June was Men’s Health month and as a leader in substance abuse treatment, we see men’s health compromised and ignored too frequently. It is important to take care of your health regardless of a substance use disorder, but it does become even more important when alcohol and drug abuse is involved. While June is over, that doesn’t mean men’s health should be neglected. You can keep up with your health each and every day in small ways that have a huge impact.
What Is Men’s Health Month?
We now have Men’s Health Month because men are less likely to seek medical care. When anyone ignores warning signs or is not educated about their health, preventable diseases do occur. Heart health and prostate checkups are the two most common issues for which men do not seek preventative care. These two health problems can cause an early death when not treated as quickly as possible. Men’s Health Month seeks to encourage men to get a health checkup to ensure they are okay.
Change Up Your Diet A Bit
Making small changes to your diet can make a world of difference to your health. Switching to more water during the day helps rid your body of toxins that just sit. Many people in medical detox will find more success in feeling better sooner by staying on top of their hydration.
You do not need to make huge changes to the foods you eat, just small ones. We live in a world dominated by UberEats and other food delivery services. Cutting down on how often you have food delivered and cooking your own meals can help drastically. You can also switch to healthy food options as well. Rather than eating french fries, switch to a baked potato. Stop eating high-fat beef and go for lean proteins. These tiny changes over time can do wonderful things for your body.
Cut The Bad Habits
Everyone has bad habits but some are more damaging than others. Obviously, drug and alcohol abuse is one that needs to be tackled first. Treatment for substance abuse is helpful when it targets the Eight Dimensions Of Wellness. By targeting all aspects of your life, you will easily cut bad habits and feel better about yourself.
Other bad habits to work on include:
- Sleeping too much
- Sleeping too little
- Spending too much time watching television
- Spending too much time on your phone/tablet/computer
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Nicotine use
Ease Your Mind
Our minds can be our own worst enemy, especially for people with an addiction. Talk therapy is a great way to process your thoughts and heal them. If you are struggling through hard stuff at the time, talking to someone can really help. Not everyone needs a therapist, there are plenty of support groups to help anyone. You can find them for grieving a loss and dealing with addiction. When our mind is not struggling, we tend to feel better physically as well.
Create A Spiritual Practice
A spiritual practice is a great way to heal the body and the mind. When we speak of spiritual practice, many people assume it’s religious in nature. The truth is, any practice can be a spiritual one. Here are some great ways to develop a healthy practice that soothes our spirit and soul.
- Regular meditation
- Daily yoga stretches
- Routine walks out in nature
- Get involved with a church/synagogue/temple
- Practicing mindfulness
- 20 mins of quiet time each day
With so many electronic devices to take up our time, we sometimes forget to move. If you are living fairly sedentary, the first thing you can do is start taking short walks. A 20-minute walk each day can help get your blood flowing and make your muscles feel great. Many people in long-term recovery talk about how they use exercise as a way to curb cravings or get through the stress. Go to the gym and enjoy a workout with a group of friends. Or if you want some alone time, create your own workouts that make you feel great.
Visit Your Physician
Visiting your doctor is really important. People dealing with addiction should make this a high priority. Substances expose us to toxins that can wreak havoc on our bodies and the sooner a doctor sees you, the sooner you can heal. Arrange for a regular visit and tackle one thing at a time, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. You can use Men’s Health Month as a motivator to get in a physical so you know what your overall state is. Remember, your health is important every day of the year!