Getting Healthy in Recovery: How To Prioritize Your Physical Well-Being
By choosing recovery, you have already made a massive commitment towards your improved health. Excess drugs and alcohol can be poisonous to your body- they can ravage your heart, lungs, and brain. Subsequently, it's no secret they are responsible for thousands of preventable deaths each year.
Getting healthy in recovery is an important goal for keeping yourself motivated and optimistic. When you take care of your body, your mental health feels more stable, you enjoy more energy, and you tend to feel happier overall.
Fortunately, your journey towards health doesn't need to be an all-or-nothing process. Even just taking a few steps can make a profound difference. Let's get into what you need to know.
Get a Physical Examination
When was the last time you went to the doctor? Even if you don't experience any current health concerns, it's a good idea to get yourself a routine check-up.
Remember that preventing an illness is easier and better than treating it. If you've struggled with an addiction, it's important to assess how these habits may have impacted your health. While insight can be frightening, having the facts can help you take the right steps towards wellness.
If you don't have a primary care physician, you can start by looking through your insurance coverage or asking trusted friends or family members for recommendations. Ideally, you should feel comfortable and safe disclosing your medical history with this person. Remember, they have your best interests at heart!
Go To The Dentist
Don't just wait until your teeth hurt! Dentists typically recommend having a routine cleaning and checkup every six months. Of course, this treatment depends on you and your unique needs.
brushing your teeth twice per day for approximately two minutes.
using a tongue scraper to remove excess bacteria.
replacing your toothbrush every three months or after the bristles start fraying.
flossing between each tooth every day.
calling a dentist if you experience sharp pain or extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Eat A Well-Rounded Diet
If you ask ten people to define a balanced diet, you might receive ten different answers. That's because we live in a society that often relies on crash or fad diets for weight loss. However, restrictive diets often backfire and can lead to a vicious cycle of starvation or bingeing.
Instead, focus on integrating plenty of nutrients into your daily meals. These nutrients should include:
green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce.
fruits like citrus and berries.
lean proteins like poultry, fish, tofu, and eggs.
healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and mixed nuts.
complex carbohydrates like brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa.
Exercise helps boost your mental and physical health. Research shows that running for just 15 minutes a day (or walking for 60) can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Moreover, depression can promote better sleep, a sharper memory, and higher levels of energy.
When it comes to mastering exercise, consistency is key. Find a few activities that you enjoy doing and make a genuine effort to commit to them. If you aren't sure what you like, try some new classes or sign up for a sport with friends. Have fun exploring different interests!
Remember that you don't necessarily have to suffer to reap the benefits. It's a good idea to increase your heart rate, but there's no need to experience immense pain.
Remember to start slowly. If you haven't exercised for a while, overdoing it can lead to injuries or premature burnout. Instead, set realistic goals and work your way up.
Get Enough Sleep
We all need sound sleep to feel rejuvenated and restored. Unfortunately, many people tend to neglect sleep when they feel overwhelmed.
Ensure that you establish appropriate sleep habits by:
aiming to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
avoiding caffeine or nicotine too close before bedtime.
investing in a high-quality mattress, sheets, and pillows.
keeping your bedroom dark and cool.
turning off electronics for at least one hour before going to sleep.
setting a calming ritual at nighttime.
avoiding overly-stimulating conversations or media before bed.
talking with your doctor or therapist if you struggle with sleep issues.
Final Thoughts on Getting Healthy In Recovery
Remember that you are giving yourself an amazing gift by focusing on getting healthy in recovery. It's a two-way street. The healthier you feel, the more likely you are to honor your recovery needs. And the more you honor your recovery, the more motivated you may feel to take care of yourself!
At The Resurface Group, we adamantly believe that healing requires integrating both the mind and body. We are here to help you unlock your truest potential. Contact us today to learn more.