Recovery can seem to take all of our energy. However, when we focus only on one certain aspect of our wellness, other areas may suffer as a result. That’s why, no matter what, we need to ensure we look after ourselves from head to toe.
Smoking can act as an addiction supplement, and it destroys our bodies in many ways. Quitting is an act of self-care and a way to refocus our lives on our health. This is the perfect opportunity to recommit to yourself and improve your breathing, self-control, stress levels, and even how well you sleep. Unfortunately, lingering scents can often trigger cravings, so it’s best to remove fabric odors by washing bedding, curtains, and clothes, as well as getting an air purifier designed to clean the air and remove smoke odors. Just be sure that the purifier of your choice has the right filter to truly catch any remnants of tobacco.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress is a killer. It destroys our moods, our health, our memory, and even our relationships. Of course, how stress is challenged and overcome will vary by person and circumstance. Some of us need physical activity to lower it, whereas others prefer meditation or positive thinking. Lowering stress can reduce your blood pressure, keep you well, and even alleviate inflammation of the body, which can lower your risk of cancer. Experiment with different methods of relaxation until you find one that works well for you and your lifestyle.
Decrease Your Processed Sugar
It’s easy to grab the fastest thing available or to overindulge in sugar when we feel stressed. This can lead to sugar addiction, which causes a host of physical ailments, not least of which is obesity. Of course, that isn’t to say we should avoid all junk food, carbs, or refined sugars, but that these should be limited, and we should choose healthy versions 80 percent of the time. When you feel a craving, know what to eat instead of a sugary snack. Fruit is a natural way to indulge our sweet tooth without compromising our health thanks to their water, vitamin, and fiber content. You can even make carb-smart desserts with chia seeds, instead of pre-made and heavily processed indulgences. There are plenty of delicious and satisfying ways to smash our sugar cravings without resorting to unhealthy alternatives.
Working out does more than reduce stress and help us maintain a healthy weight. In fact, it also boosts our body and mind, decreases the chance of diabetes, keeps bones strong, and replenishes our energy. Yet, many of us avoid it because we don’t find it enjoyable. One way to get around that is to take your workout outside. It’s free, you get lots of fresh air and vitamin D, and may see an additional boost to your emotional well-being. Aim for somewhere green, like a park, to make your exercises more enjoyable.
Be Accountable for Your Time
Recovery and accountability go hand in hand, but that doesn’t end with where addiction began. When our lives seem hectic, we may be inclined to let ourselves put health on the back burner because we have “no time.” That, however, is just an excuse to turn to unhealthy habits. Make to-do lists, dedicate time to important tasks you need to do daily, and keep goals small so that you can build on your successes. It’s good to prove to yourself that you can manage your schedule and show that you really can accomplish the things you set your mind to.
This is your moment to reclaim your health and life. There are many changes happening, and it’s understandable to be overwhelmed. That doesn’t mean we can let ourselves lapse into negative habits. We need to own our well-being to feel better both physically and emotionally.
This blog was guest-written by Michelle Peterson, founder of RecoveryPride.org.