Most people in recovery experience feelings of guilt and remorse. They tend to feel undeserving of care and that prioritizing themselves first is a selfish act. If you are undergoing recovery from substance abuse, the journey is not just about quitting drugs and alcohol. It is important to recognize that you are starting a brand-new chapter in your life and it is an opportunity for you to have a fresh beginning. For you to be able to maintain long-term sobriety and stay healthy, it is then very important that you look after yourself.
When you practice self-care, you can feel more relaxed and can develop a much more optimistic outlook. You can devote time bettering yourself and taking away all the stresses from your external environment. This can also help you feel less depressed and help you focus on the things that are important in your life. If you are someone who is in recovery, here are some self-care tips and recommendations.
It’s okay to assume a “me-first” attitude
Thinking about yourself first is perfectly okay. It is not selfish to do so. Keep in mind that the only way you can devote time and energy towards other things and people is if you are healthy and happy. If you don’t look after yourself first, the stress and the pressure can push you towards relapse.
There’s always an excuse not to have that spa massage or buy the pair of sneakers you have your eye on. While splurging beyond your budget is not really recommended, giving in to a reasonable indulgence once in a while may be good for you as it can help you feel the fruits of your hard work. This will also lessen your feelings of stress or bitterness. So, on your next paycheck, go on, have that spa day you’ve been meaning to have or buy a new watch. You deserve it.
Being physically healthy is an important ingredient for long-term sobriety. To do this, make sure that you keep yourself active. Go to fitness classes or engage in extreme sports. This will keep you busy and active so you have less time to think about drinking or using drugs. Aside from keeping you fit and strong, this will also help you meet other active people.
Eat nutrient-dense food
There is a saying that food is medicine and this is definitely true. The food that you eat to power your body and affect you in every possible way.
This is why it is important to eat nutrient-dense food. Focus on whole foods like protein, fresh produce, healthy grains, and dairy.
When you eat healthily, it can help make you feel better and elevate your mood. On the other hand, eating poorly can cause you to feel sluggish, moody, and depressed which can all contribute to a relapse.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Keeping yourself busy is very important in recovery because it makes you preoccupied and away from harmful substances. However, it is also recommended to give yourself a break and practice alone time where you can meditate for a few minutes a day. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety, and aggressive response.
To practice mindfulness meditation, devote at least 10-15 minutes of your day where you just sit in a quiet place and breathe slowly. While doing so, let yourself relax and be aware of your thoughts, surroundings, and your emotions. It’s not about shutting down your thoughts to everything, rather, just let it all happen and go with the flow.
When you travel, it is a chance for you to experience new things, new cultures, and meet new people. It will spark your interest anew and make you realize that there’s such a big world out there that awaits you. Traveling can give you purpose and help you refocus what you want to do with your life. It is also a perfect way to give yourself a break so you can recharge. For many people, traveling is also an opportunity for them to explore new places where they can live and thrive.
Let go of negative people in your life
If you’ve ever done a spring cleaning or deep cleaning in your home before, you are probably familiar with the sense of relief right after. It’s as if a big burden was lifted from your shoulders. If clutter and dirt can make you feel that way, imagine the lightness you will feel by keeping yourself away from toxic people in your life.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available. Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center to learn more about our specialized programs.