8 Essential Skills for Balance and Overall Health

Staying balanced in life is important for your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual development.  We are human.  We are not perfect.  But it is important that we continually strive to improve ourselves in early recovery.

Practicing Self-Care

Make time for exercise.  Exercise will improve your quality of sleep and lower stress levels.  Meditation is also important for mental and emotional health. Practice meditation daily.  In the morning, take five minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breath.  You’ll be surprised how effective this is for your mental health.  In recovery we have a lot of free time that used to be consumed by mentally obsessing and seeking out drugs and alcohol. Find new ways to enjoy your free time and learn new hobbies. At night, reflect on your day.  Try journaling to organize your thoughts.

Eating Nutritious Meals

Preparing and cooking nutritious meals is important for your physical and mental health.  This can aid the body in recovering from the harmful effects of substance abuse.  Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein.  Avoid emotional eating.

Setting Goals

Goal setting helps the healing process, increases self-efficacy, and requires self-examination which all aid in the recovery process.  Think about the results you want to see.  Write them down.  Create an action plan.  Create a timeline. Take action.  Are your goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely (SMART)?  Setting and working towards our goals will increase your confidence and guide you towards living your best life.

Clean Living Space

Maintaining a clean-living space and practicing good personal hygiene are things we used to ignore during our addiction and alcoholism.  Take care of your things and your living space just as you care for your body.  Your personal hygiene and how you treat your living space are a reflection of you.  Living in a clean environment is so important to your physical health as well as your overall sense of well-being.  A clean space lowers stress and fatigue, improves safety, improves happiness, improves eating and exercise habits, lowers stress levels, and increases productivity.

Managing Finances

Managing finances and spending money wisely reduces stress.  Money can be a trigger for most people.  In these cases, it is wise to monitor spending habits while in early recovery to avoid triggers.  Take charge of your current financial situation.  Set your priorities and financial goals.  Create and stick to a budget.  Schedule regular progress reports.  Understand your expenses.  Understand your income.

Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are built on honesty, trust, communication, and healthy boundaries.  Be selective about who you spend time with.  Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect where each person values who the other is and understands each person’s boundaries.  Trust, honesty, compromise and good communication are a big part of building healthy relationships.

Time Management

Time management reduces anxiety and provides a sense of fulfillment.  Know what your priorities are and have a clear vision.  Work on decision-making, setting goals, problem solving and keep yourself accountable to meeting deadlines.

Maintaining Employment

Finding and maintaining employment builds confidence and keeps your mind occupied during the day with productive time and helps as you work towards your goals.  Work hard, be on time and ready to work.  Work collaboratively with your team.  Be flexible and help others.

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