The seventh dimension of wellness is physical. This is one of the most important, as it has a snowball effect on almost all other dimensions. If you are physically unwell, it can affect your financial wellness (medical bills), intellectual wellness (exhaustion and lack of energy), emotional wellness (stress and agitation), and more. Learn how to optimize your physical wellness while in recovery.
Physical Wellness And Addiction Recovery
A substance use disorder can heavily impact one’s physical wellness. Many rehabilitation centers focus on getting the patient into a routine that improves physical wellness in addition to emotional, mental, and spiritual. It is important not only to get back into better physical shape, but also to get to a place in your life where you want to focus on physical healing. Physical wellness can have an enormous impact on your recovery, such as:
- More energy to dedicate to creative and social endeavors
- Better health to enjoy more outdoor activities
- Longer lifespan to spend with your friends and family
- Fewer medical bills and greater financial stability
- Healthy endorphins and a more balanced emotional state
- Sharper intellect, thinking, and learning abilities
- Feeling good so you don’t want to use damaging substances
- Physical fitness for your desired occupation
- Enhanced self-esteem and confidence
- Better self-control in all situations
- Learning discipline and commitment
Your physical wellness can change virtually every other aspect of your life. Getting into good physical shape can help you feel good about yourself, prevent illness, and keep your body functioning at optimal levels. It can encourage you to engage in more social situations and develop healthy relationships. When you feel strong, you can be strong – mentally, physically, and emotionally.
How To Improve Your Physical Wellness
Physical wellness comes down to what you do and what you eat. Regular physical activity – even light to moderate activity – and healthy foods are the two staples of a healthy life. Physical wellness is not about how you look. It’s about how you feel. The habits you have should make you feel energized, relaxed, rejuvenated, strong, and confident. If they don’t, it’s time to make a change. You may need to improve your physical exercise, the way you eat, your sleep schedule, or all three.
Physical activity doesn’t have to be boring. If the gym isn’t your thing, horseback riding, playing sports, doing martial arts, or taking nature hikes are all fun ways to get in your daily exercise. Don’t make it complicated. If you have a dog, go for daily walks. Your exercise routine does not have to be high impact to be effective. Do what works for you. The most important part is that you do something physical every day. Start small and then work your way toward bigger goals. Work with a personal trainer if you want to meet specific goals or if you have disabilities around which you need to work.
Introducing physical activity into your day can have other benefits besides losing weight and feeling great. It can give you control over your time and structure to your day. It can give you something to look forward to while you’re at work, and a way to release endorphins in your brain and combat depression without using a substance. It also teaches commitment to a goal, and the rewards you can reap when you stick to your regime. Finally, it can help heal your body and brain from the damage your addiction might have caused. Improving your short-term fitness can lower your risk for diabetes, stroke, heart failure, and some types of cancers.
Getting into physical shape is about more than just exercise – it’s also about how you’re fueling your body. Don’t see food as a treat or as a punishment. See it as fuel. You need to eat the highest quality foods and the correct nutritional balance for your body to perform at its best. You don’t need to become a fitness guru, but you should be more aware of what foods you’re putting into your body. Introduce more whole foods, fruits, and vegetables into your diet. Work with a nutritionist for advice, especially if you have health problems. Drink plenty of water – at least two liters a day.
Always get plenty of sleep. Slacking on your sleep can derail your health and fitness regime, even if you do everything else right. You cannot lose weight, feel more energized, or get healthy without enough sleep. Adults should sleep for seven to nine hours per night. Teenagers need even more to function at their best. Without enough sleep, you might feel depressed, anxious, tired, agitated, and generally imbalanced. This can lead to mental and emotional strife, as well as health problems. Prioritize your sleep schedule if you want to see a positive difference in your health.
Physical wellness is about feeling your absolute best. When you feel your best, you can give your best to the rest of the world. You can greet each new day with passion, excitement, and vigor. Feeling your best takes dedicating some of your time to self-care. This not only means physical exercise and eating healthy, but also other forms of self-care, such as scheduling regular massages or taking a long bath. Spend some nights at home doting on yourself. Use a foam roller for tight muscles to relax after a week of working out. Light candles or incense for deeper relaxation. Take a bath, put on a facemask, and treat yourself to a favorite snack. Self-care is a critical part of total physical wellness, for men and women.
Finally, schedule regular checkups with your primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist, therapist, and other specialists at least annually. Keeping track of your health with medical records can help you detect problems and prevent them before they occur. If you rely on medications, wear medical alert jewelry to stay safe in the presence of others. Store your medications properly and keep an eye on expiration dates. Monitor your health – physical and mental – regularly for total wellness.