Mental health and addiction recovery have long been used in the same conversations due to the nature of both conditions often being connected.
Many people who struggle with addiction are known to simultaneously struggle with a mental illness, and several studies even suggest that in certain cases, one can lead to the other.
With how mentally and physically exhausting addiction recovery can be, it can be overwhelming to think of adding yet another set of habits on top of everything, but prioritizing your mental health during addiction recovery is not only helpful, it’s incredibly important.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the role that mental health plays during addiction recovery, and how prioritizing your mental health is one of the most important factors in achieving long-term sobriety and living your life to the fullest.
The importance of mental health during recovery
Addiction recovery is not a linear experience in any way, shape or form, and the recovery process is going to look a little different for everyone.
One thing that isn’t different though, is how essential taking care of your mental health is during recovery; for many people, it’s the deciding factor in whether or not they are able to successfully complete their treatment and maintain long-term sobriety.
Taking care of your mental health during recovery matters because your mind is the number one part of you that heavily influences your choices, perspectives and experiences throughout your life.
For instance, when someone suffers from a relapse, it’s the state of their mental health that either further pulls them down into self-destruction or empowers them to get back up and try again.
Prioritizing your mental health is a key component in successfully completing your treatment and helping you rebuild your new sober life with a positive outlook.
Ways to take care of your mental health
We know one of the last things on your mind (or one of the last things you might want to do) is take the time to research different ways to prioritize your mental health during this time, even after knowing how vital it can be to your recovery.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top five most powerful ways to take care of your mental health as you recover from addiction.
1. Start practicing nutrition
The state of your gut plays a direct role in the state of your physical health, nervous system, brain function, as well as, the state of your mental health. Take the time to learn about full-spectrum nutrition, this typically includes ingesting clean forms of protein, nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables and natural and supplemental probiotics.
You can fuel your body and mind both in and out of recovery.
2. Spend more time outside
We’re talking at least 30 minutes, phone turned off, fully-present-to-your-surroundings kind of time outside. There’s a lot of physical healing that comes with simply being outdoors, walking barefoot on the earth, absorbing sunshine — if hiking or long walks aren’t your thing, you can always bring a book and a blanket and find a pretty place to read.
3. Take time to self-reflect
Spending a few minutes each day to check in with yourself, whether in the morning when you wake up, the evening before you go to sleep, will ground you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Keep you present to the moment, and even help identify any negative habits or thought patterns that are keeping you “stuck” in recovery.
4. Move your body every day
The key to exercise is to find a form of movement you can engage in every day, even if just for 10 minutes, that you actually enjoy. Some people would rather walk three miles down a country dirt road than spend 45 minutes in a massive gym; others hate running, but would dance all day long if they could. You just have to find the type of movement that works best for you.
5. Protect your energy
Some people feel a bit fragile when they first emerge from recovery, so it’s important you protect your energy as you rebuild your life. Maybe you set boundaries with people who are trying to pull you back to bad habits, or let go of those people altogether. It could be you learn how to say no, how to stand your ground.
Identify where in your life there are “energy suckers,” and make the necessary adjustments.
Reach out to us for personal support
If you or a loved one is looking for professional help for a substance addiction, or seeking additional support during addiction recovery, we’re here for you.
Recognized as a leading, premier addiction treatment center, we here at Silvermist are dedicated to making your recovery as smooth as possible, as well as using all of our resources to empower you to build the life you dream of.