“Wellness” may have different definitions for everybody, but if you’re in recovery, there are eight criteria or dimensions that constitute wellness for people in substance abuse recovery. Addressing these eight dimensions will help keep you on track in your sobriety and help prevent relapse. You just may find they also improve the quality of your life.
The First Dimension
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Step-By-Step Guide to Wellness, one of the eight areas in your life that needs to be addressed is physical wellness. This is the basis of everything in recovery because you cannot have the other steps fall into place without getting your health in order. After months or years of a substance use disorder, people in recovery have special nutritional needs and should take care to get their bodies in shape physically and their health back.
Exercise plays a key role in physical wellness, and getting regular checkups and dental treatments is a must. Cardiovascular exercise helps strengthen the body and the heart, and you’ll likely benefit from planning meals to replenish your body. Substance abuse takes a toll on the body for many nutrients. Including vegetables, fruits, and a healthy, well-balanced diet goes a long way to physical wellness.
Focus on Mental Wellness
Your emotional wellness plays a key role in how well you’ll stick to sobriety and whether there could be a relapse in your future. Many studies have proven mindfulness meditation to help people in recovery resist the cravings, and yoga can have a calming effect. In a nutshell, hobbies that relax you and help you find a balance in your life are going to be beneficial to your mental state of being.
What Is Intellectual Health?
Not only does finding new hobbies or returning to old ones help ease stress and aid with mental wellness, but intellectual wellness as well. Whether it’s doing Sudoku puzzles, going back to school, or exploring a new hobby, intellectual wellness means keeping your mind active. After the fog of substance abuse is lifted, you may be surprised at your aptitude for different activities and intellectual exercises. Use it or lose it, as they say.
Where Does Spiritual Wellness Fit In?
If you’ve practiced a particular religion before you went through rehabilitation, you may want to rededicate yourself to that religion. Maybe you found a new religion or spirituality and want to explore it more deeply. Activities like yoga help stretch the body and help with physical wellness but were originally designed to help with spirituality. Meditation, prayer, and reading spiritual books can help feed whichever religious or non-religious path you choose. You can also find a network of people to support you with the same beliefs.
What About a Social Network?
Finding a circle of friends, family, or even coworkers can be critical in helping you get the support you need to make it through recovery and all of the challenges that lie ahead. You may need a whole new circle of friends to replace old friends who are still using and can potentially draw you back into your substance use disorder.
Make Changes in Your Environmental Wellness
Hopefully, you know that you can’t go back to the same environment you were living in, along with the same circle of friends. Sometimes that means moving to a new location where you don’t know people who are using and can give you access to drugs. If you go through rehabilitation, then go back into the same environment as before, chances are your recovery isn’t going to last very long. Choosing the right environment is as important as moving to a new environment, so you don’t want to put yourself into a crime-ridden neighborhood if you can help it.
The Importance of Occupational Wellness
Occupational wellness is about finding an occupation that gives you purpose and satisfaction. It’s also important that where you work or volunteer fits your values and doesn’t undermine your recovery. For example, someone with an alcohol abuse problem should not be working at a bar if they can help it. Times may be tough, but that job will almost certainly lead to a relapse.
Show Me the Money!
While you were using, you may have made a mess of your financial situation. Some programs and apps can help you balance a budget, but you may need a little more expert advice to get your finances back in order. You will need that financial stability to pay your bills and try to rebuild your life. Plus, the stress of constantly worrying about money is not going to help keep you from relapsing–quite the opposite. You may be surprised at some of the financial options available if you ask.
“Wellness” can be defined in different ways by different people. SAMHSA defines wellness for those in recovery as eight different kinds of wellness that need to be addressed. Aside from the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, they also recommend looking at your intellectual, environmental, occupational, social, and financial wellness. Here at Everlast Recovery Centers, we offer people traditional detoxification and rehabilitation, but we follow up with aftercare services while they’re in recovery to prevent relapse. Our Riverside, California, facility offers traditional therapy as well as alternative therapies, such as equine therapy, yoga, and art therapy. We also serve healthy, home-cooked meals in our homelike environment. When you complete our program, our professional staff not only prepares you for challenges while you’re staying as an inpatient, but we offer aftercare services to ensure your emotional support when you leave. Get the help you need today here at our beautiful facility. Call us today at (866) 338-6925 to learn more.