Start Prioritizing Self-Care for Tremendous Success and Sustainability at any Stage of Your Addiction Recovery

Let’s face it: as human beings with feelings and vulnerabilities, none of us is impervious to pain and suffering. Research shows that people who have experienced traumatic events are more prone to addiction. However, what makes the difference between those who give up and those who continue fighting in their recovery is self-care. Let’s look at why self-care is critical to staying sober and being one step ahead of a possible relapse.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care may mean different things to different people, and it's up to you to figure out what those things are. Taking care of oneself means doing everything possible to maintain one's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. One of the best ways to ensure a successful recovery from substance use is to remember the importance of self-care and make it a top priority.

When you consciously take care of yourself, you reap the rewards for your physical and mental health. We must dispel the idea that self-love and self-care are excessive or selfish. Most of the time, the results more than make up for the time and money spent.

Self-care is an act of self-love and preservation that helps you meet your own needs and objectives. No one can choose to stop drinking or substance abuse for you, and no one can provide the care you need throughout addiction recovery if you don't do it yourself. Self-care isn't just about pampering yourself; it also includes reaching out to others for support and assistance when needed.

Self-care should be non-negotiable. For optimal effect, it has to be done both intentionally and regularly. Self-care helps, even if all you have is five minutes a few times a day. It's better than the opposite, which is self-neglect. Consistent self-care habits have the potential to improve not only your health but also your overall quality of life significantly over time.

What Does Self-Care in Addiction Recovery Look Like?

Self-care may make you happy and cared for, even if it's just you taking care of yourself. With self-care in recovery, several types exist:

Emotional Self-Care

To practice emotional self-care, one must first become attuned to one's emotional well-being by naming and labeling the emotions that arise. Learning to limit negative self-talk, live in the experience, and be in touch with your feelings, especially negative emotions, on a deeper level is a crucial part of the process. To improve your mental health, you need to figure out what makes you feel bad in the first place.

It's important to give yourself time to relax and regroup to maintain your focus, reduce stress, and resist temptations or relapse triggers that may arise. The practice of caring for oneself is essential to physical and emotional health.

Physical Self-Care

Self-care that focuses on your physical health includes eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Taking care of yourself physically also means making it crucial to find the proper medical care and stay in bed when you're sick. Maintaining some level of physical activity is recommended, but you should also pay attention to your body and get some rest when it needs it.

You may find that junk food is consuming more of your nutritious diet, or you're skipping workouts because of stress. Lack of sleep or another sleep-related issue can produce stress and anxiety, mental and physical health issues, and reduce concentration and energy levels. Positive self-care means getting adequate sleep each night and taking care of your body so you can restore mental balance and manage stress.

Spiritual Self-Care

To care for one's spiritual needs is to engage in activities that have significance and value for oneself. It's okay to do some "spiritual sightseeing" by exploring new practices until you discover one that resonates with you and seems genuine. Sharing your experiences with others may be powerful and spark a more incredible feeling of connection with people on this path of rekindling and strengthening your spirituality.

Meditative practices range from the metta tradition to walking meditation to mindfulness (staying in the present moment) and transcendental meditation. A stroll in the park, a hike in the woods, or spending time in nature may be a great way to clear your head and feel a sense of purpose. Connecting with your spiritual side through the creation of art or music is also a powerful experience.

Social Self-Care

Social self-care means taking care of that craving for social interaction inherent to the human condition. Even the most introverted among us have social needs to varying degrees. Don’t isolate and withdraw socially. Get out there and meet new people. Ask for help when you need it, and accept the love and support of those who care about you.

Play with your pet, play games with others online, or meet up with a friend for fun and enjoyable activities like a hobby class or a walk in the park. Social self-care may mean you should ignore some social situations and individuals, even a family member, while recovering, but that doesn't mean you can't make time to discover exciting ways to have fun.

Self-Care Is Necessary Selfishness to Prevent Relapse

We undermine our well-being when we put other people’s needs ahead of our own. Different forms of selfishness exist. One of them is damaging because it inflicts harm on others without regard for their emotions. Yet, "healthy selfishness" is a genuine concept. To be present for the people that matter to us, we must be honest with ourselves, putting our needs and happiness first.

When faced with too many requests, we must decide which ones are essential. Sometimes you may have to say "no," even to those close to you, which is sometimes the best way to set a healthy boundary for yourself. It is necessary to keep sobriety at the forefront of your mind at each stage of the recovery process and let that goal guide your choices.

Caring for yourself in preventative ways with healthy habits gives you a better chance of regulating negative feelings when they come. Mental self-care can keep you from returning to an active addiction on your recovery journey. Self-care is inseparable from a healthy lifestyle for people with mental health issues, substance use disorder, or both, and even individuals with neither. However, for those in early recovery, a self-care plan can keep you from a downward spiral after exposure to a potential relapse trigger. 

If you don't take care of yourself and develop healthy coping skills for when daily life raises your stress level, you might precariously balance on only a few thin reeds. This may negatively affect a person's mental, spiritual, emotional, and social well-being. As part of practicing self-care, it's essential to assess your wellness and pay attention to your needs regularly.

Self-care looks different for everyone, but everyone may benefit from using HALT. Ask yourself if you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired to help you tune into your physical needs. Regularly check in with your emotions and stay connected to your purpose (i.e., quitting drugs to improve your life) and others.

Making the decision to read this article is a form of self-care, as it can help you take steps closer to your goal of living a sober lifestyle. If you're considering making a fresh start at Wish Recovery, one of California's top luxury rehab centers, know that you would be putting your needs first, and we can help. Our addiction treatment program is world-class and compassionate, and we accept most insurance plans. Give us a call now to learn more.

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