Treatment for addiction requires a complete lifestyle change in order to be successful. Many find when entering recovery that addiction has caused them to neglect their own needs. Part of the recovery process is addressing these needs to ensure a person is better able to care for themselves following treatment. Practicing self-care not only helps clients improve their mental and physical health, but it also helps them develop the tools needed to support sobriety long-term.
Well Rounded Self-Care
Addiction changes a person’s priorities and a significant part of recovery is reestablishing healthy patterns. There are multiple facets to self-care that must be addressed to improve overall wellbeing. While some may view self-care as a luxury they cannot afford, in reality, self-care should be prioritized in order to reduce stress levels and help a person become better equipped to handle life’s challenges without resorting to substance abuse as a means of coping.
One of the most obvious areas of focus in addressing self-care is related to how you take care of your body. Drugs and alcohol can cause substantial damage to the body and negatively impact how a person feels. In order to combat this, focus must be placed on nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
A balanced diet, adequate sleep, and regular exercise can improve recovery outcomes. Not only does this help the body recover from the damage caused by substance abuse, but it also improves self-esteem, feelings of self-worth, and overall health. Making these changes ensures you are taking care of your physical health and can also improve physical appearance, further boosting mood.
Substance abuse can often be linked to underlying mental health needs. A desire to self-medicate for symptoms of mental health issues, an inability to cope with stress, or an urge to escape circumstances can all be motivators for substance experimentation. Unfortunately, substance abuse often exacerbates symptoms of conditions and worsens with time. Part of recovery is learning how to cope with challenges in a healthy, productive way.
Healthy outlets are important to recovery as they improve the treatment process and reduce the risk of relapse in the future. Finding new things to learn about, exploring new activities or interests, and engaging in therapy or counseling can improve mental health in a number of ways. By becoming more introspective, self-reflecting, and making time to explore interests, you can sharpen your mind and become more engaged with the world around you.
Emotional health is closely linked to mental health. Much like mental health, taking care of your emotional health means making time for things that help you destress, express yourself, and deal with challenges in a healthy way. This is a highly individual process and will be unique for each person.
Having someone you can confide in and hobbies that engage you can help you process your emotions in a healthy way. Rather than resorting to substance abuse to deal with difficult emotions, finding ways to cope in a healthy way can help you protect your sobriety moving forward and improve overall wellbeing.
Substance abuse can put a great deal of strain on existing relationships. A great deal of recovery focuses on mending relationships damaged by substance abuse and learning how to develop healthy relationships moving forward. Early recovery can be especially difficult, as many must cut ties with those they used to abuse substances with. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are almost inevitable and make recovery hard to cope with, especially early in the process.
Everyone is different in terms of how much time they require to feel socially connected. What is important is making time for family, friends, and loved ones to cultivate meaningful relationships. It can be difficult to make time for social activities when life gets busy, but it is important to maintain your social life as having a healthy support system is vital in recovery. Putting time and effort into your relationships can be fulfilling and vital to your sense of wellbeing.
Spirituality does not require you to be religious or engaged with religion at all. Anything that helps you find meaning, connection, and purpose in the world can be spiritually engaging. Going through life without feeling a sense of purpose can be difficult to cope with, which makes finding things that make you feel whole or complete helpful. There is no right answer to what will fulfill this need for you, so exploring options can be impactful.
Meditation, praying, attending services, or being in nature can all provide a feeling of connection to the world around you. You can find a sense of meaning and fulfillment in anything, and activities that help you cope with life and your experiences are vital to self-care.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, we are here to help. Give us a call at 888.855.6877 or send us a message below and one of our admissions counselors will do their best to get you the help you need.