As the world starts to open up in recovery and your life begins to feel “bigger,” there comes the potential to feel overwhelmed. After all, new experiences can bring with them anxiety and uncertainty. So it is not surprising that these feelings come up now that you are experiencing the world in a whole new light, and a much more positive one at that.
While everyone’s experience in recovery may be varied, there is one constant. That constant is growth. Every day in recovery brings a new opportunity for growth, and this can be bolstered by establishing a program of wellness to go along with your recovery.
Let us begin with three primary forms of wellness. These are mental health, emotional sobriety, and physical well-being. A focused and balanced plan utilizing these three principles can help establish and maintain a strong foundation in recovery.
Now that your thoughts are coming back into focus and there is a new mental clarity in your life, it is time to utilize those truths. This is where a focus on your mental health can be a huge boon to your program. There are many options for establishing some strong mental health practices.
Now that you have put down the substances, perhaps it is time to pick up a hobby. What did you love to do before being robbed by an unhealthy lifestyle? It is never too late to pick up where you left off. Directly focusing on honing a new or reestablished skill can sharpen one’s thinking and mental acuity.
There is also the opportunity to connect with others that are experiencing their own journey of recovery. Perhaps you can connect with others through 12-Step meetings or other continuing care programs. Remember what they say, “two heads are better than one.” Sometimes it’s easier to grow together than to grow alone.
It can be true that a lot of emotions rise to the surface now that substances are no longer keeping them buried. Feeling these deep emotions can be intense and worrisome in recovery. However, it is important to remember that for all of the negative emotions, there are positive ones as well.
One of the ways to handle these emotions is through a program of therapy. Sometimes it is nice and helpful to find a safe space to work these emotions out with a professional. Remember, they are there to help you handle these emotions when they come up. They are also there to help heal those emotions when they are painful.
Another helpful way to manage emotional sobriety is through the practice of meditation. The practice of meditation is often associated with many of the world’s religions. If you are a member of one of these organizations, then, by all means, utilize these institutions for your practice. It is also possible to establish your own meditation practice. Perhaps start by sitting quietly for five minutes and see how that feels. Remember, you are the arbiter of your journey. Utilize a practice of meditation that feels comfortable to you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Physical Activity is one of the best things people can do to improve their health.” While it’s a very broad statement, it makes sense, right? If you are feeling stagnant or lacking energy in your physical body, how can you expect to focus on any other aspects of wellness?
Perhaps you haven’t felt physically well for several years. Remember, you are not alone in this. Substance abuse can rob you of many things, not the least of which is your physical health. But as with anything, it is never too late to start. Maybe you start small by taking a beginner’s yoga class or a short walk in the morning. Don’t get discouraged. Stay strong. Before you know it, you might be taking advanced classes or training for a marathon. A little determination goes a long way.
Sometimes it’s easier to start something than to maintain it. The same can be true with wellness. Often people describe feeling stalled after practicing wellness for a period of time. This is called hitting a “plateau.” This is normal, and it can be easily rectified.
It is important to keep growing in your wellness practices. For example, if you feel like you have mastered that hobby you picked back up, perhaps it is time for a new one. Or, you could teach that hobby to someone else. Working with others is a great way to stay mentally active.
Perhaps you feel like your therapy is no longer fulfilling your needs. Discuss this with your therapist. They might have some new ways to keep you growing toward a healthy goal of mental stability.
As for a regimen of physical activity, there are endless ways to keep your program new and exciting. Research various classes being offered in your area. Try something you haven’t done before, maybe a cycling or aerobics class.
Wellness is a journey, not a destination. Keep moving forward, and you will be amazed at much you can grow mentally, emotionally, and physically. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Do not get discouraged. As with recovery, balanced wellness will not come overnight. Keep forging ahead and remember, “a turtle must first stick its neck out before it can go anywhere.”
This trifecta of wellness can go a long way in aiding your recovery. You can live the life you have been deprived of for too long. At Sage Recovery, we understand that it is important to remember that recovery takes patience, persistence, and focus, regardless of the tools you have at your disposal. That is why it is important to remember that you do not have to go down this path alone. There are plenty of people and programs at your disposal that wants to see you grow and succeed. Believe in yourself and reach out for help. It is always there for you. For more information, reach out to Sage Recovery by calling us at (512) 306-1394.