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Guest post by Kimberly Thomas
Regaining sobriety after struggling with addiction is a great step toward becoming your best self. But recovery can be tough. It’s common for people in recovery to report feeling unhappy, bored, unmotivated, or downright miserable. These feelings are a normal part of the recovery process but can make it all the more challenging to stick to your recovery plan.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to have a happier recovery experience. Check out the following tips from Destine Dance to feel your best in recovery and beyond!
Take Care of Your Oral Health
Oral hygiene is an often overlooked and incredibly important element in health and well-being, especially for those recovering from drug addiction. Many commonly abused substances can contribute to serious oral health conditions including plaque buildup, tooth decay, and gum disease. What’s more, dangerous oral bacteria can spread through your bloodstream and contribute to health issues in other parts of your body. Make a commitment to regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist to achieve optimal oral health in your recovery.
You may also benefit from having your teeth straightened. View the VIBE explains that straight teeth are much easier to keep clean, reducing the risk of plaque and bacteria buildup. Thankfully, you don’t have to splurge on expensive orthodontic treatments to have your teeth straightened. At-home aligners offer an effective and affordable alternative! While home teeth aligners may not be ideal for cases of severe misalignment, they’re a great option for anyone with mild to moderate alignment problems.
Establish Healthy Lifestyle Habits
Keeping your whole body in optimal health will help you feel a lot better throughout your recovery. Healthy lifestyle habits like exercising (including dancing!), eating nutrient-dense foods, and getting enough sleep every night can make it much easier to overcome cravings and cope with stressors. When you eat clean, unprocessed foods, your brain and body benefit from reduced inflammation and higher levels of important nutrients that keep your cells functioning optimally.
When you exercise, your body floods with natural feel-good chemicals that can boost happiness and alleviate stress. When you’re in recovery, starting an exercise regimen -- and sticking to it -- may be the last thing you want to do, but it’s so worth it! A great way to stay motivated is to set goals and monitor your activity with a smartwatch or fitness tracker. As you get the heart rate up and sweat out those toxins, you’ll discover the value of a durable watch band that’s comfortable and fits well.
Sleep is also important for emotional regulation and physical health, but it can be hard to come by when you’re in recovery. Better Health Channel recommends practicing good sleep hygiene to minimize those sleepless nights and feel more rested during the day. Something as simple as going to bed at the same time every night could be the solution you need!
Limit Your Daily Stressors
Stress will make your recovery process a lot more challenging. It can take a while to build up effective coping skills after doing away with unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs and alcohol. While some stress in recovery may be unavoidable, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your exposure to external stressors as you work on your coping skills. For example, be sure to acknowledge your individual energy levels as well as your need for rest. Time to relax and recharge from stressful events is crucial for regaining the cognitive energy you need to stay strong in your recovery.
Also, try to avoid people who create stress or drama in your life. Identifying toxic people can be tough if they’ve been in your social circle for many years, but it’s important to distance yourself from the individuals that make you feel less than your best. Self-care is the key to feeling great in recovery, so don’t be afraid to put your needs ahead of others, at least for now. Practice tending to your needs without feeling guilty or selfish!
Facing your addiction and embracing sobriety is a great move for your mental and physical health. But sobriety alone might not be your ticket to happiness. To feel your best in recovery, adopt healthy lifestyle habits and new coping mechanisms that will improve your whole-body well-being from the inside out!
This blog is written by the staff at Destine Dance and is inspired by the questions and challenges faced by our students