Can we all agree that life can be hard? Okay, good! Now that we have settled that, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I have learned to cope with that. For me, I wouldn’t have been able to compile this list before recovery, but now that I am actively looking for ways to better myself, I have been able to work towards a happy, and healthy life as well. Keep in mind that this list does not just pertain to those of us who are in recovery. These can be used for any given person, with any given problem.
The reason I ended up in recovery is because I had formed bad habits that eventually turned into addictions. My codependency, self-destructive tendencies, and substance use disorder made for quite the recipe for disaster. The bad habits I had formed for many years are what led me to have to recover in the first place. So, what was the best way for me to stay, and keep recovering? Develop, and create healthy habits! Below you will find a list that I put together discussing 5 important habits I incorporate into my daily routine so I can continue living in recovery, and ultimately, live a happy, and healthy life. (These are not listed in any specific order, but some days, certain habits help more than others, although all of them are important!)
If there ever were a number one in my life, this would be it. I swear by it, and it has been the one habit of mine that can silence my mind the best. There is something about physical exertion that will distract you from mental exhaustion. This is something I do at least 6 days a week, and it is something I will forever suggest to others as a means of living their best life. The benefits I receive from the natural endorphins alone are a good enough reason to give this one a shot. I have found that an hour a day of sweat therapy is the best way for me to get out of my own head, and change a bad day into a good one! Whether you decide to lift weights, go for a run, or take a long walk, sometimes you are just one exercise away from feeling that much better. Don’t underestimate the power of serotonin!
There is not a day that goes by where I do not write something. I do this because I often have a hard time expressing my feelings, and they come out so much easier when I decide to write them out. There have been many occasions where I have sat down to write what I do not understand, and I finish feeling lighter because the pain is no longer being locked inside. You do not have to be considered a good writer for this to be a beneficial habit for you. All you need is the desire to get better, a pen, and a piece of paper. Try this writing exercise: Open a blank email and write a letter to yourself before recovery. What would you tell that version of you? What advice would you give? – Don’t be afraid to write about what hurts; this is how we heal.
Reaching out to strangers, finding other survivors, and building a support group is a huge part of the reason why I have been able to keep recovering, and remind myself that I am NOT alone. I have formed many great connections throughout my recovery, and it is so important for me to have people to talk to that understand my struggles, as well as be there for those who need someone to listen to their own. We do not have to fight our battles on our own. There are plenty of people out there who can, and will, remind you that you are just doing your best with what you have been given. There is a whole community of people that are willing to help you! You just need to put yourself out there a bit, and connect with them. Connecting with others is a beautiful thing!
If it weren’t for reading, I would have no idea who I am. It is within the words of a stranger that I have been able to discover parts of myself that I didn’t know existed; or parts that I have kept locked away. Reading has always been something that I enjoy doing, but ever since I have been in recovery, it has become something else entirely. I read books on addiction, mental illness, and memoirs of people who are now living their life in recovery. I spend time learning why certain people are more likely to fall victim to addiction, and the way the brain of an addict works. Reading has opened my eyes to so much I was living in denial of, and it offers me a way to explain why I am the way that I am. Again, the whole addiction thing may not apply to you, BUT, there are so many books out there that will cater to what you are searching for. I may not agree with everything that I read, but reading has had an extremely positive impact on the way I lead my life.
Although I find all these habits important, forgiveness is probably the most important one. For anyone. To live your best life, you must forgive yourself for the damage you may have caused to those around you, and ultimately, yourself. If you hold onto any kind of pain, achieving happiness will only be that much harder. It is necessary to forgive our past mistakes if we are wanting to move forward to heal. This is not a step that can be skipped, nor is it a habit that can be avoided. Forgiveness is something we must partake in doing each day. It is acknowledging that we are human, that we make mistakes, and that we can be better than our worst day. You are not what has happened to you; you become who you are by what you have learned from it. You deserve to forgive yourself, and you deserve to live your happiest, and healthiest life.
It’s within these 5 habits that I am able to keep Happy, Healthy, and Recovering. They may not be the only 5 things that I do, but they are the top 5 things that have helped me the most!