Some people think you only have to worry about your mental health when something goes wrong. When it comes to addiction most people don’t recognize it as being connected to mental health. It’s easier to assume its because the person affected in bad or caused it themselves.That’s just not true; just like with our physical health, taking preventive measures to protect your mental health goes a long way to improve your life- especially in addiction recovery. Start taking better care of yourself this week with these 7 ideas- one for each day!
MONDAY: Take a Walk or Jog
Get yourself moving with a little physical activity today! Rather it’s just a quick walk during your lunch break or a jog this evening, getting your heart pumping helps boost your dopamine and endorphin levels. These natural hormones will lift your spirits and help you keep a clear mind throughout the week. Walking is a great distraction when dealing with cravings. Plus the physical health benefits of exercising can help your self-esteem and confidence.
TUESDAY: Watch Your Favorite Comedian
Laughter really is the best medicine in some cases. Just like a brisk walk or jog, laughter raises your dopamine levels, resulting in better moods and overall improved mental health. While a few hours laughing at your favorite stand up special or movie won’t magically cure addiction, this is a journey about learning what works to help cope with your symptoms. Grab a pillow, snack, and hop on Netflix!
WEDNESDAY: Bust Out the Arts and Crafts!
My personal favorite tip for nurturing your mental health is getting creative! Creativity engages the mind, helping you channel urges and negative energy into something positive. Being creative in addiction recovery can be as simple as doodling when you feel anxious or devoting daily time to a craft such as music, painting, or sculpting. If you’re not sure where to start, turn to the internet for some inspiration. While we can’t all get the same results as we see on Pinterest or Tumblr, it’s about the process not the product.
THURSDAY: Visit a Friend
Touching base with friends throughout the week helps in two ways: connecting with the people you love, and giving you a chance to get an external perspective. It can be hard to open up about your mental health. We assume we have to put up a strong front for others, allowing yourself that vulnerability with someone you trust strengthens your bond and gives you a chance to voice your thoughts. If you don’t want to get that deep, visiting a friend is helpful as a distraction and a bit of fun.
FRIDAY: Do Something for Your Future
Who doesn’t love Fridays? They’re the kick start for our weekends of relaxation or fun- but do yourself a favor: make Friday the day you do something for your future. Rather that’s moving a few bucks to your savings account, hitting the gym, or working on that book you said you would write, commit an hour to your future. The commitment benefits your mental health by turning your focus on your goals and boosting confidence along the way.
SATURDAY: Self-Care Saturday
Dedicate this Saturday to self-care. Run a bubble bath, grab your favorite scented candles and book. If that’s a bit too slow pace for your Saturday, how about doing something new: try a nature hike, a dance class, or go window shopping. Self-care is important to addiction recovery, so taking your time to protect your mental health should happen weekly. Use your Saturdays to learn more about yourself and your journey of sobriety.
SUNDAY: Get Prepped for Next Week
Sundays are great for relaxing and getting mentally prepared for the coming week. Make a list of tasks you have to complete in the coming week; create a meal plan, get ahead on school assignments, schedule your counseling sessions, etc. These little actions can reduce the stress of the coming week and help ensure your continued success in recovery.