Finding Balance When Healing from Substance Misuse or Mental Health

Finding Balance When Healing from Substance Misuse or Mental Health

If you are in recovery from substance misuse or mental health issues, your ultimate goal is generally a life of better wellness. A big part of wellness is finding balance, across all areas of your life, including professionally, with activity levels, in relationships and more. In this blog, we are exploring what balance can look like for those living with mental illness, overcoming substance misuse or with a dual diagnosis, as well as offering some tips for finding balance in your day-to-day life. 

Finding balance as a part of wellness

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Wellness Initiative, “a balanced life can mean many things, depending on culture, circumstances, resources, and other factors.” Finding balance usually means that you are making time for the things that make you feel your happiest, and for the things that give you fulfillment. 

For many of us, this can include relationships with family or friends, or activities and hobbies that you do for fun. Many people also feel fulfilled by their work (which could be either paid or volunteer work). Being physically active is something that can offer more balance in your day, as can relaxing or sleeping. Spirituality, perhaps through meditation or praying, provides many people with happiness or balance too. 

Balance is different for everyone

Everyone is different, which means that balance will look different for everyone. Someone who is an extrovert is more likely to feel energized by spending time with others or in the community. An introvert, on the other hand, will likely enjoy spending more time alone or in a small group. Both people need to find the balance of time spent with others and time spent alone that works best for them. 

As you create a balanced schedule of physical activity, rest, etc. it’s also important to check in with yourself from time to time. Things can change quickly in life, and what worked a few months ago may not work as well now. You could also re-balance along with the seasons. An indoor group yoga class may be the perfect way to balance your social and physical wellness in the winter, but as the weather gets warmer maybe it’s time to switch to an outdoor walk by yourself. Frequent check-in’s can help you find better balance. 

Using balance to get through tough times

Recovering from a mental illness, substance misuse, or both is an ideal time to find better balance in your life. As the SAMHSA Wellness Initiative explains, “Whether it is stress, an illness, trauma, or an emotional challenge—balance is especially important. In these times, our habits and routines can help us get that feeling of control back.” 

A good example of using balance in recovery is through physical activity. Working out has obvious physical benefits, and it also offers the social aspect of interacting with other people and the mental benefit of relieving stress. But you don’t have to work out every single day to improve your wellness. Trying to get to the gym (or wherever you prefer to work out) even just a few times a week or month can still offer these benefits. 

You can also seek out balance in rest during recovery. A common treatment option for substance use disorder is a residential center because it offers a break from the stress and temptations of daily life. This downtime, whether it is provided through a residential center, outpatient treatment or individual therapy, can provide you with the space and time needed to work through your feelings. 

Finding balance in relationships

As you continue to seek out balance in recovery, you want to both focus on yourself and your needs, as well as explore the roles that you play in the lives of others. This could include your relationship as a parent, friend, coworker, spouse and member of the Hancock County community. Our relationships often define who we are, and can give you a sense of purpose, especially when recovering from a mental illness or addiction. Staying engaged in your relationships with other people, with animals and even with the environment can help improve your balance and wellness. 

If you or a loved one needs help finding balance while working through mental health issues or substance misuse, contact Healthy365 at 317-468-4231 for support. We can connect you with local resources to help.

Wellness Tips When Recovering From Substance Misuse

Wellness Tips When Recovering From Substance Misuse

Are you or a loved one recovering from substance misuse? The journey to wellness should be all-encompassing, incorporating all aspects of your life. While there is a big focus on the physical effects of addiction and your mental health, substance misuse can impact other areas as well. These wellness tips when recovering from addiction or substance abuse from the Support Navigators at Healthy365 can help you achieve a greater overall quality of life. 

Physical wellness 

Your physical health is often the most commonly thought of aspect of wellness. This is especially true for someone recovering from substance misuse, and a healthy diet and exercise can have a big impact on your wellness journey. Incorporating foods rich in omega-3s and protein specifically can improve your health while recovering. 

Omega-3, found in many types of fish, is an essential fatty acid that has been shown to improve mood disorders like depression, anxiety and ADHD thanks to its optimization of our brain cells and neurotransmitter signals. Eating protein for its amino acids is another great way to improve neurotransmitter production, especially for dopamine, in a brain that has been impacted by habitual drug use. Exercise can also make a big difference in substance misuse recovery for its ability to relieve stress, improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and even restore brain chemistry. 

Intellectual wellness

Speaking of the brain, consistent use of drugs and alcohol can change how your brain functions, even altering its structure. Once a body has fully detoxed from any substances, it can begin to recover and retrain the way its brain works. Our brains are constantly creating new cells and neural pathways, and although it can be a difficult process, it is totally possible to teach your brain to operate naturally once again, without the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many forms of therapy focused on restoring brain function, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), that are offered in both inpatient and outpatient recovery programs. 

Emotional wellness

Rediscovering and retraining your emotions is another important part of substance misuse recovery. Many people begin using alcohol or drugs as a way to avoid their emotions or to numb themselves from a bad situation or past trauma. Finding emotional wellness in recovery will likely focus quite a bit on accepting your emotions, letting go of shame in order to forgive yourself and your past and developing a practice of mindfulness in order to observe and accept your emotions in the future without judgment. 

