Getting sober isn’t easy, but the hardest part of recovery is staying sober while keeping yourself healthy. It can be scary and intimidating to think about working out every day and eating healthy, especially when all you want to do is binge watch Netflix and eat sugary foods to treat that incessant sweet tooth. They key here is to incorporate fitness and nutrition into your new, sober life slowly – without beating yourself up if you fall short.
Start with low impact exercise and work your way up
If you have spent the last several years abusing drugs or alcohol, chances are you haven’t really cared about your physical wellbeing. Since drug abuse has profound effects on the body, it is so important to get exercise in sobriety in order to reverse these effects.
Going to the gym and doing high-intensity workouts may seem intimidating and challenging at first, so start slow! Start your day with a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood, taking a swim in your local pool, or taking a short bike ride. Getting as little as 30 minutes of exercise can enhance your mood, strengthen your bones and muscles, give you an energy boost, improve brain function, help with stress and anxiety, and aid in getting a good night’s rest.
Eat naturally sweetened fruits instead of processed sugars
When a person eats sugar, their brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine. If you have abused drugs, it is likely that your brain will crave this release of dopamine even after you get sober. For most people in recovery, it doesn’t take long to realize that you love eating sugary foods – or that you may be gaining a lot of weight.
When these sugar cravings come about, try eating naturally sweetened fruits instead. Not only will this help curb your drug and sugar cravings, but it provides your body with some of the nutrients that it needs. Some sweet fruits to try are strawberries, peaches, figs, mangos, cherries, nectarines, and kiwis.
Spend time outdoors with other people in recovery
Along with physical health, it is important to take care of your mental health as well. If you have a healthy mind, you are less likely to relapse back into a lifestyle of drug or alcohol abuse.
In this day in age, many of us spend a lot of time on our phones or sitting behind a computer screen in a building lit by fluorescent lights. Try taking 30 minutes out of your monotonous routine to spend time in the sunlight, breathing in the fresh air. Spending time outdoors has been proven to help fight anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and increase energy levels. You will be surprised what a little vitamin D can do for your overall well-being!
Incorporate mindful meditation into your daily routine
If you find yourself feeling anxious while obsessing over the changes happening in your new, sober life, mindful meditation can help you overcome these racing thoughts.
This form of meditation can be done in any setting during any time of the day. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on your breath, identifying your thoughts, and increasing self awareness while letting go of tension and negative energy. Mindful meditation helps you focus on the present moment, deal with drug cravings, and cope with your emotions. It can make you feel more relaxed and more in control over your life.
A healthy, sober life
Incorporating these habits into your lifestyle will allow you to stay healthy and cope with your emotions without the use of drugs or alcohol. A healthy, sober lifestyle promotes a happy and peaceful attitude, which is essential in maintaining your sobriety in the long term. Sobriety isn’t just about putting down the substances – it is about changing your life around for the better! Start with these tips and you will surely be on the right path!
Author Bio: Cassidy Webb is a 24-year-old avid writer from South Florida. She advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.