Self-care is a tremendous gift and it’s value increases exponentially when navigating the waters of recovery. As you embark on your recovery journey, it’s more important than ever to safeguard the gains you’ve made and the strides you’ve completed. Practicing self-care is an excellent way to lock in your growth and ensure that all the hard work you’ve put into getting sober solidifies with each passing day.
What Exactly is Self-Care?
Self-care refers to the attention and time we put into taking care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s more than a catchy phrase. In fact, self-care is a powerful way to safeguard the health of your mind, body, and soul.
What Does Self-Care Entail?
Self-care is not difficult, but it does take focus and commitment—qualities you have proven that you have in spades! Self-care routines involve exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating right, and getting enough sleep.
Practicing self-care is intuitive as well as proactive. It takes commitment to observing your needs a day at a time and being willing to show up for them in healthy and productive ways. While many have reported feeling like this kind of attention to self is selfish, practicing good self-care actually increases your usefulness to others. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
It might help to think about self-care in terms of accomplishing your goals and pursuing your dreams. For instance, how well can you be expected to reach your ambitions if your emotional and mental health is subpar? You know the answer to that question: not very well.
How Do You Get Started Practicing Self-Care?
Self-care can be as simple as doing things that make you feel good. Small things like treating yourself to a favorite healthy snack or bigger things like enjoying a spa day, count as self-care! For those just starting a self-care routine, we suggest practicing the basics. These include getting enough sleep, fueling your body with nutritious foods, getting active and breathing fresh air daily, and connecting socially and spiritually.
Each individual’s self-care routine will be unique and specific to them and their needs. Nonetheless, research has shown that consistent self-care practices improve mood and boost energy in general. Below we will elaborate on a few ideas to get you started.
Practice Saying No
Learning to say no when we really want to is a huge struggle for many of us. However, saying yes when you would rather say no often results in overcommitting, drained energy, and resentment. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or spread too thin, agreeing to do something that you’d rather not do will only increase your stress and decrease your ability to fulfill commitments the way you’d like.
Bring awareness to your tendency to say yes despite your needs. Once you are aware of this pattern, you become more able to change it. From there, commit to practicing healthy boundaries by saying no instead.
Try Getting Some Physical Exercise
Science has shown that the mind-body connection is undeniable. When your mind and mood are in a happy and content place, it influences how your body feels. Likewise, when your body and bones are strong and healthy it’s easier for your mood to expand outward with joy.
As you incorporate a practice of self-care, be sure to include physical activities you enjoy. When deciding on activities, consciously choose the ones that boost your mood and feel good physically. Forcing yourself to lift weights or run a marathon if that’s not your thing is more like self-sabotage than self-care!
Try Changing Your Mindset
Instead of fixating on what’s wrong in your life and the world around you, try to shift your focus towards what’s right. While this sounds relatively easy, it can often be challenging, especially if you have spent a good part of your life dwelling on the negative. The upside, however, is that a successful focus shift is one of the most powerful, life-altering self-care methods available.
Try Eating a Nutritious Diet
When it comes to food, self-care in the form of your favorite junk food is definitely acceptable every now and then. However, in the larger picture, foods that cater to self-care are those which science shows benefit the body and the mind. This includes fresh produce, a healthy source of proteins, plenty of healthy liquids to keep the body hydrated, and so on. The end result of incorporating a healthy diet is that you will look and feel better. Your body will function better and you will increase your odds of staying physically and mentally fit.
As you can see, self-care tips can be as simple as applying a few tweaks to your everyday routines. You can start to incorporate these suggestions right now! If you are really committed to your self-care and lifestyle changes, consider working with a qualified professional. Do not hesitate to seek help when you need it, as well as when you want to grow and gain skills that enable you to reach your full potential.
A qualified mental health professional can help you acquire the skills needed to live a healthy, fulfilled, and productive life. If you feel that the best version of you is still waiting to emerge, there is no reason to wait a minute longer!
Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
With the right guidance, support, and accountability, lifelong recovery is possible. All you need to do is reach out. If you find yourself struggling with mental health and/or addiction and believe that a consistent self-care practice, paired with proven treatment strategies, might be able to help, reach out to a professional at Starbent Recovery today.
At Starbent, we support our clients as they learn to implement self-care, among other coping strategies into their daily lives as a means of sustaining recovery and living a healthy and happy life. For more information on our tiered programs and services, call us at (800) 673-0176.