Focusing on Self Care in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Choosing the road to recovery is a step toward well-being, however, there will come a time during drug and alcohol recovery where you may not feel up to par. Change is hard which is totally normal. When times are hard, it is important to have gratitude for your recovery progress. Make sure you focus on taking care of yourself so that relapse does not occur. After all, the only person that can choose happiness and sobriety for your life is yourself. There are a few steps that you can take to raise your level of physical, spiritual, and emotional self-care during recovery.
Physical Self-Care in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Exercise: Staying active is a sure way to keep a good physical form and help to manage emotions. Not only does a healthy amount of exercise obviously keep you in good physical health, but endorphins released can help to boost mood which helps keep the unwanted blues at bay. Going to the gym every day may not be appropriate for everyone’s schedule, but a brisk walk around the block or a quick bike ride down the road can suffice.
Sleep: Lack of sleep can affect the way your body functions in a negative way. Those that do not get enough sleep are at a higher risk for lessened cognitive function and poor moods. Those that get enough sleep are recharged enough to regulate their moods and focus their attention during the day.
Nutrition: Along with exercise and sleep, proper nutritional choices can help your body regulate moods. If your body doesn’t get the nourishment that it needs, you are less likely to be able to moderate the moods you need to remain happy.
Spiritual Self-Care in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Self-Appreciation: The most obvious form of self-care is self-appreciation. Many people recovering from drug or alcohol addiction feel guilty and shameful about their past. Instead, work on being grateful for how far you’ve come and don’t feel bad about admiring your own accomplishments. Having an appreciation for yourself will allow you to be more content with life.
Take it Easy: Try not to be so hard on yourself. If you find yourself reverting to old behaviors or lashing out at a loved one, you must learn to forgive yourself and move on. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a few steps forward. There are going to be low points in recovery but you must understand that the most important thing is to keep moving forward after them. Additionally, you should remember that everyone makes mistakes and that you are only human.
Stability: If you do not have a balance in the priorities that you have set in life, you will find yourself more stressed and unable to manage your emotions. Make sure that you spend enough time doing the things that you need to do, and also make sure that you are not spending too much time elsewhere.
Emotional Self-Care in Drug and Alcohol Recovery
Be Social: Support is a huge part of addiction recovery since it helps to be able to relate to others. People who can empathize with you during the dark times of drug and alcohol recovery makes a big difference in your emotional well-being. Loneliness affects many individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction and can lead to stress and relapse. You don’t have to be alone during recovery if you surround yourself with support.
Aftercare: If you have been to treatment, many facilities offer aftercare services that allow alumni to come back for additional programs to help assimilate back into society gradually. These aftercare services offer counseling which may help during a rough time during recovery. Reach out to a facility or your therapist for someone to talk to if you feel you are going through a rough patch.
Boundaries: Setting boundaries is one of the most important aspects of self-care in drug and alcohol recovery. You have to protect your sobriety at length, so you must let the people around you know what your priorities are. If those around you are aware of your sobriety and recovery, there will be less stressful situations to address.
Self Care is a Journey
Many people who go to treatment for drug or alcohol addiction have low self-confidence at first. Years of self-abuse with drug or alcohol use have hardened hearts and made individuals believe they are worthless. But, after time and dedication, they start to see that their lives do have meaning and worth. Yours does too. Make an effort each and every day to start to love yourself more. Ultimately, no one can make you happy but yourself. You must decide that you will work on loving yourself so that you can love others and your own life journey.