Ms. Susan Treadway, an addict in recovery, authored the following guest post. She uses a holistic approach to sobriety to stay on a successful path and believes adopting even a few holistic methods can help anyone struggling with addiction.
Susan wants everyone to know that you don’t have to be a hippie to embrace holistic wellness – this concept is simply about focusing on your entire sense of well-being rather than just one part. She hopes her website, rehabholistics.com, will inspire anyone who has struggled with addiction to incorporate holistic practices into their own self-care routine.
Every day, someone suffering through addiction realizes that the substance is simply not worth the struggle and decides to take action. Unfortunately, quitting isn’t as easy as saying “no.” After giving into addiction, our minds and bodies go through actual physiological challenges that make us dependent on the drugs, and our addiction is driven by a need instead of a want.
It takes time and effort to wean ourselves off of addictive substances, rebuild our lives and make up for lost time. Many of us recovering from addiction have discovered that recovery can actually be facilitated through various actions that go beyond a traditional 12-step program. If you’re ready to change your life and take your addiction recovery to the next level, then maybe now is the time to turn to fitness.
The Transformative Power of Physical Exercise
In today’s world, many people experience a mostly sedentary lifestyle. There isn’t as much of a need to get up and active, and most professions keep people seated for much of the day. Your reaction toward using exercise as a means of recovery might be one of skepticism. You may think, “I’m a little out of shape, but do I really need to exercise in order to recover?” The answer should be ‘yes.’
Exercise has been known to benefit people in several ways, beyond the expected increases of strength, flexibility, and endurance. Exercise affects the way we think and feel about ourselves. After a workout, you will typically feel exhausted, but in addition to fatigue you will also feel a sense of accomplishment that can follow you through the rest of your day. When you focus on your fitness, you also shift your focus away from negative aspects of your life. It’s a way you can let off some steam. As a recovering addict, you face a lot of daily stress and frustration. Exercise is the perfect outlet to remove these negative forces from your life and get yourself back in a positive mindset.
The Right Exercises
Exercise’s ability to transform your mental and physical health is a formidable weapon to keep in your arsenal when fighting against drug addiction. The best way to ensure that you are doing enough exercise to positively impact your recovery is by choosing exercises that have the most appeal to you. Many in recovery opt for exercises that test endurance such as running, cycling, or swimming. These kinds of exercises are typically easier to get into, since you can control the time and distance you wish to run for.
It’s important to set achievable goals for yourself. Start small with your weekly goals. Tell yourself you want to run, or swim for 5 miles each week. After a month or so of reaching this goal, you can bump that number up to 10, then 15, and so on. As you grow in strength and endurance, you’ll be able to apply new challenges for yourself such as completing so many miles in a thirty minute run.
The Necessity of Routines in Daily Life
One of the biggest lessons that an active lifestyle teaches is the importance of having daily routines. When you set daily goals for yourself, you’ll realize that it’s difficult to successfully meet these goals without preparing for your exercise ahead of time. You’ll need to be well-rested in order to complete your workout, so you’ll have to go to bed at a reasonable time. You’ll also need to switch up your diet and eat at regular times during the day so that you have enough energy to push you through your activities. This kind of discipline that routines instill within you will not only help you complete your fitness goals, but will also give you valuable tools to help you during your addiction recovery.
After a couple weeks of exercise, you will begin to notice results such as increased strength, endurance and flexibility. These results will indicate how you are growing as a person and your potential. Use this motivation to fuel your addiction recovery and keep going strong on the path forward.
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