Annually, the month of August is designated as National Wellness Month. National Wellness Month is a month to educate people on wellness practices, bring awareness to the benefits of wellness within a healthy lifestyle, and engage Americans into incorporating practices of health and wellness into their daily lives.
For National Wellness Month, the month of August will focus on self-care, stress management, and promoting healthy routines that can become habitual and that people can integrate into their daily practices all throughout the year. The goal for National Wellness Month is to promote health and wellness, help people engage in habits that support a healthy lifestyle and healthy living, and allow them to see the results of those efforts and how much better they feel.
There is mountains of research that demonstrates how creating and incorporating self-care practices helps to support stress management, lower mental health issues like anxiety, and promote overall happiness and well-being. However, health and wellness can feel overwhelming to some people because if they might be living an unhealthy lifestyle (or, at least, a lifestyle that isn’t optimizing health and wellness), the natural human condition believes that they need to go from 0-to-100. However, the best way to begin to incorporate health and wellness practices is to make small, positive daily changes that overtime become habitual. Small changes lead to big changes when it comes to wellness.
So, what are some practices or initiatives that people can take to create better wellness for themselves that will have lasting impact and change?
Here are some tips or ways to begin to cultivate a healthy lifestyle that is focused on wellness:
- Focus on a healthy diet. This does not mean begin a diet, but instead begin to incorporate more healthy foods that support wellness. Some examples are adding more fruits and vegetables to meals, decreasing or monitoring sugar content, eating more fresh food and less processed foods.
- Increasing water intake daily. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily intake is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. Most Americans do not drink that much water, so watching and increasing water intake can support health and wellness.
- Begin a fitness routine or regimen. Again, this doesn’t need to be immediately going to the gym 5 days per week. This can mean joining a gym and finding a schedule to be consistent with and that is sustainable. This can mean joining a new class, such as a yoga class, spin class or aerobics class. Perhaps it could be a martial arts class? Home gyms or home equipment like a Peloton bike, rowing machine, or treadmill can help make the process easier where you can workout at home. The importance is to begin and stay consistent.
- This can be a brisk 30-minute walk daily, swimming, taking up running, or similar activities that are easy to incorporate and can be done daily.
- Get in your steps! The CDC recommends that most adults aim for 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles.) Most American adults only take 3000 to 4000 steps during their day, which is only about 1.5 to 2 miles. So, walk more and get in your steps!
- Monitor your sleep to create better sleeping habits. This can include understanding when to eat before bed, what time to cut out any caffeine, or purchasing one of the many wearable technology devices like an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or WHOOP that can help monitor your sleep and make proper adjustments. These devices can help monitor all areas of overall health, as well.
- Take up a practice of meditation. There are many ways to meditate, and many types of meditation, but there is little question that a practice of meditation is help in both physical and mental health. There are also many apps available now that offer meditation classes, courses, and approaches, to make the process easy to incorporate daily.
- When needed, seek support or help. Part of wellness is mental health and wellness. Which means that if you find yourself dealing with mental health problems, seek support. This could be through a trained mental health professional like a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, or could simply mean talking about your struggles with a supportive group of friends.
There is no question that these types of wellness practices go a long way into creating a lifestyle of health and wellness, and furthermore, no doubt that such practices align with a process of recovery from addiction. Here at Maryland Addiction Recovery Center, we find that addiction treatment must support patients in beginning to incorporate such practices in early recovery, so that they can be achievable in the short-term and sustainable in the long-term. This in turn supports personal recovery practices that can be turned into a lifelong journey of health, wellness, and long-term, successful sobriety and recovery.
If you or someone you know needs help for addiction or co-occurring disorder issues, please give us a call. Maryland Addiction Recovery Center offers the most comprehensive dual diagnosis addiction treatment in the Mid-Atlantic area. If we aren’t the best fit for you or your loved one, we will take the necessary time to work with you to find a treatment center or provider that better fits your needs. Please give us a call at (410) 773-0500 or email our team at [email protected]. For more information on all of our drug addiction, alcohol addiction and co-occurring disorder services and recovery resources, please visit our web site at www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com.