Most individuals want to stay informed as to the latest trends. They listen to medical experts or read blogs, articles, and books. And, for the most part, healthy folks want to be proactive with the information they acquire. However, when there is too much conflicting information, it is helpful to stay focused on three basic recovery lifelines to keep your wellness on track.
First Recovery Lifeline:
Identify and implement your non-negotiables.
What are non-negotiables? These are the practices or programs which you know work for you, and they are absolutely essential to sustaining your wellness. The first step is to identify your non-negotiables. For example, this could be anything from working a 12 Step Program, attending meetings, talking with a sponsor, to participating in various kinds of support groups or therapy. This might include establishing a routine which works for you, given the demands on your schedule. This could also mean avoiding certain foods that trigger allergies or weaken your immune system. This might require distancing and detaching yourself from unhealthy people, places, and things which trigger you in vulnerable areas. This may also mean getting plenty of rest.
Whatever they might be, your non-negotiables are paramount to your wellness and must become a priority in your life. Without them, you may put yourself at risk for relapse, set yourself up for failure, or find yourself fluctuating from one way of thinking to another.
It is extremely important to identify and write down your non-negotiables, especially in the early stages of embracing a recovery program or wellness practice. Place them where they are clearly visible to you. Then, each day implement and integrate your non-negotiables. Start with one or two. As you achieve success, add another to your schedule. As you grow in your recovery or healthy routine, continue adding to your non-negotiables or amending them as needed.
Second Recovery Lifeline:
Respect your routine
No one else knows you better than you. In order to stay strong in your recovery or in your healthy ways of being, it is important to respect your routine. What does this entail?
Think about and plan your days ahead of time. Know what to take in and take on. Know your limits. When thinking about changing something or adding something new to your routine, be realistic. For example, if you want to add more meetings into your day or week, check your work schedule and make adjustments where possible. If you decide to increase your exercising, plan out how to fit it in. Also keep in mind how these changes might affect your other wellness non-negotiables. Be honest with yourself and do what works for you. By respecting yourself and your routine, you are not trying to live up to the expectations of others. You are honoring your own.
For more insight and instruction on how to respect your routine, refer to Chapter 9 – Cleansing and Cultivation of Internal Spaces – in Breaking Through Betrayal.
Third Recovery Lifeline:
Be mindful in your commitment to wellness
We hear a lot about achieving peace and balance in life. However, being mindful in your commitment to wellness will provide relief from the tension, anxiety, and frustration to keep your wellness on track. In fact, peace and balance will evolve naturally.
What does this require of me? How is this done?
First, it is mandatory to grab hold of Recovery Lifeline One – Identify and implement your non-negotiables. This sets your course. Your focus is clear. You know exactly what you need to do.
Secondly, this must be followed by securely integrating Recovery Lifeline Two – Respecting your routine. You are choosing wellness. You are choosing you. And, you are making your choices a priority.
With the first two lifelines solidly in place, being mindful to your commitment to wellness means making day to day or minute by minute decisions about who or what you want to invite into your life and to what degree is done with intention and purpose. Thus, when making decisions such as taking on risks or unusual challenges, or entering into new friendships or relationships, or adding responsibilities to your routine, ask yourself three questions:
- Will this move me in a healthy direction?
- Is the timing right for me?
- What will my degree of involvement be?
By answering these questions honestly, you are empowering yourself by setting boundaries for yourself and around your commitment to wellness. You are deliberate in your actions to protect what is important to you.
Of course, there may be times when you mess up, push the envelope, or risk relapse. Don’t beat yourself up. Learn from that too! This lifeline is one which will grow and strengthen over time. As you learn to navigate from a steady posture and secure position, a multitude of peaceful, balanced benefits will erode and eliminate the conflict fueled by excesses, extremes, and unhealthy enticements.
For additional help with setting and sustaining boundaries with your recovery or wellness practices, consider reading Chapter 8 – Readiness and Rigor – and Chapter 9 – Boundary Work – in Breaking Through Betrayal.
In closing, do stay informed. Keep abreast of the latest insights, discoveries, and practices which will enhance your wellness. At the same time, if you begin feeling pulled in this direction or that direction, return to your three recovery lifelines:
- Identify and implement your non-negotiables
- Respect your routine
- Be mindful in your commitment to wellness
Then, breathe in the renewal that comes with a steady secure stream of wellness.
Publishers Notes: Holli Kenley is an American Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the author of “ Daughters Betrayed By Their Mothers: Moving from Brokeness to Wholeness” and “Power Down & Parent Up!: Cyber Bulling, Screen Dependence & Raising Tech-Healthy Children”