Maintaining good mental health is a very important part of addiction recovery. When you are mentally and physically stable in your life, it improves your personal life, work life, family life, and all other relationships. If you ignore taking care of your emotional health by avoiding your emotions, you will only cause a heavy build-up that can explode one day. Learning how to manage your emotions and thoughts is a skill that will help you stay sober as well because it can help you manage your triggers- which can cause a relapse if not handled correctly.
Here are some things you can practice to help maintain your mental health and wellness in recovery:
Spend time in nature: Spending time in nature can reduce your stress, anxiety, anger, blood pressure, muscle tension and more. Being around a natural environment with no distractions can relax your mind and help you find your inner voice.
Build deeper connections: As humans, we all strive for emotional connections with other people. When you connect with your partner, family, or positive friends, you can reduce emotional stress and create strong social bonds. These bonds are important because they help you remember that you are not alone and that there are supportive people who love you.
Do therapy: If you’re struggling with handling your emotions or are confused with your thoughts, you can seek therapy. Therapy can help you manage your mental health as your therapist can give you guidance on how to navigate tough situations. There is no shame in seeking therapy!
Practice mindfulness: Sometimes we get so busy with our lives that we forget what it means to take a second and absorb the moment. Practicing mindfulness means that you are fully aware of what’s going on inside and outside of you; you allow yourself to be present in the moment.
Manage grief: If you have gone through a painful experience in your life, such as the loss of a loved one, you may be struggling with your grief. If you do not learn how to manage this trauma, it can show up in different aspects of your life. Once you manage your grief, you can improve your mental health because you will know how to handle that emotion.
Create boundaries: If you are not feeling comfortable with something, do not be afraid to say no. If you know that your mental peace will be disturbed or that you will be triggered by something, learn how to be firm and kindly say no. Sometimes your space is more important than going out of your way to please others.
Manage stress: If you do not learn how to handle your stress, it can impact your physical health and mental health. You can develop chronic pain from undealt stress that can negatively impact your life. When you learn how to handle stress healthily, you can understand how much stress you can or cannot take on your body.
Sleep well: If your brain is not getting the rest it needs at the end of each day, it does not allow your mind and body to recharge/heal. A night of good sleep will always help you feel better as it won’t give you a foggy mind- instead, it will give you clarity and energy.
Being emotionally well does not mean you are in a positive mood all the time- that is not natural. Being emotionally well means that when you are facing a hard emotion like anger, stress, grief, pain, loneliness, or anything else, you know how to manage that emotion. All the examples above illustrate that emotional well-being can be achieved by feeling and understanding your emotions in a healthy way.