Schizophrenia treatment & recovery tip 4: Make healthy lifestyle choices
The symptoms and course of schizophrenia are different for everyone, and some people will have an easier time than others. But whatever your situation, you can make things better by taking care of yourself. Not only will the following self-care strategies help you manage your symptoms, they will also empower you. The more you do to help yourself, the less hopeless and helpless you’ll feel.
- Manage stress. Stress can trigger psychosis and make the symptoms of schizophrenia worse, so keeping it under control is extremely important. Know your limits, both at home and at work or school. Don’t take on more than you can handle and take time to yourself if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Try to get plenty of sleep. When you’re on medication, you most likely need even more sleep than the standard 8 hours. Many people with schizophrenia have trouble with sleep, but lifestyle changes (such as getting regular exercise and avoiding caffeine) can help.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. Some evidence indicates a link between drug use and schizophrenia. And it’s indisputable that substance abuse complicates schizophrenia treatment and worsens symptoms. If you have a substance abuse problem, seek help.
- Get regular exercise. Studies show that regular exercise may help reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia. That’s on top of all the emotional and physical health benefits! Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days.
- Do things that make you feel good about yourself. If you can’t get a job, find other activities that give you a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Cultivate a passion or a hobby. Helping others is particularly fulfilling.