If you’ve received professional addiction treatment, you probably learned that self-care during your recovery journey is not selfish. In fact, caring for your needs is one of the keys to relapse prevention. During recovery, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. You are cleansing your body, learning how to cope with stress and individual triggers, mending broken relationships and so much more.
If you make everything else a priority and put yourself on the back burner, you increase your risk of returning to drug or alcohol use. Instead, practice self-care early in your recovery process, and you’ll discover a newfound strength you never knew you had.
Why Self-Care Is Important in Recovery
Addiction treatment professionals agree on the importance of taking care of yourself — body, mind and spirit. Self-care is an essential tool that acts as the foundation of your self-help recovery and relapse prevention. Then, you’ll find it’s easier to deal with obstacles throughout your life of sobriety.
While an addict, you probably used drug or alcohol as an escape to numb certain emotions. In recovery, you may find these feelings come flooding to the surface. Self-care plays a huge role in not becoming overwhelmed as you learn to live your life substance-free.
Types of Self-Care
Self-care refers to prioritizing your needs throughout recovery, and can be broken down into three essential components:
- Physical self-care: Taking care of your bodily needs, from getting enough sleep to giving your body the nutrients it craves.
- Emotional self-care: Addiction is an emotional roller coaster. By the time you seek treatment, you’ll likely be emotionally spent and possibly struggling with self-loathing and shame. As you recover, be sure to address your emotional needs. Learn to really love yourself and stay away from negative influences.
- Spiritual self-care: Spirituality is an inner journey out of the darkness of addiction. Whether you pray or practice mindfulness, find something that helps you get in touch with your spiritual self.
How to Practice Self-Care in Recovery
If you have never truly practiced self-care, you may not be sure where to begin. Here are simple self-care techniques to help address your physical, emotional and spiritual needs:
- Get enough rest
- Don’t go hungry
- Exercise or stay physically active
- Get out in nature
- Shut down negativity, whether it’s your thoughts or another person
- Keep appointments with your sponsor, your therapist or your doctor
- Hash out your feelings with a loved one
- Practice self-love
- Find hobbies and activities that interest you
- Spend time with loved ones
- Pray or practice mindfulness
- Keep up with your support meetings or groups
Get the Recovery Tools You Need at Gateway
If you haven’t received addiction recovery treatment for your substance use problem, then it’s time to turn to the professional and compassionate team at Gateway. Our Chicago-based rehabilitation center specializes in evidence-based treatment to ensure you get the tools you need to start living a life of freedom from drugs or alcohol.
If you’re ready to live life sober then contact us online or call us at 877.379.9078.