If you’re in recovery – or currently receiving treatment for an addiction – you’ve already checked the most important and difficult item off your list: taking care of yourself and turning your life around. As we head into 2017, our Vice President of Clinical Development, Dr. Romas Buivydas, offers some inspiration and New Year’s resolutions to consider for a happy, healthy and sober life throughout the year and beyond.
- Get in the gym: If you’ve tuned into our weekly radio program, Airing Addiction with Donna Pellegrino, then you’ve likely heard us talk about the benefits of hitting the gym. Engaging in any hobby helps to replace destructive behaviors with healthy ones, but the specific health advantages of fitness alone can strengthen recovery. This is partly because exercise and physical activity can actually help return dopamine (an important chemical in the brain) to pre-abuse levels.
- Close your eyes and slow down: Another avenue to explore is incorporating holistic activities such as yoga and mindfulness into your daily life. These practices tend to strengthen one’s resolve to maintain sobriety because they’ve been known to reduce anxiety and depression – two symptoms which have been known to trigger relapse. There are even mindfulness programs that focus specifically on substance abuse recovery.
- Attend a new Step meeting: Don’t abandon your regular group because, as you know, structure is important. But consider broadening your horizons to new locations and new people for a fresh perspective.
- Volunteer: When you give back you’re not only occupying your time and mind, but it feels wonderful. Remember where you once were and who helped you get to where you are today, and dedicate yourself to making somebody else just as successful.
- Keep it positive: Spend more time with positive people – it rubs off.
Traditionally the New Year is a time to start fresh with good intentions and good habits. If you or somebody you love needs support in their recovery in 2017, get in touch with us anytime. We have a number of inpatient and outpatient treatment options across Massachusetts.