Addiction consumes your entire life. For most addicts, their number one priority each day is to get high. From the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep, they are focused on getting money, getting their drug, and then using. This process repeats itself day after day. An individual who is in active addiction has no quality of life; every aspect of their life is impacted.
The National Institute of Health covers the topic of proactive self-care in recovery and says:
Substance use disorders are characterized as “maladaptive patterns of substance use leading to clinically severe impairment or distress” potentially affecting physical or psychological functioning; personal safety; social relations, roles, and obligations; work; and other areas (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Substance abusers seek help quitting drugs not as an end in itself, but as a means to escape these negative consequences and to gain a better life. Accordingly, while substance abuse treatment seeks to promote abstinence or at least significant reductions in substance use, its ultimate aim is to improve the patient’s quality of life. (NIH)
Inactive addiction an individual does not take good care of themselves there is little to no self-care. Once a person begins recovery, this all changes. It can be very difficult and overwhelming trying to adjust back to somewhat of a normal life, but it is the key to success.
Self-Care Tips for Men and Women in Recovery
Part of self-care is connecting with other people, maintaining a healthy balance in your life, and setting some healthy boundaries.
Here are some other tips for practicing self-care while in recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism:
- Get plenty of sleep – adequate rest is very important for a healthy life and recovery. When we aren’t getting enough sleep, we are not mentally and emotionally able to fight off triggers.
- Exercise – when you exercise, it helps one’s entire well-being. It increases energy, improves mood, reduces stress, and makes you feel better overall.
- Eat a healthy diet – having a healthy diet helps you feel good as well. It also improves mood and concentration.
- Have fun and relax – implement a fun activity that you enjoy into your life, or find a hobby. When you are happy, you are less likely to use it.
- Stay mindful or in the moment – being proactive about your state of mind will help you to stay focused and avoid any negative emotions.
- Reduce stress – stress is one of the number one triggers for relapse. Practicing good self-care helps to keep your stress levels down.
And, always remember the acronym HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). If you catch yourself getting triggered or having any bad feelings, ask yourself if you are experiencing any of these negative side-effects. These negative feelings are responsible for a lot of relapses.
Self-Care is Essential in Early Sobriety
It can be really hard to start practicing self-care after years of neglecting yourself. Many recovering addicts may feel like it is selfish, or that they aren’t deserving, but this is far from the truth. They are deserving, and practicing good self-care is not being selfish.
Self-care is a very important part of a healthy recovery, and it is necessary for long-term sobriety. Practicing self-care helps one to maintain a stable mood. It can lead to increased motivation, more energy, and better coping skills. Self-care gives you confidence and greatly improves a person’s health and well-being.
Evidence-Based Treatment for Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Recreate Life Counseling offers evidence-based addiction treatment programs. Our cutting-edge addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.