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No one plans to develop an addiction, but it can happen relatively easily when you rely on prescription drugs, narcotics, or alcohol to help you feel better. Before you’re ready to seek treatment for your addiction, your body and mind will go through adverse changes that can affect your long-term health. That’s not to say that you won’t be able to recover your health after you get clean and sober, but it will require creating a comprehensive plan for living healthier.
Get Better Sleep
Getting seven to eight hours of good quality sleep is also very important to your health since your body uses this period of rest to repair and protect tissue, muscle, and bone. Your brain also uses sleep to process long-term memories and release essential hormones. You can sleep better by reducing distractions. Wear earplugs to reduce noise that can stir you awake during the night. If ambient light gets into your bedroom, wearing a sleep mask may help. Research has also found that maintaining a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees also promotes better sleep, so adjust the thermostat before going to bed. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, try shutting down electronic devices one hour before bed. Stop drinking caffeinated beverages six hours before bedtime.
Realize That You Will Always Be in Recovery
It’s important to recognize that you will always be at risk of relapsing. You can lower those risks by taking steps to avoid exposure to drugs and alcohol. While avoiding people and places that tempt you to drink or use drugs may not seem complicated, consider what will happen if you develop an injury or a medical condition that causes chronic pain. It can help to inform your doctor that you are a recovering addict. You can also discuss the addiction dangers of carfentanil vs fentanyl with your primary caregiver. Together, you can explore natural methods for controlling pain, so you can avoid putting yourself at a greater risk for relapsing.
Adopt a Healthier Diet
Your next step in regaining your health should be to pay closer attention to the foods you eat. While you likely started to adopt a healthier diet during addiction treatment, it will now be up to you to continue eating healthy throughout your life. This should involve reducing as much refined sugar, trans fat, and carbs as possible. Instead, replace processed foods with fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Instead of eating processed meats that increase the risks for cancer, restrict your choices to fresh caught seafood, poultry, and lean cuts of red meat. Replace white bread and grains with whole grains. Instead of eating ice cream and candy, you can eat frozen berries or dried fruits. You can make diet changes gradually so it won’t seem like a sudden sacrifice to give up your favorite foods.
Get More Exercise
While eating nutritious foods is important, regaining your health will involve getting more physical activity as well. In fact, spending more time exercising can help you cope with substance abuse triggers by distracting your thoughts. As a general rule, you should be spending a minimum of 30 minutes per day engaged in moderate to high intensity physical activity. However, if you’re trying to regain a healthier physique, you should spend more time engaged in exercise. While strength training two to three times a week is necessary, the rest of your days should be filled with a variety of enjoyable physical activity. Engaging in different activities from day to day will keep you interested in exercise, and it will help you strengthen different muscle groups throughout your body.
Take Steps to Reduce Stress
You may have learned in rehab that stress is a powerful trigger that can lead to relapse for recovering addicts. Even for someone without addiction problems, stress can lead to a broad range of physical and emotional health issues. You can relieve stress easily by engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities each day. While exercise is a great way to relieve stress, you should also look for more relaxing activities. Spend time meditating, practicing yoga, reading a good book, or taking a warm bath. You can also listen to soothing music and light aromatherapy candles to help you relax. Look for an activity that you find relaxing or engage in multiple activities to keep things interesting.
If you are struggling with addiction and concerned about your health, seeking help is your first step. When you reach out to an addiction counselor, you’ll learn about your options for detoxing and beginning treatment. This will help you start on the road toward a healthier and happier way of life.