Now that you’ve reached recovery, you can take back what addiction stole from you. One of the most important aspects of recovery is keeping your immune health up. However, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has made it harder to protect your immune system and you might be afraid that your past substance abuse puts you at greater risk of contracting the virus.
So, how are you supposed to rebuild your immune health? It’s a question that can be hard to answer, especially if you’re just getting used to your new life in recovery. Fortunately, there are easy and natural ways you can boost your immune system after addiction.
5 Ways to Rebuild Your Immune System in Recovery
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
This tip might sound basic, but it can have a significant impact on your immune health. Sleep is a natural way for your body to recover and fight off any infections.
It’s common for people in recovery to have insomnia. While it can be a little intimidating, there are steps you can take to help you get enough sleep in your recovery. These steps include:
- Keeping a regular sleep schedule
- Relaxing an hour before you go to bed
- Avoiding electronics when you’re trying to fall asleep
- Meditating before you got to bed
2. Be Sure to Exercise
Time and time again, research has shown that say exercise can improve your immune health. Regular exercise reduces inflammation in your body, which helps your immune system be more effective.
Exercise can also help your body respond to foreign bacteria. Your body has something called immune markers. Think of them as spotlights that your body shines on germs and bacteria. Regular exercise not only makes those markers more accurate, but also improves your body’s response to them.
3. Reduce Stress as Much as Possible
During your recovery journey, stress is going to come up. After all, everyone experiences stress. Finding effective ways to manage stress can reduce your risk for relapse and improve your immune system.
When you’re stressed, your body produces a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that your body uses to get itself ready to face a dangerous or stressful situation. The problem is that stress causes your body’s cortisol levels to rise, which slows down your immune system. By decreasing your stress, you’re keeping your cortisol levels balanced so that they don’t interfere with your immune health.
If you’re feeling stressed during your recovery, you can try:
- Talking with your support system of family and friends
- Going to a group meeting
- Practicing meditation or deep breathing exercises
4. Get Some Sun
You might be surprised at how many people have a Vitamin D deficiency. Many of us, especially in the wake of COVID-19, are spending more time inside. But Vitamin D is important for your body’s immune system. In fact, Vitamin D helps your body produce antibodies, the first line of defense against bacteria and infections.
The good news is, you can naturally increase your Vitamin D levels by getting some sunlight. A 15 minute walk a couple times a week in the sun is enough to boost your Vitamin D levels. Just be sure to practice social distancing when you’re enjoying your walk in the sun.
5. Eat a Healthy Diet
Your diet greatly impacts your immune health. If you’re looking to improve your immune system during recovery, a good place to start is cutting back on sugar. Too much sugar in your diet can actually slow the response time of your white blood cells.
You’ll also want to eat more vegetables, as they can naturally boost your immune health. For example, vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale can improve liver function, which is needed for your body’s detoxification process.
Find Hope for Lasting Recovery Today
At Silver Maple Recovery, we know that addiction recovery doesn’t happen in a straight line. There are many ups and downs that you’ll go through on your journey, but the good news is you don’t have to go through them alone. We’re a premier addiction treatment center located in Cleveland, Ohio.
With an evidence-based treatment and a personalized approach, we can help you reach lasting recovery. We also work with a wide range of private insurance providers to help ensure you get the treatment you need.
If you’re ready to get your recovery back on track, we’re here to help. Contact us today to speak with a professional caregiver who is ready to hear your story.