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10 Ways to Spring Clean Your Health and Recovery

As the weather changes, you open up the windows and begin to clean out the closets and freshen up the house for summer. You can also take some time to freshen up your recovery by giving your self-care a little shakeup.

When you feel good physically, you feel better emotionally, and when your emotions are balanced and your stress levels are low, you have an easier time staying sober. Before summer comes, and with it all the parties and temptations to drink or get high, it is a good idea to get your “recovery house” in order and take measures to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Here are 10 incredibly simple things you can do that will make a big difference in your sense of balance in sobriety:

  1. Read books. Reading is good for your health, and there is no limit to what you can choose to fill up your reading time each day. Read about recovery, read biographies of people who inspire you, read about your favorite topics or areas of history or art or science that have always intrigued you. Go to the library and peruse a section that interests you and just pick a book at random, then commit to reading it cover to cover. Do this if you take public transportation, before you go to bed at night, and any time you would otherwise be watching TV. Bonus points if you spend time out in the spring sunshine while you read.
  2. Meet with a personal trainer. You don’t have to sign on for an expensive package of personal training sessions or agree to meet regularly for hours on end for the next few months to get the benefits of working with a personal trainer. Instead, find someone who is willing and able to work with you for one hour, let them know your goals for fitness and exercise, and let them tell you the best workouts to do and show you how to track your progress to get you started.
  1. Talk to a life coach. If you feel blah and uninspired in recovery, meeting with a life coach can do for your perspective in life what a personal trainer can do for your physical health. A life coach can help you to figure out the direction you can and should be taking in life, and help you map out a plan to turn your greatest dreams into reality.
  2. Eat some good fats. If you are striving to get to and stay at a healthy weight – which is always a great goal – avoid any diet that tells you to drop any one food group or knock fat out of your diet. Instead, opt for good fats (e.g., olive, avocado, or walnut oils; all nuts other than peanuts; and oily fish) to get a big dose of the omega-3s you need to counteract inflammation, fill you up, and keep you going.
  3. Go roller skating. When was the last time you went roller skating? If you’re not on a roller derby team or a parent of an elementary school kid, it was likely a long time ago. But it can be a great way to burn some calories and get a workout, hang out with friends, and have fun. Roller blading, skateboarding, and other activities you may not have thought much about since childhood can also be a lot of fun.
  4. Inspire yourself. Sign up for an app that will send you inspiring quotes and encouragement throughout the day, download an e-book that you find reassuring, or sign up for an art or music app that routinely sends you info that is uplifting.
  5. Water your plants. Having lots of green plants in the house can help with air quality, may offer you some spice to your meals if you grow basil or rosemary, and can bring a relaxing scent to your home as well. Aromatherapy, nutritional therapy, and breathing assistance all in one! For those who are working on developing positive habits and character traits like dependability, caring for a plant can help to foster these traits, and plants can brighten up the place as well.
  6. Eat more greens. In addition to growing green plants, it is a good idea to eat some green vegetables as well. If you are regularly a salad eater, change up what you put in the bowl by adding fresh herbs like dill or parsley, putting in kale or fresh spinach, and garnishing with broccoli or peppers. Then throw some color on top: yellow peppers, red tomatoes, orange carrots, or purple eggplant. The wider variety of color on the plate, the more nutrients you will be putting in your body, and the more greens on your plate, the less room there is for foods that aren’t dense in nutrients.
  7. Shift your bedtime an hour earlier. Getting a solid amount of restorative sleep each night is key to physical and emotional wellness in recovery. You can improve your ability to get good sleep each night by making your bedtime an hour earlier and giving yourself a little more shut eye.
  8. Laugh. Laughing triggers a release of “happy” hormones in your brain, which can help to alleviate depression and feelings of lethargy. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, a fake laugh can have some positive health benefits too.

What will you do first to spring clean your recovery?