Continuing Care: Managing Anxiety And Depression To Prevent Substance Abuse Relapse
After addiction treatment, patients may feel that anxiety and depression still threaten their sobriety. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage anxiety and depression without the need for medications, allowing patients to focus on recovery instead of the potential for failure.
Start with a Routine
The first thing an individual should do as part of the continuing care program is develop a routine. Routines calm the mind and allow patients to focus less on worrying or stressing about what might happen each day.
Individuals should start this process by writing down the things they need to do on a daily basis, like getting up, brushing their teeth, going to work and coming home. A simple routine is all that’s needed to help reduce stress.
Remember to Exercise
Another thing that can help patients work through anxiety and depression is exercise. Why does depression tend to lessen with exercise? There are a number of possible answers including:
- Exercise helps train the body, so people look and feel better. This leads to higher self-confidence
- Exercise can be a distraction, which alleviates worries
- Endorphins and other chemicals that make people feel happy and satisfied are released during exercise
- Exercise can force individuals to have social interactions with others. Having a good chat or even a quick smile can help boost mood substantially
- Your body temperature rises, which can have calming effects
Exercise can be placed into routines, allowing individuals to get around 20 minutes of exercise a day or every few days, depending on their needs.
Eat to Fuel Your Body
Individuals can stop worrying about food by changing their diet to one that suits their body type and fitness goals.
Try drinking lots of water, avoiding sugary drinks or those high in caffeine and try to eat natural foods, like vegetables, fruits and seeds. There’s some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids could help depression, so incorporating foods rich in this nutrient can be helpful as well. These are all beneficial components of a clean, healthy diet.
Set Goals for Yourself
Part of the goal of addiction treatment is to get the body healthy. Now that individuals are free of drug or alcohol addiction, they need to set a new goal, no matter how small or large they want to make it. They can set a goal, for instance, to stay sober for one month. After that month, they can set another goal to stay sober for two more months. Patients will find that setting short and easy-to-reach goals will boost their confidence and help reduce anxiety.
These are a few ways to manage anxiety or depression without medications, so those looking to get sober can stay on the path to a healthy lifestyle. These examples can aid in reaching personal goals and will help build self-confidence in a positive and effective manner.