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Topical information about addiction and recovery brought to you by Whiteside Manor in Riverside, California…

mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical well-being; in many ways, the fitness of the former is of more significant consequence. If you have completed treatment for addiction, then you are probably aware that both mind and body must be in concert with one another if lasting recovery is the goal. Human beings are made up of a series of complicated systems that are meant to work together in harmony. However, when a mental illness like addiction comes into the picture, everything changes.

Alcohol and substance use disorders are diseases of the mind that, when active, take precedent; everything else, physical and mental health, is put on the back burner. When individuals are busy fanning the flames of addiction they can’t be bothered with eating healthy, exercise, and spiritual maintenance. The disease is an all-consuming mental health disorder that demands the spotlight from its host, i.e., the individual suffering. Such people will go to extraordinary lengths, to meet the dictates of their disease; and they do so at a steep cost.

When the majority of people walk, crawl, or are wheeled into addiction treatment centers, their physical and mental health is at an all-time low. One of the reasons that an average length of stay in such a facility is 90 days is that it usually takes more than a month to nurse clients back to even a semblance of health. In most cases, everything is out-of-whack; individuals are vitamin-deficient and malnourished—the pillars of one’s existence are in a state of atrophy. On top of teaching people what is needed to achieve lasting recovery, at Whiteside Manor we go to great lengths to stabilize clients’ diet and physiology. We do this for two reasons, when people are healthier they feel better and will be more receptive to their education; second, we know that clients who continue to eat right and exercise after treatment, reduce their risk of relapse.


Mental Health Fitness

Again, when mind and body are simpatico, one’s ability to walk a path of long-term recovery is made more accessible. There are several ways you can promote sound physical, mental, and spiritual health; most of which involve little effort on your part. Now, if you are in recovery and haven’t put much stake in how you treat your body, it is vital that you don’t handle making changes impulsively. Balance requires moderation; doing too much, too quickly, can throw you into a tailspin and jeopardize your recovery. Baby steps are the safest way to adopt changes for the better.

May is Mental Health Month! Right now is a perfect opportunity for making small alterations that promote overall well-being. Mental Health America’s (MHA) theme this year is Fitness 4Mind4Body; the campaign focuses on diet and nutrition, exercise, the “gut-brain” connection, sleep, and stress. Each day this month, MHA proffers challenges that you take to foster a healthier mind and body. You, too, have an open invitation to take part in the #4Mind4Body Challenge. 

When we talk about health, we can’t just focus on heart health, or liver health, or brain health, and not whole health. You have to see the whole person, and make use of the tools and resources that benefit minds and bodies together. That’s why this year, our May  Mental Health Month theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body. We’ll focus on what we as individuals can do to be fit for our own futures – no matter where we happen to be on our own personal journeys to health and wellness – and, most especially, before Stage 4.

Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.


If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder, please contact Whiteside Manor. Our experienced staff can help you adopt a new way of living and give you tools for working a program of long-term recovery.

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