If you’ve recently left rehab, you already know you’ve got a long, hard road ahead of you. But don’t despair. Just because there will be bumps along the way doesn’t mean you can’t smooth things out. Keep reading for insight on a few healthy habits that can help you maintain your trajectory down the straight and narrow.
- Go “pro” with your diet.
We’re not talking about having a professional chef cook for you. We’re not even going to rehash the same old “eat a healthy diet” advice either. But, you do need to pay attention to what you eat and fill your plate with plenty of prebiotic fruits and vegetables, while simultaneously reducing your sugar intake. These changes, along with taking a probiotic, can help keep the little world inside your gut—your microbiome—functioning properly.
Living inside of you is a diverse world of healthy bacteria called probiotics. These bacteria, which can be found naturally in sauerkraut, non-dairy yogurts, and other fermented foods, are part of what Johns Hopkins University calls the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS is comprised of more than 100 million nerve cells that span your entire gastrointestinal tract. The difference between pre- and probiotics is that prebiotics are the food the probiotics consume in order to thrive in your gut. Without prebiotics, the good bacteria won’t colonize properly, and that can wreak havoc on your overall health.
- Rise with the roosters.
If you’re not a morning person, the thought of getting up early might turn your stomach. But as Forbes illustrates, waking up early has numerous benefits. Early risers are typically more productive and get better sleep. Plus, getting out of bed before the sun comes up gives you an opportunity to exercise, plan your day, and knock a few things off of your to-to list. Getting up an hour earlier than normal can even encourage you to get to bed sooner, which may keep you close to home and out of trouble.
Another major benefit of getting up early is that it will help you learn to discipline your mind and body. There are those who assert that 5AM is the ideal time to wake.
- Surround yourself with positive people.
Happiness is a choice. Take a second to let that sink in. You get to choose how you position yourself within your home, professional, and social structures in order to enjoy life. And you don’t need drugs or alcohol to do so. Make a point to spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself and encourage healthy behaviors.
When you’re in recovery, it’s easy to let your past negative actions weigh you down. When you take the time to reevaluate your relationships, you’ll gain a better perspective on how these relationships affect your choice to be happy. For example, if you spend time with your old drinking buddies, you are more likely to relapse. But if you use your time wisely by watching a movie with your spouse, playing with your kids, or volunteering, you give yourself purpose—which can lead to feelings of happiness and help you avoid negative situations. Positivity is a powerful weapon against relapse, and positive people are the ammunition.
- Get organized.
Finally, get yourself together. Organize your home and your schedule in a way that helps you destress. Stress is a major trigger and one that will have you leaning toward relapse over recovery. Two of the most important things you can do to keep your stress levels low are to declutter your home and schedule your days so that you have time for yourself.
This is certainly not a full list of everything that will aid in your recovery. But paying attention to your gut, getting up early, sticking close to positive influences, and staying organized are a few simple, if often overlooked, things you can do to help maintain your sobriety.
Submitted by: Caleb Anderson at Recovery Hope
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