The main reason someone enters rehab is that they are addressing addiction recovery. This looks different for each patient but having a mental health condition presents its own set of challenges. Often, you will receive a dual diagnosis of addiction combined with the mental health condition you suffer from. Making the decision to enter rehab is a good one but knowing what to expect and having a plan for taking care of yourself on the inside is of vital importance.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Taking the first step and entering rehab is one of the best healthy lifestyle choices you can make. However, there are plenty of other things you can do to keep your mind and body at its best. That includes eating plenty of foods from each of the food groups, but not overeating as that can make you feel worse. Aim for three meals and a couple of snacks each day so that you never go more than a couple of hours with something to fuel you. Avoid sugary drinks, fast food, fried food and other items that are low in nutrients and that won’t make you feel good.
Another important lifestyle choice you can make while in rehab is to get some physical activity every day. This gets your blood pumping, releases feel-good endorphins and boosts your motivation to get healthy once and for all. The trick is to choose activities that are feasible during rehab and that you enjoy doing so that you’re more likely to stick with it. Walking is ideal since it can be done anywhere, but using a treadmill, lifting free weights, or jumping rope are other options.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The average adult needs seven to nine hours each night and skimping on that can make it hard to be productive and motivated to stick with your program when you’re awake. It also increases the risk that you’ll return to old habits because lack of sleep can interfere with healthy self-control. According to Harvard Medical School, lack of sleep can exacerbate mental health symptoms so that’s another reason to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
Follow Your Prescribed Medication Routine
Many people make the mistake of thinking they don’t need their medication anymore once they start feeling better. However, going off your meds without a doctor’s approval can be dangerous to your health and can backtrack your progress. A relapse of your mental health condition can interfere with your addiction recovery.
Many people in rehab suffer from anxiety or depression, something that drugs and alcohol can mask, leading to addiction. By sticking to your prescribed medication routine, you can treat those symptoms, reducing the need to self-medicate with other substances. Your doctor will help you work out the right medications and the right doses so that you can bring those with you to rehab.
It’s also important to see your doctor and psychiatrist on a regular basis. This allows them to stay on top of your mental wellness, adjust medications as needed and look for other problems that need to be addressed.
Make Healthy Connections with Others
Healthy human connections are one of the most valuable parts of addiction recovery. This might be with family and friends or with your community. Your community could be your fellow rehab patients, the people who live in your neighborhood, your co-workers or any other group of people you spend time with. Finally, you should also prioritize a healthy connection with yourself. These connections provide you with security, love and acceptance, which is vital during rehab.
If you don’t have a current mix of close connections, it’s time to make some. You can try reconnecting with important people in your life, but you might also try a rehab and mental health blog, where you can meet like-minded people and make the discovery that you aren’t alone in the process. Rehab isn’t an easy road, but the more you focus on a healthy recovery, the sooner you’ll feel like you can conquer life again and stay sober and strong.