When a person is facing addiction, they tend to neglect every part of themselves. On top of putting harmful, life-threatening substances into your body, you also engulf yourself in a poor diet, lack of exercise, poor hygiene, and extreme stress. These things inevitably happen because we are so caught in our own self-destructive behaviors. Once you have removed the drugs and alcohol from your body, self-care becomes a vital part of long-term success in recovery.
Many people do not understand why taking care of yourself once you quit using drugs or drinking. In fact, it is so important because not taking care of yourself in recovery can lead to a relapse. According to a graph shown on NIH, between 40-60 % of people with substance abuse disorders relapse. Fortunately, there are some simple self-care tips to boost your rates for success.
The Importance of Self Care
Generally, most people start using drugs and alcohol to either cope with their emotions, reduce stress, escape from themselves, or reward themselves. Once the addiction has a hold of you, those same reasons for starting can become serious triggers for using. Successful long-term recovery involves replacing alcohol and drugs with healthier options and creating healthy coping skills to deal with these triggers and skills to handle emotional or stressful situations.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself in every aspect, not just staying clean from drugs and alcohol, you suffer. Your ability to cope with cravings and triggers decreases substantially. Having a high level of self-care helps sustain a better and more stable mood as well as providing more energy, motivation, and confidence in your recovery.
Self Care Tips in Recovery
Self-care takes shape in many different forms. Below are different self-care tips for a successful recovery.
- Fuel yourself with a healthy diet: A healthy diet keeps the blood sugar stable, ultimately keeping your mood stable. It also helps control your levels of concentration and energy. Eating a lot of sugar and carbs tends to make us crash afterward, affecting our mood and how we feel physically as well. When you eat nutritious foods, it makes you feel good. When you feel good you are less likely to turn back to drugs and alcohol.
- Get plenty of sleep: Lack of sleep lowers your amount of energy and motivation. It makes it more difficult to focus your mind. It also affects your mood and can make a person irritable and even short-tempered.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise releases endorphins in your body. This improves overall health, a person’s mood, energy, and concentration. It also acts as a good stress reducer. Pent up emotions can easily be let out while exercising, making this a vital component in a successful recovery.
- Meditation: Not only is meditation an important part of recovery, but it also improves a person’s mindfulness. This helps you stay focused and more aware of changing emotions. It also gives you a way to take time to be with yourself and reflect on what you may be lacking in your recovery and life as well as time to think of ways to improve it. Meditation also acts as another good way to relieve stress.
- Seek out healthy friendships: While taking time to be with yourself is important, it is also important to make healthy connections with other people by meeting people in healthy circumstances. Isolation is never good for a person in recovery. It is important to stay connected.
- Make sure to have fun: By finding ways to have fun in recovery, you can see for yourself that you don’t need drugs and alcohol to have fun. Try different enjoyable activities and hobbies as a way to relax and distress yourself.
Self-care is all about protecting yourself and your recovery. Making the decision to get sober and stay that way requires more than just taking away the drugs and alcohol. There are no downsides to self-care for recovering addicts and alcoholics. By indulging in different self-care techniques; you are setting yourself up for long-term success. Why not do everything you can do to be successful!