Occupational and financial wellness

As you come out of recovery and either return to work or look for a new job, a sense of purpose and satisfaction will be important to look for. Studies show that people with job satisfaction often feel their lives are more fulfilling, and the Mayo Clinic has many tips for finding better satisfaction and significance, no matter the job you currently hold. Closely connected to occupational wellness is financial wellness. An addiction to alcohol or drugs can have a major effect on your finances, and taking small but meaningful steps to achieve better financial security through wellness tips when recovering will make a positive impact.

Environmental, social and spiritual wellness

Your environment and the people you surround yourself with will also cause ripple effects on your recovery from substance misuse. Do your best to ensure that your living arrangements post-rehabilitation are calming and don’t tempt back into substance use. Same goes for your social life while in recovery. Spend time with friends and family who will encourage your sobriety, and also try to avoid social isolation, which can be a major trigger for relapse. Having a sense of spirituality (either religion or simply a greater sense of purpose) can bring greater meaning to your recovery as well. 

Are you interested in learning more about getting into recovery and improving your wellness after substance misuse? Our Healthy365 Support Navigators are here to support our Hancock County residents with a confidential listening ear, and to provide guidance and wellness tips when recovering from your specific life situation. Contact us today at 317-468-4231!

Self-Care that Doesn’t Cost a Thing

Self-Care that Doesn’t Cost a Thing

When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Maybe a pampering spa day, or a weekend alone in a fancy hotel? These can be good forms of self-care… but true self-care doesn’t have to cost a thing. Self-care just means finding ways to preserve or improve your own health and wellness, and that practice can vary from person to person. Healthy365 is rounding up some of our favorite free self-care activities that you can use to reduce stress and improve wellness. 

Take a walk or workout in nature

No matter the time of year, a walk or run in nature can be a great way to destress and take some time for yourself. Here in Hancock County, we are lucky to have a number of beautiful parks and nature preserves, so find your favorite one and take a little walk. Exercise boosts your endorphins, and listening to some fun music or an encouraging podcast can improve your well-being too. If you are doing a self-care workout in very cold weather, be sure to check out our winter workout tips

Do some journaling

The benefits of journaling are extensive, including the improvement of your mood, strengthening your immune cells, decreasing your risk of illness, and lowering your blood pressure when you make journaling a daily habit. Working on specific self-care journaling prompts can help improve your wellness as well. You could work on a list of the things you like best about yourself, or create a bucket list for the next year, next decade or your whole lifetime. Along with journaling, getting creative with coloring, drawing or painting can be a great self-care activity too. 

Take a social media break

Social media can be a great tool for learning and connecting with others, but it can also negatively impact our mental health. Comparing our daily lives to other people’s highlight reels on social media can create unrealistic expectations and make you feel unhappy. When you take a social media break for self-care, in addition to improved mood, you may also notice increased productivity and better relationships with family thanks to more quality time. Your social media break could last a few hours, a few days or a few weeks… or could even be a regular daily/weekly habit. 

Declutter and organize your home

This activity is not just free, it could actually make you a little money! Did you know that excess clutter can actually impact your mental health? A messy home can make it more difficult to fully relax or may create feelings of guilt, especially when guests visit. Organizing your home and donating or selling things you no longer use can make your home feeling much more relaxing. For many people, organizing and decluttering can be a form of self-care, but even if it stresses you out, a decluttered home can create new opportunities for self-care afterward. 

Go to bed early (or sleep in)

Are you getting enough sleep each night? Good sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Make it a point to practice self-care by going to bed early (or sleeping in when you can) to get in 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Getting enough sleep offers benefits like reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, a better immune system, lowering risk for diabetes or heart disease, thinking clearly and avoiding injuries from practices like drowsy driving. 

Are you looking for additional ways to improve your overall wellness? Healthy365 is here to connect you with local resources (many times at low or no cost to you) to help you on your wellness journey. Contact our Support Navigators today at 317-468-4231 to learn more about our mission to improve the health of Hancock County residents.

Wellness Gift Guide

Wellness Gift Guide

Are you working on your holiday shopping? We think just about anyone on your list could benefit from a little wellness boost or a self-care surprise! Just like Healthy365 supports our community’s whole health and wellness, you can support the mental and physical health of your family and friends too. Check out our roundup of some of the best wellness gift ideas that you can give someone you love (or treat yourself!) this holiday season. 

Wellness Journal

A journal is a great gift for anyone looking to enhance their overall wellness. Studies show that journaling can reduce stress, improve your mood and make you feel happier in general. And a journal is a practical gift that your loved one can use in any way they wish, such as gratitude journaling, recording their fitness journey or as a day planner to stay better organized. With a HUGE variety in styles and quality, a journal may just be the perfect “catch-all” gift for those people on your list who seem to have everything. 

