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Self-Care and Recovery

The most vital part of recovery is self-care. Self-care can ensure the success of your recovery as much as can asking for help in your healing. While you need not suffer alone, you still need to know self-soothing techniques and how to care for yourself in such a way that you can manage your health on your own. Sometimes, your support system will be unavailable immediately, and knowing self-care methods can help you manage your triggers and crises on your own while waiting for assistance.

6 Self-Care Tips

Practicing self-care can take many forms. You will learn what works best for you as you go through a treatment program and pursue recovery. Balancing your needs with the needs of your work, friends, and family may seem overwhelming, but with proper self-care, managing your recovery will become much more manageable. The following tips can help you with self-care.

#1. Set Goals and Priorities

Your life during and after treatment is not just defined by your conditions or diagnoses. As such, you must consider your wants and desires for your life. Begin building your best life by examining your priorities. What is most important to you? Work? Family? Friends? Recovery? Examine your wants for your best life and start setting goals.

Make your goals specific and achievable. Start small, and you will finish big. Do not believe anyone who says you are incapable of doing something because of your condition. People struggling with addiction and mental health are often found to be essential workers who demonstrate great productivity. So, make your goals and stick with them.

#2. Practice Gratitude and Positivity

A new trend in self-care is gratitude. However, this is not new but is just now gaining traction. Practicing gratitude and maintaining positivity about your life can get you through challenging situations. Recognizing the good things in your life makes you more likely to have and maintain a better recovery experience. If you cannot think of much to be thankful for, start with being grateful for little things: you have a bed, a blanket, a roof over your head, a family that loves you, or any number of experiences for which you can practice gratitude. Again, start with small things, and you will soon find you have many things for which to be grateful and positive.

#3. Make Time for Exercise

Exercise is critical to one’s mental and physical well-being. Exercise produces endorphins, a neurochemical that can help battle feelings of depression and anxiety. Exercise also helps keep your brain and body functioning at their best. Exercise can decrease the risks of many physical health and neurological conditions and reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and lowered brain functioning caused by several other illnesses.

Exercise also helps in a variety of other ways, including practicing mindfulness. Exercise can induce mindfulness of your whole body experience as you stay safe and focused on your body and the people with whom you are being active. Exercise is a whole mind and body experience.

#4. Eat to Ensure Proper Nutrition 

Nutrition is vital for your best functioning. You cannot function and perform well without proper nutrition. According to Deccan Chronicle’s article “Why Carbohydrates Are Very Important for the Brain,” your brain runs primarily on carbohydrates. Healthy carbs will keep your brain healthy and strong. Vegetables and fruits are healthy carbohydrates and always good choices.

According to the University of Michigan Health’s publication “Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, and Blood Sugar,” proteins and healthy fats are also essential for the functioning of your muscles and sustaining energy. Eating fat and protein in moderation as you pursue recovery will help you stay strong and capable of mastering your emotions and energy levels.

#5. Get Enough Sleep 

Getting the proper amount of sleep will help your recovery. Sleeping too much can lead to grogginess and sustain depression. Sleeping too little limits your brain’s ability to process and think clearly. Take time to consider your sleeping needs as they vary from person to person and during certain times in your life. If you are concerned about your sleeping, talk to a healthcare provider.

#6. Practice Self-Soothing Techniques

One of the easiest – yet most challenging – ways to ensure your ability to handle a crisis is knowing how to self-soothe. As you have pursued treatment and recovery, you have probably learned a variety of self-soothing techniques. These techniques can be easily learned and mastered; however, enacting them in moments of crisis can be difficult. Remember, practice makes perfect. Practice self-soothing even when you are not in crisis. Having the skill readily available when you are feeling like yourself makes it easier to practice when you are struggling.

Points to Remember

Learning self-care strategies takes time and effort. Do not expect these strategies to work overnight. You may need some accountability for some of these activities, but once you get started and learn how to start putting your needs first, you will find yourself better able to cope with the requirements of the world post-treatment. Recovery takes time. Self-care helps. You support yourself best when you put forth the effort to care for yourself when not in crisis.

Self-care is critical to your recovery and requires practice as you continue learning how to overcome your mental health and substance abuse issues. You are not alone, and learning how to practice proper self-care takes time and help. If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder or substance abuse, you are not alone. Help in learning how to overcome and cope in a healthy way is always available. At The Guest House, we believe in your ability to overcome. If you have been through our program, we offer Alumni services. If you are just now starting the road to recovery, we offer a variety of services to fit your needs. We know everyone is different and are ready to help you overcome the issues you are facing. Reach out to The Guest House by calling (855) 483-7800 and learn how we can help you learn new self-care skills.