Addiction recovery is an intense and often stressful process. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and become overwhelmed. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your mental and physical health during your recovery.
Practicing self-care techniques can help you maintain balance. Although it won’t always be easy, taking good care of yourself can make the recovery process as smooth and manageable as possible.
If you’re looking for ways to take better care of yourself during drug or alcohol recovery, we can help.
Here are some tips to improve your emotional self-care.
The Importance of Self-Care
The idea of self-care can seem a bit overwhelming for those who have been in active addiction for a long time. You may not be used to the idea of nurturing your mind and body.
Taking care of yourself should be a priority as you reimagine your life without drugs or alcohol in control. It’s not unusual for people in recovery to struggle with finding healthy ways to take care of themselves.
Self-care isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. Your self-care regimen may be completely different than someone else’s.
It’s not just about taking a long bath or treating yourself to a new item of clothing. You want to find ways to nurture yourself and put yourself first once again.
Self-care isn’t selfish. Learning to love and care for yourself is the key to a successful recovery and life beyond.
Having patience, compassion, and love for yourself is the cornerstone to getting and staying sober. You’re worth it.
You may have heard the term ‘mindfulness’ mentioned during addiction treatment. But do you know what it means? Mindfulness is being aware and present in your own life.
It’s about tuning in to your life and dealing with your thoughts, feelings, and emotions in an honest way. Practicing mindfulness allows you to get in touch with your true self and experience all the emotions you’ve suppressed in active addiction.
Connect With Others
Isolation is never a good thing, especially for those in addiction recovery. Addiction, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues tend to thrive in solitude.
That’s why it’s so important to connect with others during your recovery. Finding the people or groups who will support you and encourage your sobriety is essential to long-term recovery.
Attending 12-step meetings like AA and NA are good ways to connect with people who have walked a similar path and can encourage you when you need it.
In many cases, people in recovery must sever ties with destructive acquaintances and form new connections. The key is to have a group of caring and supportive people around you to lift you up and encourage you on your path to sobriety.
Find Balance in Your Life
Society places value on the things people do or accomplish. We often equate how busy we are with our value as human beings.
For someone in recovery who is just getting back into a regular routine, this can be a dangerous concept. When you’re in recovery, it is tempting to try to keep yourself busy to avoid the temptation of drugs and alcohol.
While some activity is normal and healthy, someone in recovery needs a sense of balance. Finding a balance between school, work, and your recovery can be a challenge, but it’s possible.
Working with a counselor can help you pace yourself and develop a healthy emotional support plan. Maintaining a healthy balance can keep you from feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to relapse.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
If you’ve been in active addiction for many years and are now in recovery, it takes time to adjust to your new normal. Give yourself a break and don’t be too hard on yourself.
Do the best you can. You will have good and bad days. You may have times when you wonder if it’s all worth it.
You may experience triggers and intense cravings. All of these feelings are normal, and it’s important to take recovery one step at a time.
Every day you are not using destructive substances is a victory. Be kind and patient with yourself because your sobriety is worth it.
Meet Your Basic Needs
It’s hard to worry about self-care techniques and emotional intelligence when you don’t know where you will live or where you will get your next meal.
These are basic needs that must be addressed during addiction recovery. Before you begin worrying about relationships or joining the local gym, you must first have your basic needs met.
This includes things like shelter, food, and safety. Before you can begin dealing with complex needs and emotions, be sure to have a plan in place that addresses your basic needs first.
Move Your Body
Daily exercise is good for everyone, and that includes people in addiction recovery. That doesn’t mean you need to sign up for a marathon or the trendiest gym in town.
Instead, start small and begin moving your body some every day. This could include walking around your neighborhood or riding a bike down the street.
If you haven’t been physically active for a while, it’s not a good idea to jump into strenuous exercise. Instead, focus on starting small. Stretch and move your body and increase your activity levels over time.
Nourish Your Body
People in active addiction are often malnourished. When addiction takes over, it becomes your primary focus.
For your body to function as it should, you must nourish it. Giving your body healthy food like lean meats, vegetables, fruit, grains, and water will help you function better and resist cravings.
A healthy diet assists in mental clarity and your ability to function well through the recovery process. It’s true that a healthy diet won’t solve your problems, but it can give you the strength and energy you need to tackle them yourself.
Get Restful Sleep
Many people have trouble sleeping as they begin the recovery process. Your mind may be racing with worries and anxieties about what’s to come.
A well-rested body makes everything easier, including addiction recovery. Your mind and body need rest to prepare you for the ups and downs of addiction recovery.
One thing you can do is try to establish a nighttime routine that will calm your brain and help you enjoy more restful sleep. Things like blocking out the light, listening to soft music or white noise, having a cup of chamomile tea, or running a diffuser with essential oils can help you relax.
Recovery is a difficult process, and your body and mind need rest every night. As you try to create more balance in your life, keep a good night’s sleep at the top of your priority list.
Remember to Play
As you begin your recovery journey, you don’t have to be miserable. If you’ve completed addiction treatment, you want to find ways to incorporate some fun in your day that doesn’t revolve around using addictive substances.
Get out and enjoy yourself. Go for walks, go to the park with supportive friends, or take up a new or long-forgotten hobby. Do things that make you feel happy and healthy.
The whole point of recovery is to move on to a better and happier life. Don’t forget the value of playing and enjoying your life.
Set Healthy Boundaries
If you’re battling addiction, you’ve probably spent time with people who encouraged you to use drugs and alcohol or those who simply turned a blind eye to the situation.
When you decide to get sober, it’s important to cut ties with those individuals. Going back to the same crowd and same locations will only drag you down and increase your chance of relapse.
Self-care involves protecting yourself and your sobriety. Taking your sobriety seriously involves setting boundaries and separating yourself from destructive behaviors and people.
How Self-Care Changes Throughout Recovery
Addiction recovery is a long-term process. At every stage of the recovery process, your needs may change.
At the beginning of recovery, you may need to focus on your basic needs like where you will live and how you will support yourself moving forward. As time goes by, you may want to begin some healthier practices, such as exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, and finding more balance in your life.
No matter the stage of recovery, self-care is essential to your well-being and your sobriety. Over time and with the right support, you can find ways to nurture yourself and keep your sobriety on track.
The Value of Emotional Self-Care
When addiction takes over your life, it becomes your primary focus. Self-care typically goes out the window, and your mind and body suffer the consequences.
If you’ve taken the brave step to tackle your addiction, physical and emotional self-care are critical for maintaining your sobriety.
At Cenikor, we understand the devastation of addiction and the value of self-care. We offer individualized treatment programs and are here to support you as you take the next step toward sobriety.
Take a look at our programs today to begin your journey to an addiction-free life.