Post-treatment, the priority becomes designing life around recovery. Many adjustments need to be made during this phase. Mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness all become priorities, and it can feel overwhelming at times. However, all these efforts lead to a reduced risk of relapse, so the effort and time are worth it. During this transitional phase, a wellness practice can be tremendously beneficial. Consider the different elements you can incorporate into a personal wellness routine.
Yoga is an ancient practice that can benefit the mind, body, and soul. There are dozens of types of yoga that have emerged over time, incorporating spiritual teaching into physical routines with different intensities. While not initially intended for fitness, yoga’s popularity in western culture has made its physical benefits more apparent and widely sought. As yoga is a discipline of postures and poses, it strengthens core muscles as different positions are held for various lengths of time. Depending on the type of yoga, it may also have aerobic benefits. It helps stretch and lengthen joints, too. As many who are in recovery struggle with physical ailments, yoga is a great way to care for the body. If substance use is related to any chronic pain condition, the physical benefits of yoga can be incredibly beneficial. Of course, most chronic pain patients will also require a program to manage that pain without the use of medication.
Yoga is beneficial for the mind and spirit as well, as it is rooted in spiritual practice. During classes, you are encouraged to be present in and honor the moment. You’re invited to look inward for strength, and you’re allowed space and time to connect to your spirituality. Many students also report a meditative state brought on from that inner power. Many who do yoga regularly have increased self-awareness and self-reflection as a result. Building these concepts into your recovery can prevent relapse as they encourage you to draw upon your coping strategies continually.
Massage may seem like an indulgence, but it’s an excellent accompaniment to a wellness practice. Massage has obvious physical benefits such as decreased muscle tension and soreness, increased mobility, and improved sleep. Massage can also reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol, which weaken the immune system and cause physical pain. Massage is incredibly beneficial for those who have a co-occurring chronic pain disorder, as caring for pain without narcotics is an essential part of recovery.
Massage can also lower emotional distress as it increases the production of dopamine and serotonin, which can drop low in early recovery. Regular massage can reduce stress and anxiety as it encourages relaxation and the principle of ‘letting it go”. Massage can also be considered a “non-talk” therapy. Some clients experience an emotional release as a result of the tension released during the massage. The quiet and calm nature of massage allows for a natural meditative state.
Substance use disorder can be the culprit in many chronic physical issues like hypertension and diabetes. It also causes abandonment of self-care, which leads to the worsening of pre-existing conditions. As one recovers and prioritizes their health again, exercise becomes an essential part of treatment and continued recovery. Increased physical activity is also an incredibly important component in caring for chronic pain disorders. Increased mobility, weight loss, and a positive sense of self are all benefits of incorporating exercise into a wellness practice.
Exercise is also a natural mood booster, as it increases the production of “feel good” endorphins. It also acts as a natural stress reducer, as it physically expresses and releases negative emotions.
While it may seem like a recovery program has a ton of moving parts, there is a natural balance to a well-assembled wellness program. Wellness should incorporate activities that enrich the mind, body, and soul. Dual-diagnosis and co-occurring chronic pain disorders greatly benefit from a well-rounded wellness practice. Combining things that relieve emotional tension and physical pain can also prevent relapse. Those who have suffered from substance use disorders often struggle to prioritize themselves, especially in early recovery. During this time, going to the gym or taking a yoga class can be a step in the right direction. Every day, a small step towards self-care and self-love ensures further protection against relapse and maintains the road of wellness.
Ashley Addiction Treatment believes that connection is the key to recovery, with treatment options focused on holistic, integrated, and uplifting care. Ashley offers an environment for holistic care and prioritizes wellness in recovery. If you would like to speak to someone about our care options, please reach out to us today at 800-799-4673.