Making Good Health A Priority In Recovery

Making Good Health A Priority In Recovery

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When You’re Struggling With An Addiction, Your Health Takes a Backseat

Let’s be honest – when you were in your addiction, you probably weren’t too focused on maintaining good health. When you are struggling with a compulsive habit; you simply don’t have the desire, motivation, or focus required to make healthy choices.

When addiction is running the show, nothing else matters. The only thing that is important is feeding your compulsion – whether it’s substance use, gambling, or sex. This is the nature of an addictive habit.

However; when you get into recovery and you stop engaging the destructive cycle that has been driving your life for the last few months or years, you simply MUST make your health a priority. Mental and physical well-being are critical to the recovery process, which reduces the likelihood of a relapse. It’s easy to slip into old patterns if you’re not careful. This is especially true if you aren’t taking care of yourself.  

Poor Health Can Make It Feel Challenging For You To Get Well

By the time you get help for an addiction problem, you can be in pretty bad shape. Your physical, mental and emotional health may have deteriorated significantly. After being unhealthy for so long, there is a lot of work to be done in the area of wellness. This can feel overwhelming.

eating for good health in recovery

Chances are; you have been eating poorly, getting little (if any) exercise, not getting enough restful sleep, not maintaining healthy social relationships, and not pursuing healthy activities that bring you joy. As a result, when you get into recovery, you can be malnourished, have health problems, be exhausted, feel isolated, and experience depression.  

When you feel bad, it can be difficult to muster up the energy or desire to do the things you know you need to do to boost your health. You might feel like you don’t want to do anything but sleep, watch TV, or lay around by yourself. This makes you feel unmotivated to eat right, exercise, or establish a strong social support system. It can be a vicious cycle.

Putting Good Health At Top Of Your List

When you first get into recovery, remaining abstinent from your addictive behaviors should be your number one priority. It requires incredible discipline, commitment, and a whole lot of energy to endure the first few months of withdrawal and reorient yourself to a place of stability.

Nevertheless, after you overcome those first challenging months of your new life, you have to step up your efforts to get better and be well. Recovery is not just about maintaining abstinence from substances and unhealthy behaviors. It’s about finding a new way to live and establishing new habits – healthy, positive habits.

When you feel ready, make the decision to start working on putting good health at the top of your priority list. Once you do this, you will automatically start to gravitate toward healthy behaviors and habits. Start slow so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Maybe start by getting on a sleep schedule where you go to bed at a reasonable hour and get 8-10 hours of restful sleep. Then, cut out the sodas and drink more water. Then, start walking 20 minutes a day. Slowly, with time, you will restore your good health and feel physically, mentally, and emotionally energized.

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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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