Creating the Ultimate Lifestyle for Recovery: A Complete Guide
The concept of recovery is different for everyone, but generally speaking, health and wellness are foundational components of recovery success. Much dedication is spent in treatment learning how to retrain the mind and body to work more efficiently, and holistic approaches emphasize that in order to do this, we must acknowledge the many aspects that make up – and shape – our lives. If you’re currently working towards creating a lifestyle for recovery right now, know that you’re not alone – and as a lifelong process, it’s going to take some trial and error to find what works best for you.
What it Means to Live a Life in Recovery
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as, “…A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”
Furthermore, there are many guiding principles to recovery, such as that it is holistic, that it involves a process of healing, that it is supported by peers and allies, that it has cultural dimensions, that it is self-directing and empowering, that it emerges from hope and gratitude, and that there are many pathways – along with many other areas for growth. The way we build a life of recovery is often determined as we live our lives; through different experiences and periods of learning, we discover what our values our and what we need in our lives in order to feel fulfilled.
Taking a holistic approach to recovery, there are many areas we need to focus on to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle:
· Abstinence and Relapse Prevention – ceasing to use substances and strengthening recovery strategies to move past cravings and triggers
· Environment – creating a life at home where it’s easier not to use
· Relationships – surrounding ourselves with positive influences and people who uplift our recovery goals rather than distract us from them
· Career – work that motivates us and allows us to keep challenging ourselves
· Sense of Purpose – rediscovering our self-identity and finding what our values our, as well as strengthening our sense of purpose in the world
· Nutrition – eating and drinking to nourish the body with essential vitamins and minerals
· Mental Health – taking medication, engaging in therapy, and other healthy tools for working through symptoms of mental illness
· Exercise – keeping our body healthy through adequate exercise
· Financial stability, self-care, and much more
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology emphasized the fact that social identity changes are one of the most challenging yet transformational areas of recovery, as it’s our social groups that have such a strong impact on the way we live our lives.
A Process of Discovery
A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment sought to explore the various ways that individuals experienced recovery. Participants described that it’s creating a new life, focusing on well-being, working on yourself, living life on life’s terms, learning to life drug-free, recognizing the problem, and getting help, amongst others. Everyone has their own reasons and motivations for pursuing recovery, and while these reasons may be different, the focus on recovering is what matters. One individual shared their reason for pursuing a lifestyle recovery in the study aforementioned. They stated, “I’m in recovery myself because I want to stay clean. And I want to be a responsible person or responsible human being… I got to remain sober to do these things.”
I’m in recovery myself because I want to stay clean. And I want to be a responsible person or responsible human being… I got to remain sober to do these things.”
By taking your recovery each day at a time, you’re allowing yourself to uncover the various aspects of life that matter most to you and, over time, you can implement these more into your life.
Your Ultimate Lifestyle
While most people would describe their ultimate lifestyle as being happy, the reality is that our human nature doesn’t require this – in fact, if we can learn to be content and to better manage some of the stressors and hardships that we experience throughout life, we will be much better off. Happiness comes in waves, just as emotions do. If we limit our recovery only to being happy, we’ll be disappointed when we find that live still happens; we will still have bad days, symptoms of addiction or mental illness will still arise from time to time, we will still make mistakes and more. With all of this in mind, we have to understand that the ultimate lifestyle is about health and wellness, as both of these contribute to our happiness and lead us to develop an enriched life that truly gives us meaning.
What does your ultimate recovery lifestyle look like to you? Are you currently living it, or are there some things you’d like to improve on/change? The most beautiful aspect of recovery is that it’s not a linear process and it’s not permanent, either. These twists and turns give us plenty of space to be flexible and find our way – one step at a time.
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards restoration of the mind, body and spirit, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today.
The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.
Saving Lives; Healing Families.