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.