Lifestyle Balance in Recovery

Lifestyle Balance in Recovery

Articles, Australia, Education, International, LGBTQ, Malaysia, Treatment, Understanding Addiction, United Kingdom, United States

Lifestyle Balance in Recovery – There are many things which seem obvious in life but are in fact deadly serious in recovery. Finding a balance in all things in our lifestyle is essential to continues recovery. For people who have not had problems with substance abuse, the “luxury” of over-doing it in one aspect of life or another results in a bad mood, a sore back, or a day of being tired. For those of us in recovery, over-doing it can mean compromising our recovery and potentially relapsing. It is essential that we find a balance in all things.

This idea is an old one. It dates as far back to the Greeks who held the idea of balance to be something of a philosophical ideal. One of things of first importance to me was the balance between social activities and time alone. Especially coming out inpatient treatment where I was surrounded by other people, I really needed to make certain I did not begin isolating myself. We need to remember that isolation is a symptom of addiction. Spending time alone, doing things like meditating or simply being quiet is a healthy way of re-charging our batteries. And we need to socially interact with others. It is the healthy give and take with other people which keeps shaping our ideas and mental health.

Striking A Lifestyle Balance in Recovery

Striking a balance between work and relaxation is also important. If you are lucky enough to derive real satisfaction from your work, this is fantastic. But you still need to take time to relax. Over-working ourselves leads to mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion and these are dangers to sobriety and recovery.

Lifestyle Balance in Recovery

Maintaining a healthy balance between what we should be doing and what we want to be doing is also essential. I have known plenty of people who let themselves get caught up in the “should” to the exclusion of what they want. At the same time, overly indulging what we want can be just as bad. When we become absorbed in what we think we should be doing, we are letting others rule our lives. When life becomes all about what we want, we are heading for disappointment (or indolence at the least). This is really just a good balance of making good on our obligations and indulging ourselves when we deserve some fun or something we want. Just paying attention to where your energy is invested will guide you in this.

Since both exercise and relaxation are powerful tools for recovery, striking a balance with these things is crucial. No one is going to tell you exercise is not a good. It just is, and what is more, it can be a social activity as well. But it is important to balance this with some healthy rest. Obviously, exercise to the point of injury is a bad idea. I have friends who are runners and they are constantly hurting themselves by pushing things too far. They are also not in recovery. They can afford to deal with these problems. Those of us in recovery need to guard against over-doing exercise. Rest is just as important. Taking time to be still, to take a nap, or to go on easy walks is an essential part of exercise and recovery.

DARA Rehab Can Help In Your Recovery

Much of this appears as common sense, but in our zeal to return to a “normal” life, it is easy to lose sight of the simple idea of balance. As I said, this was a philosophical and spiritual ideal, once upon a time. We can value balance now as much as the ancients once did. Our continued recovery may depend on it.  

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Anne -

Anne Lazarakis joined the DARA Rehab team from Sydney, Australia. She writes about addiction and mental health on a global, local and community level. She also relays personal accounts of substance abuse and recovery through the stories of our clients, their families and our own team members.
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