, Laura Baker
Addiction recovery is a challenging process and staying sober takes a lot of hard work. Almost everybody will face times of temptation and uncertainty, as sobriety takes a lifelong commitment that will have both ups and downs. However, it is possible to lead a happy, full life once you are in recovery if you focus on building up your overall health.
Schedule your time and build up a healthy diet
Try to put together a schedule to follow each day that breaks down items such as sleep, diet, exercise, appointments, medication, time with loved ones, and meetings. Staying busy during these days of adjustment is critically important, as is self-care and building up your health and strength.
Those who are in the middle of an addiction often follow an unhealthy diet, and it is important to focus on healthy choices once you are sober. The U.S. News & World Report notes that you should work to avoid getting too hungry, angry, lonely or tired, or remember “HALT,” as those times may spark poor decisions or even a relapse.
A healthy diet to give you strength as you progress along the sober track will typically include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains and reduce or eliminate sugary foods and even large amounts of caffeine. Work on eating at regular times to establish a predictable and healthy routine and you may want to ask a doctor about adding in some mineral or vitamin supplements as well.
Exercise is critical to addiction recovery
You will definitely want to add exercise to your daily routine as you work on your sobriety. CNN explains that exercise has been proven to have a significant impact on being able to avoid addiction or maintain sobriety, and trying new physical activities or setting new goals with activities you already enjoy can give you a much-needed focus as you move forward with your recovery.
There are plenty of exercise options that work well for those in recovery, but dog walking can be a great option. Not only does dog walking provide a consistent opportunity to get out for fresh air and get regular exercise, but spending time with dogs can be therapeutic and calming. In addition, if you start doing some dog walking for others in your neighborhood or community, you can earn extra money and this can be a great way to stay busy and avoid downtime that can become dangerous.
Work on repairing relationships with loved ones
Addiction recovery may feel like a lonely, long, and challenging road, and getting sober is no easy task. Oftentimes, close relationships have suffered some damage during your addiction. As Everyday Health details, it can take some time and work to repair those relationships. However, progress is possible, and it is important to try to connect with friends and loved ones who are healthy and supportive of your sobriety.
Getting and staying sober takes a long-term commitment and there will be hard days. Take this opportunity to branch out and try some new hobbies or activities and focus on finding healthy ways to pass your time so you aren’t idle and alone. Build a predictable routine and a healthy diet, and be sure to incorporate regular exercise like dog walking or other moderate activities that will keep you on the go. Reconnect with loved ones and recognize that staying sober is a lifetime commitment that can go significantly more smoothly with some planning and dedication.