The term "wellness" means something different depending upon who you ask. Many people consider wellness as being free from illness. Some people view it as being physically fit and in shape, while others think it depends upon what sort of foods you eat and how nutritious your meals are. In reality, wellness encapsulates many aspects of your life. It includes not only your physical health but your mental and emotional health as well.
Once you begin your recovery journey, you'll be fully equipped to start making your own wellness goals and working toward becoming the best possible version of yourself. This will take time and dedication, but it will be well worth the effort as you start this new chapter of your life.
How Can I Achieve Physical Wellness?
When someone struggles with substance use disorder (SUD) over a long period, their body begins to suffer. It becomes harder and harder for the body to flush out toxins without facing decreased levels of functioning. Over time, an individual will not only become deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients but more likely to face issues like high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular issues, digestive problems, kidney and liver failure, and much more.
Now that you are in recovery, you can begin making your physical health a priority. It can be helpful to work with a doctor or nutritionist so that you can have your blood levels tested and determine what vitamins and nutrients that you're deficient in. From there, you can then begin to take supplements or tailor your meals in a certain way in order to restore your body.
If you're returning to a fast-paced lifestyle, you may find that it is easier to eat healthy when you meal prep. This involves picking one day or a couple of days a week when you prepare meals for the entire week. This way, when you are busy keeping up with personal or professional responsibilities, your meals will be easily accessible to you, and you won't feel the need to pick up fast food on the way home simply out of convenience.
When it comes to exercise and getting back into shape after struggling with SUD, it really comes down to figuring out what works for you. Some people may find success through working with a physical trainer or going to a gym. But this path isn't for everyone. Some people may find greater success through exercising while watching workout videos online.
How Can I Achieve Mental Wellness?
Many people that struggle with SUDs turn to drug or alcohol use because they are trying to cope with something deeper. Substance use allows them to achieve a sense of numbness so that they don't have to face the issues they are struggling with head-on. Some examples of this could include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or bipolar disorder. If you think this is your case, your first step should be reaching out to your doctor, who can provide you with a diagnosis if necessary, as well as point you in the right direction for treatment. Treatment may involve medication, therapy, or both.
How Can I Achieve Emotional Wellness?
Emotional wellness can sometimes be one of the most difficult forms of health to achieve, as it involves a lot of inner healing. Take the time during this stage of recovery to consider what relationships may have been strained as a result of your substance use and what steps you can take to repair these relationships. This is also a great time to begin considering what wellness goals you have for yourself and what you want to accomplish in the future. Some examples of what you can ask yourself at this time may include:
- How can I better balance my work-to-home life relationship?
- How can I manage my stress in a more positive and proactive way?
- How can I learn how to make new, more positive social connections?
- How can I begin practicing new, healthier, and more productive methods of stress management?
- How can I begin to process the fact that someone I love has passed?
How Can I Start Practicing Self-Care?
A major aspect of caring for your overall wellbeing involves practicing self-care. What an individual does to practice their self-care varies from person to person. Some examples of ways to practice self-care include:
- Taking a break from social media
- Getting outside and experiencing nature
- Asking for time off from work when you need it
- Practicing meditation
- Doing some journaling
- Spending quality time with a loved one
- Listening to comforting music
- Watching an episode of your favorite television show
Wellness means different things to different people. It encapsulates not just physical health and fitness but also mental and emotional health, as well as one's overall wellbeing. Once you begin your recovery journey, you'll be fully equipped to start making your own wellness goals and working toward becoming the best possible version of yourself. Some of the best ways to practice good physical health include proper diet and exercise. Practicing good mental health can involve seeking treatment for disorders like anxiety and depression. Practicing good emotional health involves learning to process grief, practicing good coping mechanisms for stress, and establishing a good work-to-home life relationship. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about the type of services we provide.