Getting sober is hard work. A person’s lifestyle and mindset need to change, and they must be determined throughout the process and maintain a positive attitude to see success in recovery. Addiction takes a toll on a person’s physical and mental health, which usually results in poor habits when it comes to food, sleep, and taking care of themselves in general. At Corner Canyon Health Centers, we believe this is why focusing on self-care and nutrition in recovery is a critical element in overcoming addiction. The importance of self-care in recovery is immeasurable and the effects last far beyond the time spent in an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment facility. Self-care, nutrition, and recovery all go hand in hand, and you may be wondering why that is. Let’s take a look at why focusing on nutrition and self-care is so important during drug and alcohol addiction recovery.
The Importance of Self-Care in Recovery
When an addict goes through detox, they experience withdrawal that can be very painful. This can be an extremely difficult time physically and can also result in a range of emotions such as feeling unworthy, depressed, hopeless, and helpless. Once this phase of recovery has passed, it’s important to help this person regain their sense of self and self-confidence. Healthy activities make the transition to a lifestyle without drugs or alcohol a constructive process and replace old habits of substance abuse with healthy, new habits. Activities such as exercise, reading, yoga, or interests in hobbies will preoccupy the mind, leaving less time to focus on drugs or alcohol. Self-care helps a person in recovery treat themselves better, and can help the journey become less challenging and stressful. When a person takes care of themselves after treatment, the stress and feelings of being overwhelmed will lessen and the focus can be on recovery. Self-care can be both mental and physical, and both provide a variety of benefits. So, what are some ways to practice self-care during recovery?
Spend Time With Loved Ones
In treatment, it’s important to have a healthy support system from family and friends who can encourage their loved one in recovery. This generates feelings of love, care, and support. These feelings help maintain positive mental health and maintain a positive environment. The best way to achieve this is by having at least one interaction with a loved one daily. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee date, all-day event, or a quick phone call, interacting with an important person in your life can go a long way.
Stop Negative Self-Talk
Unfortunately, we can be our biggest critics. In recovery, it’s important to learn and practice methods of shutting down negative self-talk. This can be done by simply paying attention to the thoughts you are having and reconstructing them in a positive way. It’s important to recognize that this is easier said than done. However, with daily practice, you will find yourself overcoming negative thoughts easier than before.
Get a Hobby
When you find something you love to do, staying sober can be easier. This is also an important part of understanding yourself and exploring your interests. A helpful hobby can be anything from painting to jiu-jitsu to reading a good book. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is as long as it has a positive impact on your recovery.
Regular exercise provides a variety of benefits such as improving your mood, energy, and concentration. Any amount of exercise is beneficial to recovery and can include activities such as going for a walk, taking a spin class, or jogging around the neighborhood. As long as you’re moving, that’s all that matters.
Get Enough Shut-Eye
The recommended amount of sleep is anywhere from seven to nine hours for most adults to function at their best. It’s important to implement healthy sleep habits such as avoiding caffeine near bedtime and ensuring daytime naps are 30 minutes at most. Preparing your body for more restful and deeper sleep can provide many health benefits, both physical and mental.
Nutrition and Recovery: Why It Matters
Good nutrition is essential for restoring and maintaining physical and mental health in sobriety. Treatment teaches you to care for your body physically and emotionally by maintaining a healthy diet, incorporating exercise into your daily routine, and exposure to nature through outdoor activities. According to an article on substance abuse and nutrition by Alyssa Salz, MS, RD, LD for Today’s Dietician,
“Substance abuse is known to lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that threaten physical and mental health, damage vital organs and the nervous system, and decrease immunity.”
Addiction is linked to poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and disruptions in sleep patterns. This leads to an increased risk of long-term health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, and eating disorders. Nutritional counseling and dietician-designed meals provide guidance in making healthy food choices. Toxins are released through healthy eating and your body will feel rejuvenated. Eating healthy food reduces sleep problems and strengthens self-esteem, confidence, and productivity.
At our addiction recovery clinic, we serve healthy, clean food that is provided by a full-time chef. When a person enters recovery, they are most likely deprived of nutrients. This is due to the fact that addicts will ignore hunger cues and rely on their drug of choice for both physical and emotional comfort. Proper nutrition can rejuvenate the body and start recovery on a positive note. While the correlation between nutrition and recovery is rarely mentioned, it’s a critical component of overcoming addiction.
Choosing to Enter a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Center
The choice to get sober is important. When you or a loved one enter a drug and alcohol addiction recovery center, recognizing the importance of self-care in recovery and focusing on nutrition is a crucial step in the process. Taking care of oneself mentally, physically, and emotionally is important, both in recovery and outside of it. If you or a loved are ready to seek treatment, contact us today and learn more about the services we have to offer.
Cheryl has a 24-year history of founding and managing treatment programs for adolescents, in addition to providing therapy for them and is now excited to work with adults at Corner Canyon Health Centers. Her own treatment experiences informed the development and implementation of the foundational components of Corner Canyon, and she looks forward to directing a program that meets all the expectations she had while in treatment and includes all the therapeutic practices that she has found to be effective throughout her career.
In 1998 Cheryl co-founded Second Nature Wilderness Program, which grew to be the largest private wilderness therapeutic program in the United States and included 5 separate locations. Cheryl also helped found Gateway Academy, a pre-eminent residential treatment program for adolescent boys, and looks forward to working with the Gateway Academy owners at Corner Canyon.
In 2003, Cheryl was elected by her colleagues throughout the United States to serve as a board member for the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Cheryl works clinically with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, family systems problems, and other co-occurring issues. She loves working with clients the most out of all the different roles she has played. Cheryl completed her education at Brigham Young University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology in 1991 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1993. Her clinical training included CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Communication, and providing individual, family, group therapy and marriage counseling.
Cheryl is the oldest of ten children and has two adult children, a daughter and a son. Her interests include water sports, photography, interior design, household projects, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves house boating on Lake Powell, but her favorite pastime is spending time with her 5 wonderful grandchildren.