Humans are creatures of habit, naturally following certain rhythms that make life easier. The benefits of these patterns are easily observed in infants and the elderly, which tend to acclimate to regular sleep, meal times and activity schedules.
It’s in the middle of life where those patterns become disrupted.
When left in our own care, sleep gets thrown off by work and family responsibilities. Grabbing coffee with friends beats out going to the gym or being mindful. Imbalance leads to stress. Anxiety and depression creep in. Addiction or relapse can occur. Now, professional intervention is needed.
If this sounds like your life, or the life of someone that you love, we can help. Evolve Recovery Centers are staffed by world-class clinicians who are committed to holistic patient treatment. Our centers specialize in nutritious food, self care, and a healthy daily routine as part of every treatment plan.
Here are three reasons why we think healthy daily routines are important:
1.) Bad Habits Are Stressing You Out
Researchers have tied poor sleep, eating and exercise habits to a wide range of physical, mental and psychological disorders. While there are medications to help treat those, the key to success is changing the underlying habits.
Exercise: your brain releases chemicals called endorphins, which help to mitigate pain associated with physical activity. Endorphins activate the opiate receptors in your body, literally giving you a high that lasts well beyond your workout session.
Food/Beverages: everything that you ingest becomes fuel for your body, but not all fuels are created equal. While there is no such thing as a perfect diet for everyone, here are three things that apply to most Americans: 1. Eat more vegetables; 2. Avoid processed foods (most contain hidden preservatives, salt and/or sugar); 3. Drink more water.
Sleep: did you know that humans are the only mammal that willingly delays sleep? Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night, but studies have shown that nearly 40% of Americans come up short. Outside of busy lives and distractions, caffeine is a major culprit. While safe in moderation, caffeine can disrupt normal sleep cycles and lead to the use of depressants and sleep aids.
Even small changes to habits can reduce your stress levels.
2.) Empowerment Through Planning Ahead
Every day, you’re faced with thousands of decisions to make, with varying degrees of importance. From the mundane (i.e. which parking spot to use), to the moderate (i.e. the consequences of what you say), to life-altering decisions (like getting married), decisions abound.
But your mind can only consider so many options before “decision fatigue” sinks in. Like any tired muscle, your brain’s performance starts to slow and falter, leading to procrastination, impulsivity and avoidance.
In other words: humans start to make bad decisions when we’re tired of making decisions. But doing nothing is also a decision and cannot replace all decisions that need to be made. So what can you do?
Automate as many mundane decisions as you can. Apple founder Steve Jobs became synonymous with his dark turtleneck outfit because he wore it every day of his professional life.
Example: keep track of how much daily time you spend choosing your outfit, hair and makeup. Multiply that by 365 and you’ll find that even 10 minutes per day adds up to 2.5 days over the course of a year.
What would you do with an extra 2.5 days back in your year?
3.) Reduced Chemical Dependence
The most important reason why healthy daily routines are part of every Evolve patient strategy is because they lessen the need for addictive substances. With changes to your diet, exercise, sleep and decision-making, your body has the opportunity to return to a more natural state.
This can have a profound impact on your physical, mental and psychological health, increasing the likelihood of long-term sobriety. If this sounds like care that you or your loved one might need, then we encourage you to contact Evolve Recovery Centers today.
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