Addiction recovery is never an easy or simple process, especially if you have struggled to overcome addiction for years, decades, or even throughout your entire life. Even after completing an inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation program, you are still likely to feel the temptation to use drugs and alcohol again. Knowing how to reduce your chances of giving in to temptation or going back to bad habits is essential for long-term success and results. After you have completed a recovery program, there are a few lifestyle changes to implement to ensure you remain motivated while maintaining the willpower to continue moving forward with your life of sobriety.
The Importance of Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise are two of the most important lifestyle changes to keep in mind once you have completed an inpatient or outpatient recovery program. Choosing the right foods for your body while ensuring you receive physical exercise each day is essential.
Minimize or eliminate the amount of processed food you eat each day, as these foods prevent your body from receiving the necessary vitamins and nutrients it requires for peak performance. Instead, choose healthy alternative ingredients such as:
- Meats: Choose meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and even seafood to ensure your body receives enough fat and protein each day.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Berries, zucchini, squash, spinach, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, kale, leafy greens, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms are all optimal sources of vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts and Seeds: Eat nuts and seeds to provide your body with fiber, minerals, and vitamins to maintain your health. Some of the most popular nuts and seeds include almonds, cashews, Macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts, pepitas, and pumpkin seeds.
- Cheese: Cheese is not only a tasty addition to almost every meal, but it is packed with protein and good fats that keep the body balanced. Some popular cheese types include cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, brie, gruyere, blue, goat, and feta.
Implement at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether you prefer walking or participating in your favorite sport. Exercise is extremely healthy and releases natural chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and endorphins (which as commonly released with drugs and alcohol). Balance both your body and mind by incorproating exercise into your daily routine.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough rest cannot be stressed enough, especially for those who have overcome addiction and have recently completed a recovery program. When the body does not get enough rest, you increase your risk of falling into bad habits an turning to drugs, alcohol, and other substances to assist with coping. Ensure you get enough rest each night, at least providing your body with 6-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Create a sleeping schedule for yourself and stick to it, even on weekends and days you do not work.
Dabble in New Hobbies
Invest your time in discovering new hobbies and activities that are a source of joy to you. Get creative by learning how to paint or learn about working with resin, wood, or even fabric. Join a local sports organization for socialization and exercise. Pick up a new instrument you have always wanted to learn. Spend time hiking, camping, and fishing in the great outdoors to get in touch with nature and all it has to offer.
Surround Yourself With Positive Influences
Surrounding yourself with positive influence is necessary to prevent relapsing or giving in to drugs and alcohol after completing a rehabilitation and recovery program. Spend more time with friends and family members who agree to remain sober at all times whenever they are around you. Seek out new sober friends by visiting outpatient programs such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Obtain a sponsor to stay on track to meeting your goals without feeling the need to use or abuse drugs and other substances again.
Once you understand just how powerful addiction is on those who struggle with one, take the necessary steps to improve your life for the better while warding off toxic relationships and bad habits. With the right lifestyle changes and enough moral and emotional support, maintain your positive outlook and continue enjoying a new life that is healthier, brighter, and more fulfilling.