So you’ve completed rehab and returned to normal life. Did you know that by improving other aspects of your health and well-being, you can greatly improve your odds of a successful long-term recovery? Your mental and physical well-being contribute greatly to substance abuse problems; inversely, a healthy mind and body keeps you happy and satisfied without any need for extra substances. Consider these four moves for a better you:
1) Exercise more
Exercise offers a ton of benefits to addiction recovery, not the least of which is its potential as a completely healthy, safe source of endorphins. If you can get involved in sports or some physical hobby, you’ll be far less likely to fall back into old habits. You’ll also find it much easier to find sobriety-friendly hobbies if you’re willing and able to get out and sweat a bit.
2) Eat better
It’s easy to trade in one addiction for another, unfortunately, which means many who overcome substance abuse problems end up with some form of dietary trouble in its place. While overeating won’t wreck your life quite as completely as a drinking problem or pills, it can and will cut away at many of the gains you’ve made by going sober. Eat healthy, maintain your newly cleansed body, and you’ll avert a lot of problems down the line with general health and sobriety.
3) See a doctor for any physical ailments
Many substance abuse cases begin with relatively innocuous self-medication for pain or insomnia. It doesn’t take long for a nightcap before bed to become a drinking problem, a sore back to become an opioid addiction, and so on. Before you get on with the rest of your life, do yourself a favor and get your health nailed down. You might be surprised by the results.
4) See a psychiatrist for your mental health
A huge amount of substance abuse actually tracks back to one or more mental health issues. Resolving those issues, should they exist, is absolutely critical to your long-term happiness and your long-term sobriety. The strongest will in the world can’t stand alone against the unrestrained impulsivity of ADHD, the depression and manias of bipolar disorder, or the nail-biting terror of general anxiety.