Regain Your Life Through Recovery

There are countless benefits for managing addiction. The most impactful of these benefits, however, is the ability to regain a lost or damaged life, or to recast a new, healthy way of living. Through this revitalization we can more effectively manage the stressors that attract addictive behaviors while creating a strong basis for resilience. This ability to thrive depends on securing a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, support and positive social interaction.

Healthy diets fuel recovery

Nutrition is important for those in addiction recovery because strong health is the foundation of managing substance use disorders. Addicts often follow poor diets because their physical health’s importance is neglected in favor of getting high. Recovery is an opportunity to kickstart whole-body wellness. Poor nutrition has been identified as a potential source of addictive behaviors, which is another reason to rethink your eating habits.

Healthy eating does not equal restrictive diets. Rather, someone in recovery should aim to flood their system with high-quality food. Some of the helpful foods during recovery include:

  • Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens and vibrant roots like carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and turnips.

  • Healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados.

  • High-quality protein, such as lean meats, eggs, nuts and legumes.

Foods that should be limited include:

  • Processed convenience foods.

  • Refined sugars.

  • Refined carbohydrates, such as white rice, processes white potatoes and refined flour-pastas.

Since those with substance abuse issues often eat erratically or not at all, incorporating a robust healthy diet may be easier said than done. Develop a plan to slowly introduce healthier eating into your life. Try having a big salad with a small amount of grilled meat or beans for lunch each day. The vegetables will fill you and if you add some contrasting textures and flavors with lemon juice, nuts, seeds and diced avocado, you will be satisfied as well. A salad isn’t boring, because of all the exciting and healthy additions that are possible.

Exercise builds strength and resilience

Physical activity supports addiction recovery on several fronts. First, our brains get similar rewards from exercise and drugs and alcohol, and it can effectively stand-in for substance abuse, reducing withdrawal and temptation to relapse. Secondly, exercise is a positive time-consuming activity. When we incorporate workouts into our week, we have that much less time to spend at a bar or at home doing drugs. This process of crowding-out opportunity to use is a highly effective way to manage addiction.

Healthy living is bolstered by physical activity, too. When we are physically strong, we are less likely to feel down. Fitness can reduce physical pain, which also reduces needs for painkillers or other forms of self-medicating.

Social interaction is important, and tricky

Isolation tends to permit addiction to fester. Being around others, such as in an exercise group or class, is a positive way to incorporate positive social interaction. Social support helps us stay on track and occupied in something positive rather than destructive. Socializing can, however, carry some risk if not approached carefully. Sometimes a person in recovery is tempted to revisit their old stomping grounds to assert their strength in recovery. Most should avoid this since the risk of triggering a relapse is so high. Positive social support can be found in places removed from addictive behaviors. Even social networks allow positive interaction on a daily basis and can form the basis for some mutual recoveries.

Through recovery, a better life can be developed. Health, fitness and positive social networks thrive in a recovery environment. Manage your addiction and take your life to a higher plane with a revitalizing plan.

About the author:Adam Cook is the founder of Addiction Hub, which locates and catalogs addiction resources.He is very much interested in helping people find the necessary resources to save their lives from addiction. His mission is to provide people struggling with substance abuse with resources to help them recover.

Talk to one of the CMHC's counselor to help you along your reconvery journey. Scheduel an appointment now!

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