The recovery process can be a complicated one with multiple different challenging emotions. We can experience depression, anxiety, deep sadness, fear, stress and overwhelm as we’re recovering. We’re tempted to think that all the hard work is done once we complete treatment or get through withdrawal, but in reality, our work is just beginning. We have to learn how to manage our feelings without resorting to our usual addictive substances and behaviors. There are some things we can do for ourselves to make this emotional work easier, and to make our recovery process a little smoother.
Staying active is one of the easiest ways for us to help ourselves manage the difficulties of recovery. It’s normal for us to feel stressed and overwhelmed, and it’s natural that we will feel sad and anxious at times. To help keep ourselves from burning out or falling into a deep depression, we can maintain an active lifestyle which does wonders not only for our physical health but our mental and emotional health as well. During recovery, and often during the course of our addiction, our tendency may be to allow our stress to make us stagnant. When we feel sad or down, our instincts are often not to get out of the house and move our bodies but to stay in bed longer and eat more to make ourselves feel better.
Many of us live very sedentary lives, whether sitting all day at work, or spending a lot of time on the couch watching TV. Many of our families didn’t make exercise a daily priority as we were growing up, so we haven’t had exercise instilled in us as something to do on a regular basis to keep ourselves healthy. We may not have learned all the wonderful health benefits of regular exercise. We make excuses for why we’re not exercising. “I’m too tired. I’m too lazy. I just don’t feel like it.” We let days, weeks and months slip by without being active at all. Our bodies slow down, we can develop physical ailments as a result, and our thinking can become increasingly more overactive, clouded and confused. We can find that our stress accumulates, causing us to be easily triggered, stressed and overwhelmed.
Exercise, even moderate exercise, can help reverse these effects and move us in a healthier direction. We don’t need rigorous exercise to start reaping the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, one of the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It can help us to keep stress at bay, calm our anxiety, slow down our racing thoughts and naturally lift our mood. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to help ourselves cope with the rigorous emotional challenges of being in recovery.
We work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your unique experiences, challenges, strengths and goals. Our total commitment is to helping you recover. Call 888-570-7154 for more information on our treatment programs.