Lifestyle Choices that Support Addiction Recovery

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August 11, 2023

After taking the life-saving step toward addiction treatment, a new world awaits that will require some adjustment to a reality that no longer revolves around substance misuse. The lifestyle changes that coincide with treatment are essential to increasing the chances of long-term success and better overall health. Although everyone’s recovery journey is different, a handful of rudimentary guiding steps have helped millions of people on their way.

Health Focus

Navigating the avenues of a body recovering from extended substance misuse requires a lot of focus on healing and improving overall physical and mental health. The simplest way to approach this aspect of recovery is to break things down into smaller, specific steps:

Exercise: Doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, whether it’s yoga, stretching, walking or something more elaborate, will help the body build new, healthy cells and improve mood and sleep.

Nutrition: Staying away from processed foods and meals with little nutritional value may take some getting used to, but opting for whole foods and an eating schedule that includes enough nourishment for the day is vital.

Spirituality: Many people find solace in religion, but spirituality encompasses other things that include but are not limited to meditation, journaling and anything that helps tap into the inner self.

Home Life

Safe space: Everyone deserves a safe and warm place to sleep at night and a place to call home. Many people who have grappled with addiction found themselves unhoused or had inconsistent housing throughout their experience. Some people in recovery opt for sober living communities that provide security from substances and access to like-minded peers who work together and support each other.

Leaving the past behind: Although moving can be a stressful experience, those intent on staying in recovery sometimes must leave the place they once called home due to an environment that isn’t conducive to their treatment goals. Distancing from triggering people, places and things is the most effective way to avoid relapse or engaging in behaviors that could compromise their dedication to long-term recovery.

Life’s Purpose

New routine: The disease of addiction centers itself in a person’s mind, making substance use the most important factor every day. Once in recovery, people begin to relearn what they value and the importance of participating in society. Simple joys lie ahead, like adhering to a daily schedule, which provides direction and helps balance stress.

Giving back: Many people find incredible inspiration in helping others during recovery, especially when participating in group substance use counseling and other community programs. Selfless acts, no matter how small, are gratifying and ward away feelings of hopelessness while improving self-worth and confidence.

Getting back to work: People in recovery are often eager to return to the workforce as having a job can provide financial and personal independence. However, high-stress jobs are riddled with triggers and occur in environments that can become detrimental. A simple low-stress job is most desirable, and some even find them enjoyable as they can work but also have plenty of time to focus on their recovery goals and other activities.

The Community

Building a network: Addiction tears at people’s bonds with loved ones and friends, and a significant focus for many in recovery is rebuilding those ties while also creating new relationships. The process of forgiveness and trust-building can take some time. Still, through dedication and perseverance, new and old social circles can function in agreeance with recovery goals, provide accountability and support, and create some fun new memories along the way.

Recovery meetings: Group substance use counseling sessions are vital for people in treatment. Having a safe space to discuss past, present, or future impacts of addiction with people who understand the journey is invaluable. Many people have made life-long friends and found new opportunities from their recovery peer groups that provide so much more than they ever expected. 

AppleGate Recovery provides outpatient medication-assisted treatment for those looking to regain control over their addiction and rebuild their lives. Specialized medical providers and  staff work with patients in a professional medical setting, with flexible scheduling and advanced patient resources. To learn more about the programs available at AppleGate Recovery, message or call a nearby location today.