What’s a Wellness Program, and How Can It Charge Up My Sobriety?
You don't have to be a zen master to handle life sober. But if you tune up a routine of health and harmony that works for you, you just might become one
Long gone are the days when concepts like “wellness,” “mindfulness,” “inner harmony” and “balance” were only for hippies and woo-woo crystal-healing folks. They’re for everyone — you have to take care of yourself in this world!
Maybe you’re in long-term recovery from addiction and you already have your support system and coping mechanisms, or maybe you’re flying through Dry January on a cloud of good vibes. But you can still want to seek a deeper peace, if it’s out there. And everyone needs daily maintenance and stress management. That’s where wellness programs come in.
If you’re in recovery, wellness programs can offer tools to help you learn how to handle stressors and triggers in healthier ways. Rather than falling back on addictive patterns and unhealthy habits, you can learn techniques and practices that resonate with you and promote lasting wellness.
But even if you’re not in recovery, wellness is an integral part of living a healthy and harmonious life. Regularly engaging in fulfilling activities and practices that improve your physical and mental health will improve the quality of your life. Wellness programs allow you to lean into thoughts, feelings and experiences that make life more vibrant and empowering. Sounds worthwhile to us!
OK, What Is a Wellness Program — Exactly?
A wellness program is a practice that helps you learn how to be present in life in a deeper way. Learning to center and balance your body on all levels starts with learning how to regulate yourself. To that end, many wellness programs and practices provide the bonus of teaching short- and long-term stress management skills.
There are plenty of ways to promote wellness in your life. Doing things that help you feel good mentally, emotionally and physically is vital to staying healthy and inspired. Finding the things that make life feel more meaningful, joyful and harmonious for you can ease the experience of recovery or help you heal however you need to.
All kinds of practices and techniques can fall under the “wellness” umbrella; the only nonnegotiable for the success of your program is consistency in practicing it. Your ideal wellness program can be simple or complex, and it’ll likely grow and change with time.
What’s a specific example of what a wellness program might actually be? Glad you asked.
- A fitness routine, including walking, running, swimming, dancing or yoga
- Art therapy
- Group activities and classes
- Engaging in a spiritual or meditative practice
- Physical therapy
- Talk therapy
- Engaging in activities and practices that honor your cultural and social identity
- Helping others
- Finding a greater purpose
- Balancing your nutrition
- Healthy sleep habits
With such a broad spectrum of potential wellness program elements, you can pick and choose the ones that feel most natural and inspiring. What matters more is deliberately making room for the things that help you feel positively motivated; that signals to your mind and body that you are ready for growth and change.
What’s Gained: Benefits of a Wellness Program
Finding fulfillment in your daily routine makes each day feel more worthwhile. (Sounds obvious, but do you really do this already, with intention?) Incorporate meaningful and inspiring things into each day, and you’ll also dampen the urge to indulge in harmful coping mechanisms.
A strong wellness program can help you connect with your mind, body and spirit in ways that nourish your well-being. Prioritizing your wellness can benefit your physical and mental health in all sorts of ways:
- Providing useful tools for long-term stress management
- Helping you get in tune with your mind and body; creating coherence
- Making it possible to honor yourself and your needs
- Encouraging you to cultivating a supportive community with similar goals and passions
- Promoting rest
- Increasing mindfulness
- Potentially increasing longevity
- Balancing hormones, along with overall physical and mental health
- Potentially easing symptoms of disease and chronic illness
Amazing but true: There are indeed many short- and long-term health benefits to incorporating a wellness program into your healing and/or recovery journey. The overall goal of wellness is to strengthen yourself in the most fundamental ways.
By fortifying your mind and body with the best nourishment and enrichment, you will be able to show up as your best self each day. With time, you’ll have the energy and endurance to create the life you desire, pursuing your goals and passions. You’ll fuel the fire of your growth and healing by actively working to create inner peace and well-being.
Identifying and honoring your needs, beliefs and goals makes life feel more fulfilling. Creating a wellness program and routine helps you build and stabilize your foundation. Who could object?
That’s a Lot! How Do I Find the Best Wellness Program for Me?
Identifying the things that make you feel good can be fairly simple. Communicating with yourself and your needs can make it easier to know when something is wrong or when you need to reach out for help.
So, here goes. First, consider any classes or activities you may have wanted to try. Try them! Finding activities and practices that challenge or motivate you in meaningful ways can be a fine and fun way to identify the right wellness program.
Next, branch out, go to different places and meet new people. Fostering healthy and supportive connections is part of experiencing total wellness. Knowing the spaces and communities that help you feel secure in your uniqueness can make it easier to experience deeper and lasting feelings of well-being.
A lot of it comes down to this: Getting in touch with yourself is the most important part of defining your ideal wellness plan. At the center of any well-rounded treatment plan — or life well-lived — is the ability to honor and nurture your well-being and motivation.
And you deserve to live a life that is joyful and fulfilling every day! It’s a key part of why anyone gets into this whole sobriety thing. Incorporating an exciting and empowering wellness program into your recovery or sobriety plan will help you whistle your way along the path.
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