Why Self Care is Important in Recovery
Why Is Self Care So Important in Recovery
Recovery is a journey that is often fraught with hazards and difficulties. You may have fallen into habits that undermine your physical, mental and emotional health. Re-learning healthy habits for daily life can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve success in sobriety. These habits serve to support your body, mind, and spirit, as you rebuild a normal, productive life.
Eating A Healthy Diet
Addiction may have instilled habits of neglecting healthy eating. Many people in recovery must re-learn how to eat a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals and protein that will help them to feel better physically and perform better in their daily lives. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains and healthy oils will provide the nutrients that help to support your physical and mental systems.
Health experts recommend regular exercise for weight management, stress relief and improved cardiovascular health. These effects can help individuals in recovery, as well, allowing them to feel healthier and manage daily problems more easily. If you choose a type of exercise you enjoy, you will be more likely to engage in it on a regular basis.
Develop Good Sleeping Habits
Addiction destroys normal sleep patterns, so those in recovery will have to work to develop normal sleeping habits that allow them to perform well in their daily lives. Simple actions such as a light snack before bed, creating a night-time ritual to prepare for sleep and making a comfortable sleep environment can help you develop the right pattern for your needs.
The daily work of managing your recovery and rebuilding a normal life can be very stressful. Individuals can benefit from learning stress management techniques, such as breathing exercises, yoga, exercise routines or meditation, to reduce stress and to allow you to feel in greater control.
Engaging in Enjoyable Hobbies & Activities
Having fun and engaging in activities you enjoy can help to relieve stress and improve your frame of mind. Whether you enjoy video games, reading, athletic activities, oil painting or movies, create time in your daily schedule to relax and enjoy these pleasures.
Calm the Negative Self-Talk
Negative mental comments can undermine your ability to manage your life in your daily activities. You may find yourself criticizing the things you say, your behaviors, the way you dress and a thousand other details that may be less than perfect. Understand that everyone else is living a less-than-perfect life also, and actively quiet the negative internal conversation. You will soon get into the habit of ignoring the negative self-talk and will be able to function in your daily life with greater confidence.
Connect With Others
Changing your life after addiction can feel like a lonely endeavor. You have to severe past relationships with using friends and acquaintances. The support of your family members and close friends becomes even important, and you should foster these healthy relationships as much as possible, while still attending to the work of rebuilding your life. They can provide a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on and companions for fun and new activities.
Foster Spiritual Growth
The process of rebuilding your life after addiction can be rigorous, and meaningful spiritual and psychological support of a church, temple or meeting group can provide comfort and encouragement for daily life. Many people in recovery re-discover the religion they learned in their childhood years. Others are inspired to look for new spiritual outlets.
Take Your Medication
Self-care also includes taking the medication you have been prescribed to support your sobriety. These may include medications for depression, anxiety or other conditions that you may have “self-treated” with substances in the past. If you are having side effects from your medications, talk to your physicians or therapist to find an alternate drug that may suit your needs better.
Attend Support Group Meetings
Research suggests that support group meetings can have a significant effect on success in recovery. Although you may not consider yourself a “joiner,” individuals in these groups can provide valuable experiences and tips to help you through difficult periods and problems during recovery.
Self-care isn’t an act of selfishness. Addiction experts know that it is an intrinsic part of developing healthy habits that supports sobriety and a productive life. If you are out of the habit of caring for yourself with love and attention, take the time to develop the actions that will help you manage your day-to-day life more effectively.