Why Is Self-Care So Important in Recovery?
Self-care is not about indulgence or giving yourself treats. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
A person’s socioeconomic, lifestyle, and environmental factors will define what they consider self-care, which is different for each person. It is the practice of taking care of yourself as you would another person if you were in charge of their physical and mental health. Self-care habits keep you healthy, allow you to do your job well, help you maintain good relationships with others, and help you to meet your daily goals, relax, unwind, reduce anxiety, and live a happier and healthier life.
When you are in recovery, self-care is so much more than getting a pedicure or indulging in your favorite sweets after a long day. It is about filling your cup and ensuring you are doing all you can for yourself to ensure you’re not constantly in survival mode, a state that can trigger a relapse.
Self-care in recovery is a way to give yourself a healthier and happier way of life, helping you deal with daily stress in healthy ways to avoid relapse. You will need to establish your priorities, consider what you believe is important, and think about what you want your future to look like.
When you practice self-care, you:
- Regularly check in with yourself
- Put your own needs first
- Live with purpose
- Set and achieve short- and long-term goals
- Take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually
Self-care in recovery is so important because you must address your innermost needs, healing the underlying issues that caused you to turn to substance abuse in the first place. You will take control back over your life and your well-being as you build healthy habits and work toward living the life you want as a sober individual.
What Are Some Self-Care Options?
Some of the ways you can practice self-care in recovery include:
- Eating nutritional, wholesome, healthy food
- Taking care of your body hygiene
- Seeking medical or psychiatric care when necessary and making sure to take your medication on time as prescribed
- Using stress reduction techniques like meditation, breathwork, or yoga
- Going to regular recovery or peer support meetings
- Getting enough exercise
- Make sure you drink enough water
- Writing in a journal
- Practice gratitude
- Put the phone down, and give yourself a break from the constant stream of news and notifications
- Utilizing positive, productive self-talk and facing negative emotions head-on
- Spending time with supportive friends and family members
- Setting strong boundaries and saying “no” to events or commitments that cause unnecessary stress
- Getting enough rest by practicing good sleep hygiene
- Taking care of your emotional health
- Avoiding depleting or risky behaviors like unsafe sex, substance abuse, etc.
- Spending time each day on nourishing, relaxing, intellectual, or spiritual activities
Check out a list of sober things to do in our blog below:
Ways to Maintain Self-Care Following a Treatment Program
After completing your drug and alcohol treatment program, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice and maintain self-care. Some of the ways to create self-care routines that will stick include:
- Figuring out which activities will bring you joy and help you feel relaxed, safe, and well-balanced
- Sticking with it. The only way to develop a habit is to continue working on it, so go to the gym, write in your journal, or go on your daily meditation walk even when you do not feel like it
- Joining classes, groups, or workshops with other people who will lend support, build your sober community,
- Check in with yourself often and make sure what you are doing is making you feel good and is in keeping with your recovery goals. An activity will not help you stay in recovery if it is adding stress to your life or putting you in danger of relapsing
Benefits of Practicing Self Care
Some of the benefits of practicing self-care include:
- It is free – Self-care does not need to cost money. You can turn ordinary moments into meaningful ones by actions like practicing mindfulness while eating, showering, or going for a walk, you can listen to your favorite songs on your daily commute, or you can turn a daily chore like doing the dishes into a sense of accomplishment
- You will understand yourself better – The more truthful you are with yourself, the better able you will be to dig deep and heal the underlying issues behind your addiction
- You will live longer – Doing activities that help you find a purpose in life has been linked to longer and healthier lives, as has spending time outside, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. Self-care promotes wellness in all areas of life and will prevent you from having to deal with serious health issues later on in life
- You will be better able to work toward your goals – without the constant discomfort, fatigue, low self-esteem, and other issues that arise when you aren’t taking care of yourself, you will have more mental clarity to focus on what you want out of life
- You will be better equipped to avoid relapsing – By taking care of yourself, you will learn to identify times when your physical or mental health is off, and you will be able to take steps to get back on track without turning back to drinking or drug abuse, and through emotional self-care, you will be able to cope with stress and difficult situations in a productive way, remaining committed to your sobriety.
Addiction Treatment Programs That Promote Self Care
At WhiteSands, we offer customized addiction treatment programs with therapies, treatments, and programs that promote self-care like:
- Medical detox and medication-assisted treatment plans with long-term medication management for those who need it
- Social support including group and family therapy, educational programs, and connections to peer support groups
- Emotional care with one-on-one counseling and therapy programs
- Mental health care with tailored dual diagnosis treatment plans that include therapy, medications, and holistic treatments for a holistic approach to healing the body and mind together
- Behavioral health treatments
- Life skills programs provided by case management professionals to set you up for success
In our luxury inpatient treatment center we have amenities that include a pool, a full-sized boxing gym with trainers, holistic spa treatments, nutritional programs, a gym, a lounge with games and movies, and more, helping you get to know yourself better as you rest and recuperate your body, mind, and spirit. We also offer outpatient programs including a partial hospitalization program (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program, along with a long-term connection to our sober community and 12-step fellowships once you complete your rehab.
Please contact WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today to learn more about our full continuum of comprehensive addiction treatment, our luxury rehab center’s amenities, and how we can help you overcome your addiction as you learn the relapse prevention tools and self-care skills that will help you stay sober long-term. You will never be alone in your recovery with WhiteSands.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.