Effective self-care techniques are critical for people who are recovering from substance addiction. Self-care helps reduce stress and is central to relapse prevention. You can gradually grow into healthy habits to achieve lifestyle change. In this article, we will break down some easy-to-learn tips that can benefit you.
Tip #1. Build Movement Breaks Into the Day
Physical exercise provides many health benefits. However, when many people envision exercise, they have the image of sweating in a gym for hours. While this works for some people, you can also benefit from building in five-minute movement breaks throughout the day without breaking a sweat. Taking regular movement breaks gives you more energy and helps you de-stress.
In the morning, spend a few minutes doing stretches and gentle movements. Find a few more five-minute segments throughout your day to walk around the block or do a short exercise routine. You might find that before lunch, after work, in your nightly routine, or during a free period at school are great times to work this in. Do what’s best in your schedule.
Tip #2. Plan Your Day Wisely
Spend five minutes each morning planning out your main goals for the day, whether they are work-related, household chores, or beyond. Prioritize the most pressing tasks and be prepared to shelf a few that can wait. In recovery, you must plan ahead to improve your self-management and time management skills. When you start the day off with some sort of plan or goal in mind, it can help your day go smoother without feeling rushed.
Tip #3. Substitute Unhealthy Snacks
What you eat impacts all areas of your health. Pay close attention to the food-mood connection. Along with nutritious main meals, substitute unhealthy snacks with healthier options, such as fruits and whole grain products.
It’s also beneficial to exchange sugary drinks for fresh juice, a sports drink, or just water. Many people who are in recovery tend to develop a sugar addiction because sugar can be an easy replacement to feel the same pleasure that substances provided. To keep a close watch on your sugar intake, make sure you keep your body hydrated and well-fueled with healthy meals, snacks, and drinks.
Tip #4. Spend Five Minutes a Day Laughing
Build mood-lighteners into your day. You could keep a joke book at your desk and read one section each day. Some people like to watch clips from talk shows, comedy specials, or cute animal videos for a good laugh. Engaging with content that makes you laugh is good for your emotional and mental health.
Tip #5. Have a Quick Check-In With Sober Friends
People in recovery need a social life, and friendships need invested time. During your relaxation time, maybe call a good friend or close family member to check in with each other about the day. This should be done with people who are recovery-supportive. Debriefing your day with someone close to you is a good way to achieve emotional healing.
Tip #6. Read a Motivational Quote Each Day
Motivation is necessary to help you adapt, produce, and maintain well-being. It drives you to have a sense of purpose and personal growth. Try spending five minutes each day reflecting on one or two motivational quotes. You can also share it with recovering peers.
Tip #7. Practice Kindness to a Random Person Each Day
Participate in a random act of kindness each day, such as holding the door or giving a helping hand to a stranger. These spontaneous actions can help you re-integrate into your community, brighten someone’s day, and give you a sense of pride in yourself. Not only are you practicing self-care by allowing yourself to be an agent of positive change, but this will also transform into caring for others around you.
Tip #8. Connect With Yourself in Silence
When you feel stressed, taking five minutes to sit in silence with yourself may help unplug your mind from the hustle and bustle of the world. Maybe you need to do this by taking a break from social media. Disconnecting from external sources of information may help restore an internal connection with yourself.
You can get creative with self-care methods. Give yourself a chance to be innovative and active in finding new methods. Lists and gratitude journals are your best friends. Most importantly, ensure you are meeting your own basic needs, including physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects. If you are struggling to practice self-care because of untreated past trauma, it is always a good idea to work with recovery experts and mental health professionals to address the root causes of problems so you can move past them.
How is your self-care life? Self-care is the healthy practice of building intentional habits to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health. There are an endless number of ways to practice self-care, from yoga to reading to cooking to chatting with a friend. Mental health professionals at Laguna Shores Recovery can coach you on creating a healthy self-care routine. Here, our compassionate staff understands the importance of self-care because they have been where you are. We adopt an integrated approach to recovery to care for the whole person. Apart from standard treatment programs including detox, behavioral therapies, and 12-Step programming, we also have a strong aftercare program that connects you with a community of recovering individuals. Call us today to discover how you can be part of our community, as peer support is key to recovery. For more information, call 866-934-5276 today.