In any addiction recovery, no one can undermine the role of mental health management. How strong you are mentally to cope with the stressors of everyday life will dictate how successful your recovery is. The state of your mental health can make or break your recovery experience.
Having to quit a habit, manage withdrawal symptoms, and form newer, healthier habits is not only daunting but also extremely exhausting. So, it is crucial to ensure your mental well-being in times like these. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
As you move through life, your mental health defines how you will tackle the challenges and problems that will come up. When you encounter roadblocks along the way, you will either deal with them by falling into the same old patterns and may be compelled to cope the way you did before.
So, in this article, we will provide some tips on how to manage your mental health in recovery so you don’t fall back into the same old patterns.
But first, determine the type of treatment
Whether inpatient treatment will suit you more or outpatient treatment depends on a multitude of factors. These include the type of addiction, your support system, cultural norms, and affordability. Inpatient treatment is often more helpful as it provides round-the-clock monitoring. However, it isn’t necessary for everyone.
On the other hand, outpatient treatment options may be just as helpful if someone has a sound support system and people to fall back on. In addition, an advantage of outpatient treatment options is that you can continue with your routine activities, be it school or work. It helps you maintain balance and have a sense of normalcy.
CARING FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN RECOVERY:
How exactly does one do that? Going through significant life changes when giving up addictions is crazy enough already, and the added responsibility of making smarter choices to keep your mental health in check may also seem daunting.
Here are some of our best tips to help you take care of your mental well-being:
- Stay in touch with your emotions
People usually turn to drugs or drinks when they find discomfort in their lives very difficult to cope with. When faced with any pain, setbacks, or disappointment, you need to have proper tools to validate and then process and accept your emotions and the reality of your situation. But it is easier said than done.
Taking the time to understand what upsets you, accepting your limitations, acknowledging the hurt it causes, and then allowing yourself to feel those emotions to move on is essential, if not the most crucial, when caring for your mental health.
Speaking to a professional like a therapist may also be very helpful in understanding your triggers and can help you build the tools to deal with them. A therapist may also be able to give a neutral perspective that, often, people around us cannot give.
- Taking care of your body
We all know a healthy body is essential for a healthy mind. Not only do exercise and a healthy, nutritious diet help keep you physically fit, but it also helps you stay sharp mentally and relieves stress. It doesn’t have to be some strict workout regimen; it could be half an hour of any activity you enjoy. It could be a sport you enjoy with your friends or spending time alone at the gym if that’s what you’re into.
Exercising releases endorphins, which boost mood and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. It also improves your cardiovascular health and keeps you mentally sharp.
- Having a solid support system
It is said that we are the sum of the five people that we spend time with the most. People with friends or family to rely on always are healthier than those that don’t have a solid support system. Having people you can talk to gives you an outlet and helps you process your emotions and go through life feeling less lonely. It helps you realize that most of our experiences and grievances are universal and that we are not as different as we seem.
It is why you should always ensure that you spend time with the people you trust and that support you. You could also join a support group to help you find and interact with people who are going through similar struggles.
However, building a healthy support system also includes letting go of the people who bring you down and might be why you throw yourself into destructive patterns.
Somehow, people always end up not giving enough priority to sleep in their fast-paced lives. Allowing your mind and body to slow down, rest, and rejuvenate is vital for your mental health. The amount of sleep varies from person to person; however, most sleep guidelines recommend at least seven to nine hours for every individual.
Consistent lack of sleep is extremely harmful to your mental health. Sleep cycles are also very fragile; therefore, you should have a routine that helps you unwind properly. Avoiding screens two hours before bed, dimming the lights, and reading a book are some of the many ways to put your mind into a more relaxed state.
- Spiritual health
Depending on your belief system, faith is one of the most helpful things when battling addiction and sobering up. In addition, spirituality helps to deepen your understanding of yourself and helps you navigate the challenges life throws at you.
Spirituality also helps you approach life from a different perspective. It helps you count your blessings and recognize all you have to be grateful for. It can help you appreciate how you have been blessed in most ways.
Recovery is a very personal journey. It looks different from person to person. Something that works for one person might not work for another. So you must be mindful and see how different things affect you and what works for you. Many factors affect our mental health, including our financial situation, family, jobs, housing, genetic predisposition to different conditions, and traumas.
Taking time to recognize and understand these factors can help you be more mindful and in control of your recovery process. Understanding what works for you and what doesn’t will help you accelerate your journey toward recovery.