Implementing Balance in Recovery of Addiction
The life of an addict is full of highs and lows with little room for anything in between. This lifestyle is a swirl of uncertainty, elation, and heartbreak. Living a life of sobriety requires an addict to break free of the roller coaster lifestyle and implement priorities besides using drugs or alcohol. These priorities provide balance to life, and this balance gives the recovering addict a higher chance of long-term recovery success and quality of life. Because of the undeniable benefits of balance in recovery, it is a concept that should be actively carried out and practiced.
The Importance of a Balanced Life
Addicts are constantly on the lookout for an emotional escape. They have run from negative consequences, emotions, and circumstances by abusing their drug of choice throughout the duration of their addiction. This leaves an unbalanced lifestyle of highs and lows.
Once in treatment or recovery, the addict must address previously hidden emotions and consequences. Running from these emotions is what addicts are used to, so many turn to other forms of addiction to continue escaping. Oversleeping, gambling, and excessive fitness are also examples of new escapes the recovering addict will use to run from uncovered emotions. Balance can give these recovering addicts the ability to handle stresses and consequences life carries without having to use the crutch of addiction.
Areas of Life that Need Balancing
Physical Health: Are you eating in a way that encourages overall balance in your life? Do you exercise frequently or as much as your doctor suggests?
Mental Health: Are you utilizing coping skills within relationships? Do you get enough sleep to promote clear and levelheaded thinking?
Environmental Health: Are you practicing balanced personal skills like cleaning, organizing, and maintaining other daily chores?
Vocational Health: Do you take your work home with you? Do you take personal problems to work?
Divine Health: Do you spend quality alone time journaling, meditating, or listening to music? Do you participate in religious activities that are required for your faith?
Recovery Health: Do you attend the meetings you are required or encouraged to go to throughout your recovery? Are you giving your sobriety everything you’ve got?
If you have answered no to any of these questions, you may have unbalanced areas in your life. Determine which part of your life in unbalanced; that’s the first step to change your behavior and lifestyle. Once you know what areas to work on to add balance to your life, you can make lifestyle changes.
How to Determine Balance in Your Life
Plan: Before examining the areas of your life that need balancing, determine what the overall goal of balancing life would be. Is it to repair broken family relationships or to truly know yourself? Keep in mind it may not be instantly achievable.
Objectives: List out objectives you must hurdle in order to achieve the desired planned outcome. These goals should help increase the balance in your lifestyle. Set goals and strive to achieve them. This yields balance to life because the focus is shifted from only a few priorities to much more.
Eliminate Distractions: Determine which priorities are most important and focus on those first. Also, removing distractions that veer focus of intended goals will help utilize your time to work on balancing your life instead of giving in to interferences like television and social media.
Get Support: Telling others of your goals to balance life will motivate you to moderate your time and keep priorities in check. A trusting individual to vent to, gain information and advice, and simply to hear you out will give you added support in balancing your life. Positive support can come from friends, family members, peers in recovery, and therapists.
Study: Be aware of the balance in your life by taking time out of every day to determine which areas in life need improvement. Go over positive changes made during the day to promote balance. Additionally, determine where you went wrong on your daily path to balance in recovery.
Meditate: Spend alone time to form a clear vision of your future balanced and healthy life. Relax and focus on your goals. It will help you prepare for the future if you struggle with balance down the road.
Recognize the Signs: The unbalanced addict will suffer from symptoms that derive from unbalanced priorities. Exhaustion, constipation, migraines, sleeplessness, and sexual complications are examples of symptoms that arise from areas of life that remain unbalanced.
The balance will not ensue without lifestyle changes. It may be scary to try new things or make changes to daily habits. But, your newfound balance in recovery will outweigh the negativity surrounding change. Also, it only takes 30 days to form a habit. Once you form balanced and healthy daily habits, your life will be as well!