Over half of all individuals with substance use disorder also have a mental health diagnosis. Because this deeply impacts this population, mental health deserves an elevated seat within the conversation around recovery. Even if individuals in recovery don’t have a co-occuring disorder, mental health is a critical factor in healthy long-term recovery. A healthy recovery is based on a whole-person approach that incorporates multiple dimensions of wellness.

From physical, spiritual, mental and social wellness – each pillar of wellness is equally important to your success.

From physical, spiritual, mental and social wellness – each pillar of wellness is equally important to your success. Knowing that mental health plays a huge role in recovery, we’ll be walking through why it’s so important and how you can incorporate healthy routines to support your overall wellness. Keep reading to learn more about how you can do this today!

What is Mental Health?

As defined by SAMHSA, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Important for every individual, mental health is a key contributor to our overall wellness and impacts our everyday life.

Looking at the psychological state you are in each day is one way to measure your mental health, and can indicate whether or not your daily habits are supportive of your overall wellness. Learn more about why mental health is important to your success in recovery below.

Why is It Important in Recovery?

As mentioned previously, finding a healthy balance in recovery is largely dependent on caring for yourself in all areas of life. Each area of your life – physical, spiritual, mental and social – impacts one another. In this regard, if there are weeds on one side of your garden, they’re likely to spread throughout the entire plot if not tended to. Because it begins internally and shapes your everyday outlook on life, mental wellness can quickly deteriorate other areas of your life if completely ignored.

All of this to say, it’s extremely important. Important for everyone, caring for your mental state is especially important for those in substance use disorder recovery. This is because mental health affects your emotional and psychological state and therefore your choices, and behavior. Think of it like this; if you are in an unhealthy mental state and feeling hopeless you are not likely to then feel hopeful about your future and success in recovery. There is a very direct correlation between mental health and your success in recovery. Keep reading to learn about some ways you can incorporate routines to support your mental wellness.

Routines to Support Your Mental Health

Everyone will need to discover what works best for them and their current needs, but here are a few routines you can try today.

Incorporate Therapy

First and foremost, if you struggle with mental health or are looking for more support – start with therapy. Having a licensed therapist as part of your care team can ensure that you’re devoting quality time to your mental care. The members of your care team communicate with one another to continue to support your recovery as a whole, so incorporating a therapist into the mix will encourage this further. We know that finding an affordable therapy option can be a daunting task, so check out our resource list here for MN options.

Take A Moment

Carving out time to check in with yourself is one of the most effective ways to stay in touch with your overall mental state. Taking time each day to find solitude can be grounding, especially in times of stress or overwhelm. Whether it’s one minute or an hour, take the time you need to reconnect with yourself.

Practice Gratitude

Reminding yourself to find gratitude in each day is one way to manage your mindset. In life, it’s easy to sometimes find yourself wrapped up in day-to-day busyness. Check out our post on gratitude where we cover a few ways to practice this daily.

Eating a Balanced Diet Matters

It can’t be said enough – physical, spiritual, mental and social wellness affect one another greatly. Because of this, it’s important to remember that what you put in your body matters! Find a balance that makes your body feel good, and makes YOU feel good about how you’re treating your body. Check out our post all about well-balanced eating here.

Try Journaling

We know it’s on every list, but it’s for a reason! Journaling is a great way to channel your thoughts and feelings into a place outside of your own body. This can help you get in touch with your emotions, and ground you. Check out some of our favorite recovery journaling prompts that we compiled.

Routines are Just One Piece…

learning healthy coping techniques will help to improve your overall mental wellness

Caring for your mental health has a few components. While routines act as support beams that keep the structure up, utilizing strategies like therapy and learning healthy coping techniques will help to improve your overall mental wellness. Incorporating a mental wellness component to your recovery wellness plan is important to your long-term success. If you are not sure where to start, check out the resource below for a closer look at mental health and substance use disorder.

Learn More About Mental Health and SUD

Interested in learning more about how mental health and substance use disorder are related? Check out our post that dives into co-occurring disorders.


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