Healthy Habits Can Help You Stand Firm and Stay Sober

Making the decision to get sober isn’t one you take lightly. In fact, it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. It makes sense to embrace every tool at your disposal to help you stay clean. One of the best things you can do for your recovery is to make healthy habits a foundation in your new lifestyle.

Stand firm

Break the Cycle

Addiction can be a vicious cycle. Stressors and triggers lead addicts to making poor choices, and then poor choices leave addicts susceptible to more stressors and triggers. Part of breaking the addiction cycle is finding new coping skills and incorporating them into your lifestyle. Without these tools and skills at your disposal, you leave yourself vulnerable to relapse. Developing new habits can give you a firm foundation for successfully navigating some of the obstacles involved in recovery. Here are some of the basics that will help you stay clean.

 

Healthy Activity

Exercise can be one of the best tools in your toolkit when it comes to staying sober. It’s through the self-awareness associated with a well-rounded exercise program that some experts feel you can better manage stressors, triggers, and cravings. If you’re just beginning a workout program, Mayo Clinic recommends starting slowly and cautiously. Find ways to make exercise part of your daily lifestyle, whether it’s cycling after work or walking on your lunch break. Yoga is a popular choice for those in recovery because it embraces mindfulness and meditation, which can help make you more aware of triggers. Engage in a variety of activities to help you stay motivated and avoid boredom, and don’t overdo your fitness program as it can lead to injury. It’s always best to discuss any new exercise regimen with your health care professional.

 

Healthy Sleep

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells us that the average adult requires seven to eight hours of quality sleep to stay healthy. Sleep improves your body’s immunity, helps you maintain a healthy weight, lowers stress, improves your mood, helps you think clearly, and reduces your risk for health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Note that it’s important to try to get your sleep during the night. Not only does nighttime sleep allow you to better interact with people during the day and avoid becoming isolated, it helps your body maintain normal rhythm patterns. If you’re struggling with getting a healthy sleep, try setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it. Establish a ritual that helps your mind and body relax before you turn in, and make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark.

 

Healthy Eating

Without good nutrition as part of your lifestyle, you leave yourself at risk. With a healthy diet, you can maintain a your metabolism and feel more energetic, and your body will be able to make muscle and reduce fat. One recommendation is to start with better choices at the grocery store. Make a list before going shopping and ensure it has your basics for meals along with a couple snacks. Include lean meats such as chicken and fish and eat a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit. Avoid processed foods and drink plenty of water. Try eating several small meals through the day so you aren’t tempted to binge-eat. Eat a small snack so you aren’t hungry and then head to the grocery store after your workout. Shopping on an empty stomach is never a good idea because you can be tempted to put everything you see in your shopping cart. It’s beneficial to go shopping after your workout because you will feel good about having done something positive for yourself, adding to your motivation to purchase healthy foods.

 

Your Firm Foundation

With a lifestyle formed around good choices, you can successfully navigate obstacles that come your way. Exercise, get enough sleep, and eat right. These healthy habits can be your firm foundation for staying sober!

Author: Michelle Peterson (michelle@recoverypride.org)
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