Why is Self-Care in Recovery Important?
Self-care is important for your overall health. Healthy activities will make your transition to a lifestyle without drugs or alcohol a little more comfortable. Old habits will be replaced with new healthy ones. There will be less time to focus on alcohol or drug use because your mind will be preoccupied with healthy activities. Having fun with family and friends can be comforting and provide psychological improvements.
Self-care allows you to treat yourself better. The journey to recovery can be very challenging, stressful, scary, and overwhelming. But, when you take care of yourself, stress and anxiety will lessen, and you can focus on getting better.
Loved ones can be supportive of your self-care. Laughter, fun, games, movies, and outings with loved ones are great self-care remedies. Meeting sober people will also ensure you are focusing more on your health, rather than focusing on drugs or alcohol. Throughout recovery, you should maintain your commitment to getting better, living healthier, and taking the time for your self-care.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is any deliberate activity that you do to take care of your mental, physical, and/or emotional health. Self-care is important because it helps your mind, body, and soul operate in the best ways possible. By helping improve the health of your mind, body, and soul, practicing self-care can also increase the length and quality of your life.
Practicing self-care can even help activate the reward system in your brain, which, in turn, will make you feel happy and improve your self-esteem. For people in addiction recovery, having a sense of improved mental, physical, emotional, and social health along with a higher sense of self-esteem and happiness is often the difference between staying sober or relapsing. Continue reading to learn about the specific areas of self-care that you should focus on while in recovery.
How Does Addiction Affect Self-Care?
Addiction changes people physically, mentally, and emotionally and interferes with one’s ability to practice self-care. When suffering from addiction, you lack good nutrition and exercise. Addiction can also make you feel helpless, hopeless, and low in self-worth. Addiction even affects your sleep patterns and the way you think of yourself and others.
Treatment helps you adjust to sober living and prepare for challenges in recovery. You must completely change your lifestyle and take care of yourself for a healthy successful recovery.
You must have determination throughout the recovery process and maintain a positive attitude for a successful response. Addiction can get in the way of this by making you feel unworthy, depressed, and alone. Getting support and encouragement from family and friends will help you foster a better sense of mental self-care and encourage you on your lifelong journey in recovery.
Fostering a Better Sense of Mental Self-Care
One of the first steps to fostering a better sense of mental self-care is to change the way you think about things. This is because your actions almost always come as a result of your thoughts. For example, if you do not think that you are worthy of love, then you will not bother seeking it out for yourself. As a result, the chances of you meeting someone and experiencing love become smaller. In other words, your thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Understanding how much power the mind has on the outcome of our lives, it is no surprise that people who suffer from addiction also often suffer from mental health disorders that keep them thinking in a negative and anxious manner. In fact, several national population surveys state that around half of those that suffer from a mental illness will also develop a substance abuse disorder and vice versa.
Furthermore, more than 60% of adolescents that are in community-based substance use disorder treatment programs meet the diagnostic criteria for another mental illness. To understand the connection between addiction and mental illness, you must first understand the reasons why many people begin misusing alcohol and drugs to begin with.
Many people who suffer from addiction began using alcohol and drugs in a risky manner because they were struggling with an unhealthy home environment. Or, they were once abused, had family members and friends that also suffered from alcohol and drug addiction, or had biological factors that led to addiction.
Mental Self-Care in Recovery
If you notice, many of the situations that first cause those suffering from addiction to start misusing alcohol and drugs are some of the same traumatic situations that can cause someone to develop mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. When realizing this consistent connection, it is easy to deduce that most people who suffer from addiction use alcohol and drugs to help them cope with their current mental health state.
Since poor mental health is a catalyst for addiction disorders, it is vital that those in addiction recovery learn mental self-care practices.
Mental Self-Care Practices
- Forgiveness of self
- Prayer and meditation
- Establishing a work-life balance
- Practicing hobbies that you enjoy
- Listing daily what you are grateful for
- Doing deep breathing exercises when stressed
Physical Self-Care in Recovery
When you misuse alcohol and/or drugs for a long period of time, it takes a negative toll on your physical health. For example, chronic alcohol and drug use can damage your kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs. Since these are all organs that your body needs to function, fight off diseases, and maintain good health, it is vital that you actively improve your physical health while in addiction recovery.
One way that addiction treatment will help you improve your physical health is through a detox program. While detox programs are necessary to remove all alcohol and drug substances from your system, the level of damage that the alcohol and drugs already did to your body will remain the same unless you do additional work to take care of your physical body during and after addiction recovery.
Physical Self-Care Practices
- Cardio exercise
- Yoga and/or pilates
- Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Moisturizing your skin
- Participating in sports
- Going on walks
Emotional Self-Care in Recovery
Many people who suffer from substance use disorders also struggle with a lack of self-awareness. Many individuals are unsure of how to deal with their emotions in a proper manner. The fact that those suffering from addiction have been numbing their emotions every day with alcohol and drugs prior to receiving treatment does not help.
If you are an addiction recovery patient that has numbed your emotions with alcohol and drugs for a long-time prior to receiving treatment, you may experience an overwhelming flood of emotions when you become sober. To help you manage these emotions in a healthy way, it is important that you take care of your emotional health.
Emotional Self-Care Practices
- Receiving therapy
- Confiding in people you trust
- Giving yourself the freedom to feel
- Treating yourself to a massage or gift
- Taking time out for yourself when feeling stressed
Social Self-Care in Recovery
To help you maintain your sobriety, it is vital that you place yourself in a healthy environment during and after recovery. For many, this means changing where you live and developing an entirely new lifestyle. While making such drastic social changes to your life may seem overwhelming at first, you will find that it will help your overall health in the long-run.
Social Self-Care Practices
- Removing toxic people out of your life
- Living in a place where you feel safe and comfortable
- Setting healthy boundaries between you and others
- Finding a social group, like a church group or meetup group, to join
- Spending time with family and friends that you love (be sure they are people who have a good influence on your life)
Treatment for Addiction
If you or your loved one suffers from a substance use disorder or addiction, get help now. While there is no cure for addiction, treatment is available, and there is hope in recovery.
Here at Daylight Recovery Services, we specialize in addiction treatment for many different addiction types, including:
Why Receive Addiction Treatment at Daylight Recovery Services?
If you are going to receive addiction treatment, there is no better place to do so than our state-of-the-art facility at Daylight Recovery Services. Here at Daylight, not only will you be able to receive high-level addiction treatment, but you will also be able to do so in the sunny city of Corona, California.
Daylight Recovery Services specializes in individual holistic treatment that will help heal your body, mind, and soul in a way that will help you foster mental, physical, emotional, and social self-care practices. We also make sure to make your treatment journey as stress-free and private as possible.
We Are in This Together
Addiction is isolating, but you are not alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Recovery is a lifelong process, and there will be challenges throughout your recovery. Take the first step toward freeing yourself from the chains of addiction, and contact us at Daylight Recovery Services today.