By making healthy choices in all 8 Dimensions of Wellness, those in recovery can lead healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines wellness as being in a state of good physical and mental health. According to SAMHSA, your physical and mental health are linked, so improving one often benefits the other.
Achieving and maintaining a state of wellness requires a deliberate, conscious effort on your part. By making healthy choices in all eight dimensions of wellness, those in recovery can lead healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.
8 Wellness Tips for Those Recovering From Addiction
A healthy diet is one way for those in recovery to reach a state of wellness. Another way to get there is to take advantage of the benefits of exercise during addiction recovery. While these two wellness components are important, they aren’t the only factors to consider. It’s vital to have a balance in all 8 of the dimensions of wellness throughout your ongoing addiction recovery.
According to SAMHSA, the 8 dimensions of wellness include the following:
- Emotional: Learning and practicing effective coping skills is essential for your emotional well-being. As a bonus, a positive outlook on life could also reduce other negative health risks.
- Physical: Exercise is understood to be effective in helping those in recovery repair the negative effects of addiction on the body.
- Spiritual: We all go through difficult times. Having a spiritual sense of purpose could make it easier to cope while also bringing more meaning to your day-to-day existence.
- Occupational: People who find satisfaction in their work often say their lives are more rewarding and fulfilling. If you aren’t satisfied with your current job, consider volunteering in your community and helping those in need.
- Intellectual: Drugs and alcohol change the brain, altering its structure and the way it functions. Continually learning new things can help restore your brain to its natural state.
- Environmental: The physical environment in which you spend time plays a huge role in your overall well-being. Do what you can to make your living arrangements as pleasant and as stimulating as possible.
- Social: Avoiding social isolation and meeting new people not only improves mood, memory, and physical health, but it also helps you avoid one of the most common addiction relapse triggers.
- Financial: Finances are one of the biggest sources of stress and anxiety. While you likely won’t be able to solve these challenges overnight, you can take little steps each day to feel more financially secure.
If you’re already eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise, good for you! And, if not, it’s never too late to start. Just make sure to remember that your overall health and well-being depend on the eight dimensions of wellness explored here.
Sleep and Addiction Recovery: Tips for Better Rest
In addition to the eight dimensions of wellness, rest is equally important for recovery. Keep reading to learn how to overcome insomnia and get the high-quality sleep you need.
· Stay Active
Regular exercise has been shown to improve the quality and duration of sleep—particularly in test subjects who kept up the practice for four or more months.
However, it’s important to avoid too much vigorous activity before bedtime because that can leave you feeling too energized to get to sleep. Long-term exercise also provides many other benefits, including stress reduction. Since stress may disrupt sleep patterns, exercise packs a powerful insomnia-fighting punch.
· Stick to Your Sleep Schedule
Keep a steady rhythm of sleeping and waking hours, even on weekends and holidays. If you’re always changing your sleep pattern, your internal clock may have a difficult time adjusting. However, if you find yourself unable to fall asleep after 15 minutes, don’t fight it. Tossing and turning tend to fuel anxiety over sleeplessness, resulting in more trouble falling asleep. Instead, get up and do something relaxing until you feel tired.
· Watch What You Eat and Drink
While many of us rely on a cup of coffee or tea to start our days, too much caffeine—especially in the afternoon—can have lingering negative effects on our sleep. Try to curb caffeine consumption after 2:00 p.m. or switch to decaf. You should also pay attention to how much you eat. Overeating before bed can leave you feeling uncomfortable and bloated, hunger pangs can cause you to toss and turn.
· Don’t Mix Business With Bedtime
According to some studies, looking at a bright screen can mess with your body’s internal clock. For this reason, we recommend avoiding prolonged screen time before attempting to sleep. Some smartphones even offer a nighttime mode that adjusts the color of the display to be less disruptive. Still, reserving your bed for sleep only is a good idea. This may help you train your body and mind to enter sleep mode more easily when it’s time to catch some z’s.
Taking this strategy one step further, you should also consider making your entire bedroom a sleep-safe zone. Keep your cell phone in another room or place it face down as it charges so you won’t be distracted by flashing lights. You could also use a small fan for white noise, which can help mask distracting, irritating sounds. Many people sleep easier when outside light is kept to a minimum. If you’re one of them, take a trip to your local hardware store for some blackout curtains.
· Start Bedtime Before Your Head Hits the Pillow
A standard routine or ritual for the time leading up to bedtime each night is another way to help your body and mind settle into a sleep-ready rhythm. You could read a good book, listen to calming music or simply take a relaxing shower. Whatever the case, find a stress-free and relaxing activity and be consistent each night.
· Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Your sleep problems could be caused by underlying behaviors or thoughts that prevent you from getting the rest you need. Behavioral therapy for insomnia is about identifying detrimental factors like these and treating them with a structured program, typically administered by a sleep therapist. This may involve keeping a sleep journal, sleep restriction, relaxation practice, or other activities.
Focus on Sleep and the 8 Dimensions of Wellness in Your Ongoing Recovery
Drug addiction rehab and recovery isn’t just about quitting drugs and alcohol. It’s about changing your whole lifestyle—from how you cope with your emotions to how you take care of your body. This is why our addiction treatment programs address the whole person, including things like diet, exercise, rest, relationships, co-occurring conditions, and much more.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, there’s hope at The Raleigh House. Fill out our form, or call us today.