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The Importance of Self-Care During Recovery

Addiction negatively affects your mood, motivation levels, and self-image. The boost that once came with substance use is now absent, but the stress and anxiety of everyday life don’t disappear. When entering recovery, it’s important to have a self-care routine that promotes healthy coping mechanisms and lifelong healing.

What is self-care? 

Self-care is any activity that serves your mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s meant to refuel you and relieve stress. Taking a walk, eating a healthy snack, getting eight hours of sleep, drawing a bath, or picking up an old hobby can all bring about a positive impact on your life and create resiliency when hard times hit.

However, self-care isn’t self-destructive or overly indulgent. Remember that it should serve mental, emotional, and physical health. Dangerous behaviors or unhealthy activities shouldn’t become norms in the name of self-care.

How does self-care impact recovery?

Many people who turn to substance use do so to cope with stress, negative emotions, or boredom. In recovery, these feelings can become triggers for using.

Successful recovery requires you to replace the substance with a healthier alternative and build resiliency to life’s challenging moments. Self-care can provide this alternative as well as a way to cope with troubling emotions. For example, picking up a new hobby can keep your hands and mind busy and be an outlet for stress and tough emotions.

Self-care also helps maintain a stable mood. With every bit of energy and motivation you receive from self-care, you create a snowball effect that gives you more energy, more motivation, and more reasons to fight for recovery.

Tips for taking care of yourself

  • Fuel your brain and body A nutritious lifestyle makes you feel good and provides mood and energy boosts. When you feel good, you’re less likely to fall out of recovery. 
  • Have some fun every day Self-care should be fun, so allow a few moments of joy in your life every day. 
  • Get plenty of sleep A lack of sleep affects every aspect of your health—mental, emotional, and physical. When you’re well-rested, you can focus on your road to recovery.
  • Get moving Exercise improves your mood, energy, and concentration. Whether it’s taking a walk or picking up a club sport, moving will make a difference.
  • Reduce stress Stress is a common trigger for relapse. Good self-care like sleep, exercise, and regular meditation can keep stress levels down. 
  • Stay mindful Being aware of your mental, emotional, and physical health can help you stay on top of your recovery journey and recognize hiccups before they become real problems.

If you are looking for help in your recovery journey or want to learn more about self-care, reach out to one of our trained clinicians today.

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