When it comes to getting clean and sober, you always hear stories, opinions, and suggestions surrounding mental health, but what about our physical health? How do we focus on the thing that is keeping us alive?
Our bodies are truly magical, and we see the real magic after we have abused it for years with substance. Drugs and alcohol can do a number on us, but with time, effort, and care, we can transform into the best versions of ourselves.
How to Treat Our Bodies with Care
No matter which substance you used or for how long, with time and care, you can transform yourself back to a healthy and happy you. Here are some ways to focus your attention on nurturing and reenergizing your body:
- Nutrition: They say you are what you eat, and that’s literally true. Whatever you put into your body gets broken down and becomes part of your being. If we look at food and our bodies in this way, you can see why it’s important to acknowledge what we put in them. Everyone is different, which means some of us may have allergies or certain restrictions. The goal here is to start cooking and preparing real foods such as meats, fruits, and vegetables to get our bodies functioning on the highest level possible. If you feel lost in the kitchen, check in with your team and see if it’s possible to speak to a nutritionist. Pinterest and YouTube are also great on-line options for food ideas, cooking videos, and step-by-step help.
- Exercise: Moving your body is scientifically proven to make you feel better. By working out, your body releases endorphins that reduce pain and make us feel good. Exercise doesn’t mean going to the gym, but that is an option. Taking a walk, following along to a free workout video online, or swimming at the local Y might be the right fit for you. Try a dance class, sign up for martial arts, or simply grab some weights and lift at home. No matter what you choose, your body will thank you for getting up and moving.
- Hygiene: We don’t need to have the fifth-grade conversation about showering with soap, but it’s important to acknowledge how you treat your body in reference to well-being. How often are you brushing and flossing? How often are you washing your hair? Are you washing your hands regularly? All of these questions lead to your health and the value you put on it. If you exhibit poor hygiene, it can lead to a lot of other health problems such as dental work, digestion issues, and a weakened immune system. If you’re in recovery, you are probably suffering from a weakened immune system from substance use. It will take some time to build up your body, but the more time you spend caring for yourself, the better you’ll feel long term.
- Acknowledging Limitations: While there are a lot of behaviors to consider on your journey to health and wellness, the other side of the coin is based on negation. Our bodies change as we age, and if we haven’t been taking the best care of ourselves, we may have more limitations as time progresses. This could look like foods we can’t eat and exercises we can’t do. It’s important to be kind to ourselves while we begin to transform our physical bodies back towards health. Health may look different from years ago, and that’s okay. Honor where you are and be grateful for your body for always having your back, literally.
While our bodies are composed of the same parts, everyone is different. Different options will work for different people. It’s important to consult with your doctor and/or support team when it comes to food and exercise choices. They can help you stay on track and care for yourself in a safe and healthy way.
The Mind/Body Connection
The most important takeaway of this posting is being gentle with yourself. If you’ve treated your body a certain way for a year, or several years, it’s going to take time for it to bounce back. Think about it in terms of weight lifting. You don’t walk in the gym and deadlift 250lbs on day 1. You work your way towards that goal. The same goes for your overall health. You are literally, emotionally, and spiritually detoxing your body from a life you no longer wish to live. Your body and your mind need time to adjust to the new routines you are creating. Just like deadlifting, start small. Work towards small goals, and before you know it, you’ll be putting up that goal weight.
It’s also important to forgo expectations on this journey. That might feel hard to do if you are in a group or residential program because your mind will want to make comparisons, but comparison culture can be toxic and create setbacks. Get inspired, but stay focused on your own path. You may have a long road to walk, but if you put in the time and effort, focusing on your heart and soul, you will begin to see glorious changes.
Making changes is never easy, especially when it comes to treatment and the recovery process. If you’re someone who’s been struggling to get clean/sober and stay that way, reach out to Burning Tree Ranch. We are a specialized residential facility that offers multiple programs to help you make the shift towards health once and for all. Let Burning Tree be your coach towards that deadlifting goal. Call today to learn about our treatment options: (866) 287-2877