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How To Exercise Self-Care in Addiction Recovery

How To Exercise Self-Care in Addiction Recovery

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things anyone will have to do. But it can be made easier.

Addiction can significantly impact your life and mental health and result in substantial changes to your lifestyle. When you spend all your time and energy focusing on overcoming addiction, it’s easy to let other aspects of your life slide.

But practicing self-care is an integral part of addiction recovery, and it’s usually overlooked. Taking care of your body and mind is a great way to prioritize your overall health and regain control of your life.

If you’ve been struggling to find ways to take care of yourself, read on to learn more about practicing self-care and how it can help with recovery.

What Is Real Self-Care?

When we talk about self-care, most people assume this relates to staying in bed, painting your nails, going to a spa, or having a movie night with friends. While these are all elements of self-care, proper self-care can be about so much more than this.

Self-care is an act or habit that is beneficial for your overall health in the long term. This can often include doing things you may not want to, such as sorting overdue paperwork, exercising, and cleaning. 

Self-care isn’t the same for people struggling with addiction recovery as it is for others. It doesn’t always mean taking a bubble bath or retail therapy. Self-care can be challenging, but it’s always worth it.

Ways To Practice Self-Care For Addiction Recovery

Self-care can be split into three main categories; mind, body, and spirit. People undergoing addiction treatment can struggle to find ways to take care of all aspects of life. Part of addiction recovery is learning to replace self-destructive behaviors with healthier habits.

Taking care of your mind, body and spirit can help increase your motivation and mood and make the recovery journey smoother. Small acts performed regularly can significantly impact your health and well-being.

Here are some tips on taking care of yourself as you overcome drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and substance abuse.

Self-Care for the Body

Substance abuse can be incredibly hard on the body. Furthermore, drug rehab and withdrawal can also punish your physical health. It’s essential to find ways to help nourish and care for your body as you recover.

Self-care for your body usually begins with detox and addiction treatment programs. Once this intense period is over, you will need to find ways to incorporate little acts of self-care into your everyday life.

Examples of physical self-care include:

  • Getting sufficient sleep every night, usually around 8 hours
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Spending time in the outdoors
  • Developing a skincare routine
  • Going to the doctor if needed

Taking care of your body can involve small acts such as getting a haircut, painting your nails, and having a long bath. But it is essential to properly take care of your body during recovery to improve your strength and cardiovascular system.

A healthy body can help improve your mental health and elevate your mood. With physical health linked to mental health, physical self-care is the first step toward recovery.

Self-Care For The Mind

Entering into recovery from addiction can be a considerable strain on your mental health. If you don’t take care of your mental well-being, it can lead to depression and anxiety, further impacting your life and health. Taking care of your mind and practicing positive thoughts is a way to advocate for yourself.

It would help if you thought of self-care as a way to help yourself cope with the stress and difficulties of recovery. You should develop healthy habits and practice positive thinking to ensure your mind is recovering and your body.

You can take care of your mind by:

  • Identifying what causes stress
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Learning a new skill
  • Setting boundaries to ensure respect
  • Cleaning your home
  • Journaling
  • Returning to school to take classes for enjoyment or career

Taking care of your mental health can be challenging at times. You may need to act in a way that feels unnatural if it will benefit you in the long run. Setting boundaries with yourself, colleagues, family, and friends can cause disruption and anger. But, focus on how you will benefit in the future by setting these boundaries now.

Self-care is often about being uncomfortable in the short term to grow and improve in the future. Small acts to improve your mental health can set you up for a more effective recovery.

If you are struggling with mental health issues or feel stressed or burnt out, speaking to a doctor or therapist is also a form of self-care. Asking for help from a professional is also an act of self-care.

Self-Care For The Spirit

One way in which addiction can cause further harm is by making you feel like you aren’t in control or connected to who you used to be. You may follow a specific religion or consider your spiritual journey a connection to your true self. Either way, it is essential to recognize and nourish this area of your life.

Taking care of your spirit can help you reconnect to who you are now and help guide you towards the kind of person you want to be. Think of spiritual self-care as personal growth to help you become the best version of yourself.

Here are some popular ways to practice spiritual self-care:

  • Writing a journal to track your emotions
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Disconnecting from social media
  • Spending time alone with your thoughts
  • Spending time in nature
  • Slowing down to enjoy a slower-paced life
  • Participating in church-related activities that support your faith

This type of self-care can be challenging as you may need to confront some uncomfortable truths. Reflecting and thinking about yourself is often painful but can lead to great insight. Spiritual and emotional self-care is vital for recovering from addiction.

Appropriately done, self-care can help you to reconnect with your purpose, boost your motivation and help your recovery.

Time To Start Taking Care Of Yourself

The recovery journey from substance abuse and addiction is never easy. But small self-care acts can help you promote your health and live your best life. Self-care during addiction recovery treatment isn’t always easy. It can involve some discomfort as you work through existing issues.

If you know someone who would like to help those in recovery, request more information in an Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies Program today. A better future can start right now.

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