By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
Would you like to adopt some healthy habits?
One sign of mental illness or substance use disorders is living an unhealthy lifestyle. People with depression do not have the energy to take care of themselves. People who are ill do not have the strength to maintain healthy habits.
Even those who don’t consider themselves “in recovery” find that adopting healthier habits can increase the happiness of their life and reduce the risk of becoming emotionally unhealthy.
One thing I have noticed from my time around the tables and the therapy rooms is that illnesses and diseases take a back seat to discussions of healthy habits. People who are really struggling talk about how hard, impossible it is to take care of themselves. As people recover then begin to talk increasingly about self-care.
Some will say that better self-care promotes recovery and others say that as you recover you begin to pay more attention to your self-care. I suspect there is some of both.
So what things are you doing to take better care of yourself?
Some people feel so responsible for others that they find it hard to spend time, money or effort on self-care.
Taking good care of yourself is not being selfish!
Here are some major areas of self-care that I see clients engaging in as their recovery progresses.
A better, healthier diet is part of self-care.
When you are in your disorder preparing food and eating can be a chore. Depressed people either eat nothing or they eat most everything. Often their food choices are unhealthy. Substance abusers have similar disruptions in their eating. As people begin to recover they pay more attention to what they are eating and how this is affecting them. How is your diet supporting your emotional health and recovery?
Exercise and health maintenance are parts of recovery.
Recovering people often begin an exercise program. They think about seeing a doctor. They get their physical health problems treated.
After years of failure to take care of your body, working on your health can become a priority. Recovering people need to balance their physical recovery with their emotional and spiritual recoveries. It is easy to turn an exercise program or being health conscious into a new addiction. This may be a “better addiction” but it can take you down a wrong path and away from real lasting recovery.
It is important to tell yourself that no matter how much damage to your body your old lifestyle has caused, you are worth taking care of. Depression and inactivity take their toll. So do anxiety and addiction. See to it that you get the health part of your recovery in balance with the other portions.
Setting boundaries with others safeguards recovery.
Part of recovery is learning to say no, set healthy boundaries. As you treat yourself better you will no longer be able to abide by others treating you poorly.
You will also find that you are more able to treat others as they should be treated. You will begin to recognize and respect other’s boundaries.
Safe and comfortable housing promotes recovery.
When you are down and discouraged you stay where you can. Once in recovery, you home becomes important.
You may need help finding a safe place to stay, do not hesitate to use public programs and private resources. Be sure that you make your nest in a place that is supportive of your recovery, not a place of settling for something less than you deserve.
Do what you can to make where ever you stay “your place.”
Improving relationships promotes recovery.
Recovering people want a healthy relationship with their children, parents, and significant others. They also may need to reexamine friendships and try to strengthen healthy supportive relationships, mending breaches where possible, and sometimes they find that there are former associates that need to be let go.
Even if you do not think of yourself as a recovering person, adopting healthy lifestyle practices can improve the quality of your life.
What healthy lifestyle practices are you ready to adopt and take home?
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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