Addiction can affect every aspect of life; especially the self. Throughout active addiction, taking care of the self comes behind using the addictive substance. As a result, an imbalanced lifestyle occurs in terms of neglected self care. An addicted individual will often become malnourished, lack a spiritual connection, and experience emotional symptoms like depression or anxiety because of this imbalance. If an individual in treatment does not learn how to take care of the self outside of treatment walls, these lifestyle habits continue post treatment. For this reason, it’s important that individuals learn and implement a number of self care techniques while they are in treatment. By taking care of the self, individuals in early recovery are less likely to relapse because they are not reverting back to old lifestyle habits utilized during active addiction.
What are Self Care Techniques?
Self care techniques are methods you can use to work on taking better care of yourself. When you don’t take care of yourself throughout recovery, you could be susceptible to relapse triggers. And, as a result, end up relapsing. Yes, recovery is about stopping to use of drugs or alcohol. But, it’s also about breaking bad lifestyle habits so that you won’t feel the need to self medicate with drugs or alcohol any longer. Taking care of the self is more than just eating well and keeping up with hygiene. Self care techniques affect many areas of the self including physical, mental, spiritual, social, emotional, and functional.
Important Self Care Techniques to Utilize throughout Recovery
Healthy Sleep Patterns: Sleep is a essential to healthy brain function. Without a healthy amount of sleep daily, you can experience symptoms like mood swings which may be a trigger for drug use. Make sure to set and keep to a sleep schedule so that you are sure to get enough sleep each night.
Exercise Frequently: Exercise is not only a way to stay in shape and look good, it’s a way to take care of mental health. Endorphins are released during exercise that help us to regulate emotion and mood. This, as a result, can help individuals when dealing with relapse triggers in early recovery.
Eat Well: Food is turned into energy, so it’s what we run off of. Throughout active recovery, individuals frequently neglect healthy eating or even eating altogether. After a while, these habits become routine. It’s important to learn and implement healthy eating so that the body can heal from past drug use. Additionally, eating healthy can help our bodies to function optimally which results in benefits like physical health.
Take it Easy: All too often, individuals are too hard on themselves throughout recovery. One of the most important self care techniques that you can develop is to go easy on yourself. You’re only human. Also, you can’t please everyone. So, don’t overwhelm yourself trying to. Don’t make plans if you haven’t been home all week. It’s ok to say no to scheduling plans to have some rest and relaxation time for yourself. It can be a relapse trigger to overexert yourself during recovery. So, make sure that you are often taking it easy on yourself so that you have a chance to recharge.
Use Mindfulness Meditation: Meditation is a great way to take care of the emotional needs of the self. It forces us to live within the present moment, which is what being mindful means. This can help us to accept who we are and what we’ve done. Acceptance is important for healing and growth in recovery. Also, meditation can help reduce symptoms of anxiety in depression. Take a few minutes out of your day to meditate and reflect on how far you’ve come in recovery.
Attend Meetings, Volunteer, Go to Church: Staying active in your recovery and spiritual communities can greatly help with emotional self care methods. Support is vital for a successful recovery. Humans are social beings, so to take care of the self completely, you must remain social. By instilling a social circle who encourages your recovery growth, you will have the support you need in good and bad times.
Ready to learn more self care techniques and start to live a more balanced life? Give the Lily Pad of St. Augustine a call today at 561-758-1011.