Recovery is a time of healing and learning new ways to cope in the world without the use of alcohol or drugs. When you’re in the grip of addiction, there’s no room for healthy living. Exercise, having square meals, and visiting the doctor are all things that fly out the window for most people with substance use disorders. So how can you learn to take care of your basic needs daily?
H.A.L.T. Focuses on Basic Needs
Learning the sayings and acronyms used in recovery can help you remember to take care of the basics. Later, we’ll discuss other important ways to take care of your health, but the basics are a good landing point. H.A.L.T. is an acronym that reminds you to take care of basic needs that can affect your mood and ultimately, your choices.
- H stands for hungry. We get grumpy when you’re hungry and not getting three square meals a day. A square meal means protein, carbs, and vegetables or fruit with every meal. This grumpiness can make you feel hopeless or angry. Make room in every day for your meals, and carry a granola bar or fruit when you’re out and about for the day. People need snacks to stay energized.
- A stands for angry. Your mental health is in danger if you’re walking around angry all the time. If you don’t work out a way to cope with anger, you might end up acting out in ways you’ll regret. If you’re angry, go for a jog or bike ride, call your sponsor, and share about it at 12-step meetings. Don’t let your anger control you – get it out.
- L stands for lonely. Are you isolating, staying home from meetings, or feeling lost without your old using buddies? Get to a meeting. Start going out with people afterward. Call your sponsor. Interacting with people will help lessen the load. You’re not alone, even when you’re lonely.
- T stands for tired. Don’t wear yourself out or spread your activities thin. You deserve to get a good night’s sleep after a hard day at work. Your body needs the time to heal, as well. If you’re having trouble sleeping, ask a therapist or doctor for suggestions. Meditation, nutritional supplements, and even certain types of tea can help you sleep – but make sure that whatever you’re doing is non-addictive. Naps can also help if you battle insomnia after dark.
Taking care of yourself is a skill you’ll hone throughout recovery. Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you’re not sure what to do about something health-related, it’s important to speak with a professional. A checkup at the doctor once a year can assuage your fears about aches and pains. Don’t neglect yourself!
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction is a powerful disease, but it’s treatable. Every year, thousands of people get clean and sober through the help of treatment and 12-step programs. There’s no such thing as a hopeless case.
Your first step is to pick up the phone and learn about your options. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767. All calls are confidential.