The peace lily is a vibrant plant that can make any space instantly more inviting. The white blooms of a peace lily are a wonder to witness, but it takes care and attention – providing it with enough sunlight and water – to help the plant reach its full potential. Just like a peace lily, your mental health requires the same love, care and attention.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stressors that can negatively impact your mental health, from unreasonable work deadlines to paying rent and utility bills. Some of these stressors may have even led to your alcohol or drug addiction. Given how important your mental well-being is to your recovery, here are ways you can prioritize your mental health.
How to Care for Your Mental Health in Addiction Treatment and Recovery
1. Get Regular Exercise
Think of exercise as your body’s natural stress and anxiety reliever, helping to release dopamine throughout the brain to relax your muscles and break through negative thought patterns. When you’re in addiction treatment, you’ll have time to exercise throughout the week. At The Raleigh House, for example, you’ll participate in physical activities like yoga and rock climbing to strengthen your body and clear your mind of stress that’s weighing you down.
There’s a lot to process in addiction rehab, especially in your early days of treatment. This is where journaling can help. Keeping a journal gives you a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings when you’re not in a therapy session. Journaling can serve as a check-in for your mental well-being where you can acknowledge what you’re feeling and process your stress and anxiety a little bit at a time.
3. Spend Time Connecting with Others
One of the greatest aspects of addiction treatment is the fact that you’ll meet other people who can relate to your struggles. In fact, social connections can even improve your self-esteem and help you become more trusting of other people. By talking to others in addiction treatment and recovery, you’ll learn to better relate to their problems and experiences, which will help you gain new perspectives on your own challenges.
4. Build a Routine
Addiction treatment is all about getting you into a healthy routine. Unexpected breaks in your day and uncertainty can lead to stress, anxious thoughts and temptations to relapse. A routine – following a schedule where you wake up at the same time each day, eat three healthy meals a day and exercise daily – can help you feel more in control of your life.
5. Bring Yourself Back to the Present Moment
Everyone has moments where they lose their concentration because of uncontrollable thoughts caused by stress and worry. Being incapable of pulling yourself out of this downward spiral can lead to increased depression and anxiety. Meditation and mindfulness can help you snap back into the present moment during times like these, preventing unnecessary panic and overwhelming stress.
6. Set Small Goals
It’s common to set big goals that are difficult to attain, which can wear down your confidence. It’s important to set minor goals that you can tackle one step at a time. Start with something small, like deciding you’ll speak up in one of your group therapy sessions that day. Achieving that will give you the courage and confidence to expand your goal to opening up in each of your group therapy sessions that week. Achieving small goals can snowball into major accomplishments that give your mental health the boost it needs.
7. Remind Yourself of the Positives in Life
For many of us, it’s easier to focus on what’s going wrong in life. Sadly, this mindset can trigger increased feelings of anxiety and isolation. Instead, it’s beneficial to refocus your mind on positivity and gratitude. You can use your journal to write down five things you’re grateful for each day to help combat negative thought patterns. No matter if it’s your family and friends or your favorite sports team winning a game, you can write down anything and everything that makes you smile. In fact, make gratitude one of your small daily goals to help keep you motivated to acknowledge and appreciate all the good that’s in your life.
Find Hope for a Sober Lifestyle at The Raleigh House
We know just how badly you want to get back to living a life that isn’t overshadowed by addiction and mental health struggles. At The Raleigh House, our more than 10 years of experience providing evidence-based addiction and mental health treatment can help you get there. Our personalized approach means we are able to tailor your treatment to your specific physical and mental health needs, setting you up for long-term recovery success.
Are you ready to begin your journey towards addiction and mental health recovery? Contact us today to talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions team.