Overcoming addiction is a challenging process littered with challenges and obstacles that extend beyond treatment for detox from alcohol to normal daily life thereafter. Becoming addicted in the first place is relatively easy to accomplish but it’s always important to bear in mind that addiction is a medical condition that can be treated and defeated.
The first step in effective rehabilitation from addiction is to detox from alcohol and completely rid the body and mind of its negative influence. Once the toxins have been removed from the body, incorporating healthy habits into daily life as a conscious lifestyle choice is the greatest support for continued addiction treatment and a life of sobriety long after.
After admitting there is a problem, the next toughest step in overcoming alcoholism is to detox alcohol from the body. The main reason this can be challenging is that it will be the first time for a long while someone is forced to confront life without self-medicating and for many, the harsh realities can be difficult to cope with. However, by shifting focus from their fragile emotional and psychological condition to improving general health and fitness, recovering alcoholics find themselves in a much better position to combat the disease.
Healthy Habit Forming
Research shows that it takes an average of 66 days of repeating a new behavior before it becomes automatic. In other words, in just two months it is possible to replace an old unhealthy habit with a new and more proactive one. That said, a recovering alcoholic has to become more disciplined, particularly in the early stages of learning new healthy behaviors. Lack of discipline is one of the side effects of alcoholism and engaging in healthy behavior gives treatment and recovery a significant boost. Although the road to recovery from alcohol abuse can be challenging, it is somewhat less challenging when the body is armed to defeat it with a strong, healthy body and mind.
Get More Active
A very common side effect of substance and alcohol abuse is to become isolated to the extent that there’s no social interaction or healthy involvement with other people. Pursuits that may have been enjoyed before becoming addicted may seem more lackluster and people retreat into a world where their addiction determines their behavior.
Becoming more active after alcohol rehab will reduce feelings of wanting to cocoon and hide away from society. This doesn’t mean that it’s advisable to run around like a headless chicken but to take baby steps into a more active lifestyle that leads to meeting others and enjoying experiences that have nothing to do with a previous life as an addict. This can be anything from doing odd jobs around the home, walking the dog more frequently or getting a part-time job. Any activity – either mental or physical – that distracts the mind from being isolated is a distinct advantage for a recovering alcoholic.
Eat Only When Hungry
Very often, when people have undergone addiction treatment, they may still have latent tendencies to get a little ‘hooked’ on unhealthy foods. Even people giving up cigarettes find they eat more chocolate and fatty comfort foods to compensate for the lost ‘buzz’ and so this is a normal healthy response.
However, someone who has been through treatment for alcoholism has to avoid any kind of addictive behavior in other areas of their lives and with food, the best way to prevent getting hooked on the wrong kind of food is to eat only when hungry. Ultimately, human beings are animals and in nature, you rarely see an overweight lion or obese gorilla and that’s because they eat purely as a response to their body’s telling them they’re hungry.
Eating when hungry ensures that food isn’t used as an emotional response to feelings that may still be present in recovering alcoholics like depression or anxiety. There’s also the additional advantage of having an improved BMI to support a new life of sobriety.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for everyone because it’s the vital time the body and mind need to rest and recuperate from the day’s stresses. For recovering alcoholics and those still in treatment, lack of sleep can be an issue, particularly if they drank to help them sleep when they were using. Learning mechanisms to encourage and promote a good night’s sleep is essential and should be incorporated into a nightly routine to be adhered to for the foreseeable future.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are commonly taught during specialist alcohol rehabilitation and are particularly useful in preparing the body for sleep.
After treatment for alcohol addiction, many people go on to completely overhaul their lives and their usual routines. This is because it is unwise to move in the same circles or engage in the same activities that were enjoyed when addicted if relapse is to be avoided. The objective is to replace all the behaviors that were present in the addicted person, with healthier ones that support them in sobriety.