There’s no easy way to say it: recovery is difficult, and withdrawal makes it even harder. When going through withdrawal, you might experience all manner of symptoms and emotional turbulence, all of which can leave you feeling worn-down and unmotivated. Even in a Partial Hospitalization Program, you may struggle to get simple tasks done throughout the day. That’s perfectly okay, and there are a few ways of getting around these depressive feelings.
Do What You Can For Your Hygiene
It’s good to practice good hygiene when you’re dealing with recovery and withdrawal — the general consensus is to shower, brush your teeth and comb your hair every day. If you’re feeling too weighed down for this routine, do what you can. Use mouthwash to rinse your mouth and freshen your breath, wash your face and hands and put your hair up or under a hat if you’re not ready to wash it. If you’re unable to shower, wipe your body down with baby wipes and follow up with a bit of deodorant and perfume. At the very least, feeling a little cleaner may help you a lot.
Take a Nap If You Need It
Building a good sleep schedule can help your body recuperate from long hours of detoxifying, but the symptoms of withdrawal can make it hard to fall asleep at all. If you’re struggling to get any rest at night or simply can’t get to bed at a reasonable hour, don’t be afraid to take a nap during the day. Shorter naps are more beneficial to your body and shouldn’t interfere with your sleep at night, but you can nap for a longer if you truly need it.
Give Yourself Time to Prepare for Communication
Dealing with people can feel like a daunting task when you’re working through the depression and anxiety that withdrawal often brings; if you’re nervous about answering a text, making a phone call or seeing someone in person, give yourself plenty of time to mentally prepare for the encounter. Acknowledge that you need to communicate with someone and set a time for it. Giving yourself a head start allows you to prepare for the conversation and get an idea of what you want to say. However, be firm and don’t shy away when it is time to respond. It’s better to follow through with your commitment and be able to get it over with than to prolong the anticipation.
Listen to Some Kind of Music
Music has a lot of different effects on the human mind — different sounds, tones and words trigger different responses from the brain. Slow, sad songs can help you express sadness alongside the musician and upbeat music has the power to energize your body. No matter what stage of withdrawal you’re in, put on some music. Whether you’re in the mood for a sad country, a classical waltz or whatever is on the radio, the sound waves can stimulate your brain in a positive way.
Check out this resource to learn the positive benefits of music to the brain.
Eat as Well as You Can
A healthy diet has a lot to offer your body, so it’s important to eat as many fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains as you can. Some foods, like leafy greens, dark berries, nuts and fish can even help you fight through the symptoms of withdrawal. If you don’t have much of an appetite, try to eat at least a few bites of something throughout the day. If you’re prone to overeating, try to replace your unhealthy go-to foods like chips and candy with crunchy vegetables and dark chocolate. Also, try to keep a water bottle nearby and sip on it throughout the day.
Making it through withdrawal is hard and may even feel impossible, but remember: it isn’t. You may not always feel up to full-on self-care or social interaction, so it’s okay to take baby steps for now. The recovery process is one that takes time and effort, so conserve and use what little energy you do have right now wisely. If you fear that your health is at serious risk, don’t be afraid to let your doctor or rehab caretakers know what’s going on. If all you can do for now is make it through the day, do what you can and don’t give up.