Water Bottle

Another great gift for just about anyone on your shopping list is a water bottle. Staying hydrated (especially during a strenuous workout) is one of the single-best things you can do to improve your health, and water bottles come in just about every single color, material and size so you can find the perfect fit for your loved one. If drinking super cold water is important to your giftee, we recommend a metal water bottle, with many keeping a drink cold upwards of 8-12 hours. Other people might like a water bottle with hourly goal reminders of how much to drink to stay hydrated through the day. Even kids would appreciate a fun water bottle with their favorite character or color on it!

Weighted Blanket

In the wintertime, just about everyone loves curling up with a cozy blanket. But if you have someone in your life who has anxiety or trouble sleeping, then an extra cozy weighted blanket may be a great holiday gift. Several recent studies have shown benefits to sleeping with a weighted blanket, including falling asleep faster, reduced insomnia and lower rates of depression and anxiety during the day. It is usually recommended that a weighted blanket be roughly 5 to 10 percent of the owner’s body weight, with blankets for adults ranging from 12 to 30 pounds. 

Light Therapy Lamp

If you know someone who is affected by the darker days of winter, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), then a light therapy lamp may be able to help by replicating daylight. Prices range from around $20 and higher, and using one for a few minutes each day can help individuals increase Vitamin D and get that extra mood boost. Users should talk to their doctor before beginning treatment with light therapy. 

Subscription to a Meditation App

Meditation is a great way to improve both physical and mental wellness. Meditation can improve self-awareness and decrease stress by focusing on your breathing and shifting your attention away from the distractions of life. Learning to meditate can take practice, so a subscription to a top meditation app may be a great gift if you have a loved one who is getting into meditation. 


Speaking of meditation, some people like to listen to their guided meditations through a set of quality headphones. And working out is usually made more fun with a motivating playlist or interesting podcast to listen to. Still other people just need a moment of self-care by blocking out everything and listening to some relaxing music. Headphones are a great wellness gift, especially with the convenience of bluetooth headphones that pair up to your phone and eliminate the annoying cords connected to a device or laptop. 

If you or a loved one need assistance on the journey to better wellness, don’t hesitate to reach out to Healthy365 online or at 317-468-4231. We’d love to hear your story and connect you with local resources and services available in Hancock County.

Cold Weather Workout Tips

Cold Weather Workout Tips

When the weather starts getting cold, it can be easy to just want to curl up with a blanket and hibernate until spring. But keeping up with your physical wellness has great benefits not just for your body but for your mind as well. Here at Healthy365, we’ve got some cold weather workout tips for Hancock County residents to help you stay healthy all season long. 

Dress in layers for cold weather

If you’re choosing to workout, run or walk outdoors this fall and winter, make sure to be prepared by watching the weather forecast. Stock up on winter workout essentials like thermal clothing, thick leggings, and wicking layers that are easy to remove or put back on depending on temperature. Remember that when it gets colder, your blood flow becomes concentrated in the core of your body, meaning that your head and extremities are more susceptible for frostbite. Try wicking glove liners with heavier gloves over top to keep those hands warm. And investing in a warm hat or headband (you can even purchase warm headbands with speakers) will keep that body heat from escaping through your head. 

Don’t forget your cold workout safety gear

After Daylight Savings Time ends on Nov. 7, the sun will be rising later and setting earlier. If you need to go for a run in the dark, make sure to purchase a reflective vest or wearable light so that you can easily be seen by other runners or drivers on the road. If you’re doing an outdoor workout during the day, make sure to put sunscreen on any exposed skin. You may not always think about getting sunburnt in the winter, but it’s definitely still possible so keep the sunscreen handy. If it is extremely cold outside but you still want to squeeze in a workout, you may want to invest in a ski mask or gaiter to cover your face. And keep in mind the symptoms of frostbite, including redness or numbness, as well as hypothermia, which can include shivering, confusion or slurred speech.

Find an indoor facility when it’s too cold out

When it’s just too cold to exercise outdoors, look for an indoor gym or facility that allows you to continue your wellness journey. Here in Hancock County, there are three Hancock Wellness Centers located in Greenfield, McCordsville and New Palestine that each offer a variety of classes, equipment, resources and even childcare. There are walking tracks available at McCordsville and New Palestine, as well as full-size swimming pools at McCordsville and Greenfield. In addition to working out, you can also take advantage of their massage, wellness education, diabetes care, physical therapy and more. If you just want to use the facility when it’s extra cold out, you can purchase a full-access day pass for $10. Alternatively, you can invest in a monthly membership for you and your family, with primary program access and discounts on additional services. 

Focus on your mental wellness

Keeping up with your physical health can seem harder during the winter than any other time of year. But it also may be the most important time of year to do so. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that can affect your energy, sleep or weight specifically in the winter months. Or you may struggle with depression and anxiety year-round, but it feels worse in the winter due to the lack of light or time spent outside. For most people, working out will boost endorphins and reduce stress, improving your overall mental wellness. If you find yourself continuing to struggle with mental illness, Healthy365 can help with connections to support groups, mental health professionals and more.  

Reach out to a Support Navigator today so that we can assist you in assessing needs and finding local resources to best serve your or your loved one’s mental wellbeing.