How My Physical Well-Being Effects My Mental State
By AlternativeRelief in Addiction,Food & Exercise,Mental Health
Since I was a young boy I’ve been on and off different psychiatric medications, in and out of therapy as well as many inpatient and outpatient treatment centers for mental health and substance abuse. In my mid twenties prior to getting my act together I was overweight with terrible eating habits which caused even more physical problems which added on to my depression and poor sense of worth. I would turn away from looking at myself in the mirror because I felt ashamed of how overweight I was.
I watched my father as young boy take out his stress from work by eating junk food and parking himself on the couch for hours and hours. My father suffered from depression as well and this was his way of dealing with it. Today my father is in his late sixties and has not gotten himself out of this unhealthy cycle. The negative effects of the lack of exercise and nutrition have definitely taken its toll on his body in this state of his life.
I got sober 5.5 years ago in a treatment center in Ventura County, California. The first thing I did was eating healthy with the food provided at the treatment center. Eating healthy for me is mostly difficult when I have to plan ahead and cook the food myself but when given healthy food every day by a catering company it was a breeze! It definitely helped put me in the right state of being to start my journey of recovery.
While the other clients at the treatment center would go hangout and play board games or whatever it was they did at night I would go to the gym by myself. I would start out of the exercise bike because it seemed like the easiest way to start getting in shape. I then moved up to the elliptical machines with some lightweights. I knew that if I was going to change the way that I lived and stabilize my emotions I was going to need to stick to working out and taking care of myself.
Present day I’ve implemented many of these routines into my daily life to help keep my mental state strong. I believe that waking up early is a good start to a solid routine for me. As much as I want to sleep late almost every day I wake up around 6am. I start my day off with a cup of coffee to get my head awake and then do a 20 – 30 minute meditation. I often meditate again with the clients at my sober living in Los Angeles. I alternate from doing a formal mindfulness practice and I throw in some loving kindness as well.
After my morning meditation I start stretching and maybe have a light piece of fruit and go on a five-mile jog. I live at the Santa Monica Pier and I run from my place to the Venice Pier and back every morning, which takes about 45 minutes. While running I almost get myself into a meditative state, which helps me, focus and enjoy the moment while running.
I find that having larger wellness goals also helps keep me engaged and motivated to stay on top of things. I ran the Los Angeles Marathon a few months back and I’m about to start training for the San Francisco Marathon next month. This will help make sure that I don’t fall back into unhealthy habits and stop running.
Today my emotional state is much more balanced and healthy. I definitely have my good days and bad days along with all of the ups and downs life has to offer. Part of what keeps me balanced in addition to working my own recovery program is my daily routine when it comes to taking care of my well being from diet, meditation and exercise.
About the Author
Atlas Recovery is a sober living community with multiple homes in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. As a structured sober living, Atlas offers more than just a roof. They work with their clients to encourage growth, insight, and connection. Visit them at www.Atlas-Recovery.org.