As we head into the final leg of summer it is a good time to take stock. You have successfully maintained sobriety throughout the summer months by practicing relapse prevention strategies and avoiding known triggers. While sustaining recovery is commendable in every way, perhaps now is a good time to pay particular attention to mental health. After all, recovery health includes attending to self-care and overall wellness in addition to sobriety efforts.
We sometimes forget how interconnected our body, mind, and spirit are. Any disturbance or weakness in one is bound to negatively impact the other aspects of our being. To ensure long-term recovery success it is critical to remain mindful of our mental health. We can do this by periodically checking in with our mood state. Are we feeling settled or anxious? Are we feeling content or sad? Are we feeling calm or agitated? Sometimes, all we need is a little adjustment in attitude, a change of scenery, or a new hobby to maintain our overall recovery health.
5 Mental Health Tips for Reinforcing Sobriety
It is wise to be proactive when we recognize the unsettling signs of mental unrest. Allowing a negative or stressed out mood state to continue unabated will potentially increase the risk of relapse. When your spirits are flagging or anxiety is inching higher, try these mental health tips to rebalance and restore your mood:
- Go on an adventure. Whether it’s finally getting around to checking out that cool historic site or museum in your own hometown or setting off on a road trip, get out of a rut by exploring some new sights. Introduce yourself to a new locale by wandering off the beaten track, or stake out a new hiking trail and picnic at the edge of a stream. Our brains love to be introduced to new sights, sounds, and scents.
- Visit a relative. Maybe it has been awhile since you have seen a cousin or sibling. Why not plan a visit and reinvigorate the family bond? So often we say we will get together soon, but months turn into years and before you know it you have become strangers. Make a special day of it by meeting up at a pretty park and planning a potluck or barbecue, and spend some quality time getting reacquainted.
- Join a recreational league. Check out adult recreational sports offerings in your county. Many locales offer adult leagues for softball, baseball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Nothing will jump start endorphins and improve your mood like participating in a sport you love. Be sure to check for special policies regarding COVID-19, as each region has different guidelines for the particular sport.
- Consider a wellness retreat. Sometimes our mental health can use some extra special attention. A wellness retreat is a great idea when you feel your mood sinking and realize recovery might be in jeopardy. The retreats are typically situated in a stunning setting and offer targeted treatments, such as group therapy, therapeutic massage, and yoga, to help life your spirits.
- Buy some new sneakers. A new pair of athletic shoes may be all it takes to spark some new fitness goals. Pick out a new pair of cool sneaks and get moving. Challenge yourself to achieve new benchmarks, such as the number of daily steps tracked on your FitBit or taking up Pickleball. Decide on an activity or two, set some goals, and get moving for a real boost in mood.
Summer may be drawing to a close soon, but there is still plenty of warm sunny weather to enjoy any—or all—of these tips for improving your overall wellness in recovery.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, holistic addiction treatment, drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to heal each individual with respect and dignity, and reflects on our ongoing commitment to meet new challenges. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.