Taking care of ourselves does not always make the top of our priority list. The world around is moving so fast, and change is inevitable. People come in and out of our lives everyday, but the one constant that will always be present is ourselves. Nurturing our relationship with ourselves through healthy, empowering self-care routines may be one of the most beneficial habits adopted during the recovery process.
Recovery can be a vulnerable process.
There are many times when self-limiting thoughts may try to sabotage us, so developing the power to overcome these thoughts is essential. When we are able to push past mental barriers, find some flow in life, and be present in the moments that matter most, we are well on the road to recovery.
There are many ways to care for your mental health during the recovery process. Research has shown that simple activities like practicing positive self-talk may encourage beneficial changes in your life, help break the vicious cycle of subconscious habits, and boost self-esteem. Self-talk practices are as simple as choosing a phrase that resonates with you and repeating it to yourself routinely. For example, a fan favorite is, “I am strong, I am able!” This can be done in the privacy of your own home, while relaxing in bed, sitting in traffic, or at any moment you just need that tiny pick-me-up.
Self-care routines can take many forms, as we all have unique needs. Research has supported the validity of establishing self-care routines, especially for those adapting to new lifestyles or trying to create positive change. Setting a morning or evening routine can be a simple way to have a bit of control over the present situation. This can make all the difference when working through a difficult experience like addiction recovery.
By taking the time to set a small routine for yourself, you are able to predict (even on a small level) the moments to come. This predictability may bring much comfort to those who have felt a loss of direction during recovery. Consider adapting these activities into your morning or evening self-care routine:
- Make a list before bed. This can be as simple as a list of the day’s thoughts or activities or concerns, or as in-depth as a journal entry. This activity helps clear the mind so that lingering worries don’t interrupt our sleep. You could also try the many forms of meditation to combat circular thoughts and get to sleep faster. A good night’s rest is essential to both mental and physical health.
- Plan your week. If you are able and willing, purchase a planner and create a habit of planning your week to come. This activity will help organize not only your thoughts, but also your appointments; it will remind you about support groups or upcoming activities and serve as a great reflection tool to look back at completed tasks. Remember to celebrate your wins, no matter how small!
- Make time for yourself – daily! This is an important one. As mentioned above, we are always going to have a relationship with ourselves, so we might as well make it as great as possible. Nurturing your inner child through expressive activities, such as exploring the arts or engaging in sports, can be a great way to enrich your spirit and celebrate the hard work you have put into your journey.
- Create a safe space. A safe space can be both a physical surrounding that feels comforting, as well as an empowering choice of whom you are allowing to be involved in your life. Knowing when to set strict boundaries with unsupportive individuals can make all the difference in your recovery experience. Also, if you are able, creating a space in your home or in a room that is somehow personalized to your liking may provide a sense of security and groundedness. These steps may contribute to our sense of control over the present.
Other Ways to Practice Self-Care
We often think of self-care practices that focus specifically on our mental well-being, but our physical health plays a key role as well. Topics such as nutrition should be considered when contemplating your self-care routine. We are what we eat, and making the right food choices may have a significant impact on the recovery experience. Nutrient-dense foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, can contribute to hormonal balance throughout the body, which may affect emotional states and mental clarity. Also, sharing meals with others is another way to enhance your mealtime experience and may increase your overall happiness!
Each day is a new opportunity to contribute to your own growth on many levels. Self-care routines and activities will take many forms during your recovery experience. Allow them to change as needed. Take this time of recovery as a chance to get to know yourself and to nurture yourself toward mental, physical, and emotional health.
Please reach out for any further guidance and support. We are here for you and your loved ones. You may contact us anytime.