woman making the shape of a heart with her hands at dusk while hiking and practicing self-care

Self-care is when we take care of ourselves in a way that is nourishing both us and those around us. It’s small things we can do every day to help our emotional health. Using self-care while in addiction recovery is of the utmost importance. It helps keep the recovering addict on their path to a long-lasting sober lifestyle. 

Understanding addiction recovery

Addiction recovery requires replacing the use of substances with healthier counterparts to be successful. It is also necessary to stay ahead of triggers. A lack of self-care leaves you vulnerable to negative feelings and can cause a lack of motivation. If you’re not taking care of yourself, your emotional state suffers, your attentiveness lacks, and your ability to cope with triggers or cravings is diminished.

What does it mean to practice self-care?

Self-care is defined as, “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”. This means taking time for yourself, to improve your life, is important. Sitting with yourself, and listening to your inner dialogue is a great start to figuring out what you really need out of a self-care routine. 

Anything can be considered self-care if it makes you feel good, loved, safe, or productive. It can be as simple as taking a bubble bath after a long day of work, or as challenging as sitting down to write a book. It could be learning a mindfulness practice or yoga. 

Self-care looks different for everyone because our needs vary so much. But, everyone can benefit from self-awareness and self-care.

Everyone benefits from self-care

We all have basic needs that need to be met in order to have a chance of a happy, healthy lifestyle. Our needs are usually broken down into a few categories for everyone, with varying levels of importance. Those categories are typically practical, physical, social, mental, emotional, & spiritual. 

If we take just a few minutes each day to practice one activity from each category, our self-care buckets will stay full. With full buckets, we can pour into our loved ones without it depleting us. The key is to create healthy habits that are easy to continue. 

What is self-care in recovery?

By the time we decide to get sober, our self-care is usually lacking. Because substance abuse is detrimental to the mind, body, and spirit, any length of time in active addiction puts a damper on our ability to care for ourselves, and others. Starting a self-care routine while in the recovery stage of addiction treatment is a great way to sustain long-term sobriety. 

Staying abstinent from alcohol and drugs is the first step in practicing self-care in your addiction recovery path. As we continue to stay clean, we can start adding new practices into our daily routines to build a strong self-care routine.

Adding routines into sober living

Adding routines into sober living can be a game changer! It helps to have a plan in place to keep your self-care at top levels so you don’t start to backslide. Within this self-care plan, there should be routines for each, practical, physical, social, mental, emotional, & spiritual.

Here are some ideas of how you can incorporate each category of self-care into your sobriety.

    • Practical self-care: creating a chore list for your home so nothing gets out of control, following a budget, and meal plan for the week on Sundays
    • Physical self-care: create a healthy sleep space, make regular doctors appointments, take a walk, join a gym or fitness class
    • Social self-care: find sober friends, make time for meals with loved ones, go to a recovery meeting, and share
  • Mental self-care: read a book on something you want to learn, find a podcast that teaches ways to stay sober, take an online course 
  • Emotional self-care: learn a meditation practice, practice breathing techniques to bring stress levels down, journal at the end of the day, and find a therapist or group therapy to attend
  • Spiritual self-care: explore your beliefs, write down your gratitudes, find people with similar beliefs and spend time with them

What therapies can help improve self-care? 

There are many therapies that can improve self-care and emotional wellbeing. Many psychologists prescribe several modalities to their patients to help them on their journey. Bibliotherapy, peer support, mindfulness meditations, relaxation techniques, spirituality, acupuncture, music, journaling, and positive self-talk are just a few therapies that could help recovering addicts fill their self-care buckets.

Seeking professional therapy, or even group therapy would be an excellent start, as well. Having a licensed mental health professional help guide you on the right path ensures you have a safety net if you ever feel as though you will veer too far off the path. Miracles Recovery Center not only offers addiction treatments, holistic rehab, and dual diagnosis programs, but they also have individual and group therapy. No matter where you are in your addiction journey, you are a miracle, and you are worth being healthy. Call an admissions coordinator at Miracles Recovery Center to help make your journey a successful one.