Are you going through the recovery process for substance abuse or addiction? If so, you might be wondering what type of new year’s resolution is best for you. After all, you have already resolved to give up your addiction and follow all of the steps needed to make that happen. If you are ready to take on another resolution, here are nine to consider that might boost your recovery and make you healthier both physically and mentally.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can have negative effects on both your physical and your mental health. If you’ve ever lost out on sleep, you know that it affects your willpower and can make you crave unhealthy forms of comfort. In 2018, resolve to get enough sleep each night to help boost your recovery. This is usually between seven and eight hours for adults and about nine hours for teenagers. Go to bed at a reasonable time so you can wake up refreshed and ready to start your day.
2. Eat More Fruits or Vegetables Each Day
You already know that you should be sticking to a healthful diet. If you’re having trouble, though, aim to do just one thing: add more fruits and veggies to your days. Think about what you normally eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Can you add a handful of berries to your breakfast cereal? A simple side salad or some baby carrots with hummus add a nice, fresh crunch to your lunch. Fill half your plate with whatever vegetable you’re having with dinner for a double serving. Splurge on some special fruit, such as pomegranates or dragon fruit, for a delicious after-dinner snack.
3. Keep a Journal
Writing down your thoughts in a journal allows you to express your feelings freely and without worrying about being judged. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad one, journaling regularly gives you the ability to look back later with some renewed perspective. One particularly effective way to journal is to write down something you’re grateful for on a daily basis. While you’re going through the tough parts of recovery, looking for those silver linings might be just what you need to keep you on track and boost your recovery.
4. Say No When You Need To
You already know that there are going to be days when you’re struggling with your recovery journey. On those days, don’t be afraid to say no. Also, if you are invited to do something that you think might trigger a craving, feel free to politely decline. Keep in mind that your health and recovery are more important than keeping up appearances or even making others happy right now. If you need to skip a party or you just don’t think you can cope with a cookout with a dysfunctional family member, then say no thank you without guilt.
5. Say Yes When You Can
On the other hand, trying new experiences is a great way to get your adrenaline flowing and deepen relationships. When someone invites you to try something new ask yourself whether it’s safe and healthy. If the answer is yes, then go for it! Don’t get stuck in a rut always doing the same things. When you feel like you’re in a good place and you aren’t struggling, take advantage of those good days by saying yes when asked to branch out.
6. Take Up Meditation or Yoga
You should be spending some time each day getting to know yourself better. Two ways that you can learn more about yourself and spend time in a judgment-free atmosphere are to practice meditation and/or yoga. Both of these activities encourage you to focus on yourself, your breathing, and a word or phrase that you would like to think more about. You can try guided meditation audio files online. For yoga, check out a class in your area or search the Internet for a few lessons to see if you like it.
7. Volunteer in Your Community
Helping others helps you take your focus off of your own problems for a little while. There are numerous benefits to volunteering: It helps not only the recipients but also the volunteers themselves. Think about what you might want to do in your community, then look for a way to help. Do you have a soft spot in your heart for the elderly, for children, or for animals? Find out whether you can help out at a nursing home, a children’s hospital, or an animal shelter.
8. Go for a Walk Each Day
It’s important to get some exercise each day, not only for your physical health but also for your mental health. Thirty minutes is a good goal to shoot toward. The easiest way for most people to get in their daily exercise is to go for a walk. Choose a time of the day when you can commit to walking, either by yourself or with a friend or family member. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a half hour all at once, either; you can split it up into two or three daily walks. Getting outside in the fresh air is an important part of each day, so when you go for a walk even on overcast, rainy days, you’re getting a bit of vitamin D and boosting your mood.
9. Ask for Help
You couldn’t have gotten this far in your recovery without help along the way, and this will continue to apply as you go through the rest of your journey. In 2018, be sure to ask for help as you need it. You might need some extra support from your friends and family, extra meetings with your counselor, or to be talked down by someone who understands and has been through addiction. Speak up and advocate for yourself to boost your recovery.
Remember that a new year is a new beginning! Take the steps needed to boost your recovery and make the year a success one. With some effective and relevant new year’s resolutions, you can enjoy the process of staying sober and take advantage of your new life.