Welcome to 2016 and say goodbye to 2015! Once again, another year has come and gone. If you're a recovering addict, you might be wary of making resolutions. However, today we're going to be talking about resolutions that will actually help you throughout the new year. These are all easy so anyone can accomplish them. Furthermore, they're really healthy and will make you feel better about yourself.
If you're new to our blog, you may have missed our last post. It focused on bad New Year's resolutions. If you would like to go back and check it out, click here to see some resolutions that you should avoid this year. If you need alcohol therapy or drug treatment in Columbus OH, we can help. All you have to do is call Legacy Freedom of Columbus and speak with one of our admissions counselors about our holistic addiction recovery programs.
Healthy New Year's Resolutions for Recovering Addicts
Reduce Your Stress Levels - Everyone has to deal with day-to-day stress. For addicts, and recovering addicts, the stress can seem overwhelming at times as it comes from out of nowhere. Stress also comes from relationships, financial issues, and simple things like fighting traffic. Stress can lead to all sorts of bad stuff, including physical heath issues, mental problems, and even relapse. That's why you should make great efforts to reduce the stress in your life this year!
You can reduce stress with lots of holistic techniques. Getting exercise, eating better, saving money, making amends, better posture, stretching, yoga, and even better planning can reduce your stress. Sit down and think about all the things that trigger stress in your life and write down the stress solutions to these problems. These solutions should be a few of your top resolutions this year.
Eat a Better Breakfast - Recovering from addiction is all about routine. Routine helps you manage your day so that you're not left with too much open time to dwell. When adjusting your routine this year, start your day off by making it a goal to eat a better breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, just like the old saying says, so making a switch from sugary food will be a healthy positive change for you. We suggest eating fiber and protein in the morning. This will keep your body energized until your break or lunch, and you'll be able to avoid that mid-morning crash.
Have More Family Fun Nights - For a recovering addict, being surrounded by the ones he or she loves is very important as the support network plays a huge role in having success. One really fun resolution that you should make is to try to dedicate more time to your family by having more family game nights. This is an old fashioned way to pull the kids away from their video games, and adults away from their Facebook account. There are lots of great games out there to choose from and each member of the family should get a chance to select the game.
If you need some ideas, start out with The Game of Life, Connect Four, Monopoly, and card games like UNO.
Save Money - Money seems to be at the heart of stress for most people. If you have a little bit of money saved up for a rainy day, you'll feel so much better about any situation you have to face. Having little, or no, money is stressful. If you're facing a financial situation like this, make an effort to do something about it. There are actually plenty of jobs out there for everyone, even recovering addicts. Sometimes you might have to put your pride aside and do a job you might not like, but that's life and you have take responsibility for your needs.
If you already have a job, open a savings account. Make it a top priority to put aside a little from each of your paychecks. If you already have a savings account, talk to your bank about opening a retirement fund as well. Planning for your older years should start as soon as you can.
Learn to Cook - Learning how to cook for yourself is a great resolution to make. It's also a way of learning more skills so that you can become more independent. Learning how to cook, even just the basics, will make you feel great about yourself. Cooking at home is a great way to also save money and eat healthier. You will even be able to host sober dinner parties for your loved ones, friends, and sober network. Cooking is also a creative release and will allow you to explore a different side of yourself. You never know, learning to cook now might lead to opening your own restaurant in the future.
Volunteer Your Time - Volunteering your time is a great way to give back. As a recovering addict, volunteering can actually mean so much more. It can mean taking the right steps towards improving yourself. You'll also be happier knowing that you're out there helping someone less fortunate than yourself.
Peter Kanaris is a PhD, and the coordinator of public education for the New York State Psychological Association. He says that, "Someone who makes this sort of resolution is likely to obtain a tremendous personal benefit in the happiness department." Being happier also reduces your stress and makes you healthier. A research study from 2010 reported that people who experienced more positive emotions, like being happy, were almost 20% less likely to have a heart attack or suffer from heart disease. There have also been studies showing that happier people were also more resourceful and resilient when in danger.
Find Some Joy in Your Life - This year, be sure to set aside some time to do things that make you happy. As we've stated above, happier people lead healthier lives. Make it a point to find those things that make you happy and bring joy to your life. It can be anything really, you can take more walks in nature, go see more new movies, read more books by your favorite author, or even play sports.
The key is to try to find something that you really like that will fill your time. This is one of the top strategies for recovering addicts to avoid boredom and excessive downtime.
Exercise - I know you were waiting for this one! Exercise is one of the must do's for recovering addicts. Exercise is life changing and will make your sobriety so much easier to cope with. If you're new to exercise, know that you do not have to join a gym or buy expensive workout equipment to lose weight or increase your fitness levels. All you really need is motivation. Regardless of your weight or age, there are many exercises that you can do at home that will make a positive difference in your health.
You should also start out slow and work your way up to avoid injury. The last thing you'll need is a pulled muscle that will sideline you from your health goals.
Get More Sleep - A good night's sleep will do wonders for the recovering addict. It will increase your mood, appearance, and provide you with many other health benefits. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can increase the risks of obesity and type 2 diabetes, so it's important to get 7 - 8 hours of sleep a night.
A great way to rest better at night is by exercising! See the above resolution!
Travel, Go Somewhere - Make a resolution this year to go somewhere new that you've never been. A change of scenery is always good for anyone in recovery. Kanaris says that, "We can often get stuck in a rut, and we can’t get out of our own way," and "Everything becomes familiar and too routine." You don't have to plan an exotic vacation to make this resolution come true as you can plan a day trip to somewhere even in your own state. When you travel, you tap into those feelings of adventure. It's as if something exciting and new is just right around the corner. It might be something bold or dramatic, something funny, or something that might change your life forever.
Kanaris adds this about traveling, "It makes you feel rejuvenated and replenished," and that "It gets you out of your typical scenery, and the effects are revitalizing. It’s another form of new discovery and learning, and great for the body and the soul." So take a trip this year, go exploring and make some positive memories that you can always reflect upon when times get hard.
These are only a few healthy New Year's resolutions that recovering addicts can feel safe in making. There are many more to choose from if you do some good research. We hope that you have a prosperous 2016, and that you make a pledge to do something that will change your life for the better this year!
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