Addiction Recovery

5 Ways That You Can Practice Self-Care

Self-care is important in recovery. You can do five things to practice self-care to help you beat your addiction and prevent relapse.

5 Ways That You Can Practice Self-Care

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

August 9, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

When you are struggling with addiction, you may lose the ability to take care of yourself. As life begins to revolve around drug addiction, it can be common to start eating poorly, develop a disturbed sleep schedule, and fail to take time for yourself in meaningful ways.

As self-care becomes disrupted, it will significantly impact your mental, emotional, and physical health, making recovery even more difficult.

What Is Self-Care?

Self-care is any action you take to promote your well-being. This can include physical acts such as eating and sleeping or taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally by relaxing or engaging in social activities.

Unfortunately, it can be common to view self-care as a luxury, which can make it more challenging to balance daily life while still making time for yourself.

Self-care is a crucial practice that helps build resilience against stressors. Building resilience is essential when recovering from substance abuse, as you will face withdrawal, cravings, and burnout throughout your recovery journey.

Following a schedule based on self-care will help you develop healthy coping mechanisms to help you overcome your bad days during recovery.

5 Types of Self-Care and How to Practice Them

By incorporating the following five types of self-care into your routines, you can achieve more balance in your life and improve your emotional, mental, and physical health. Understanding these types of self-care and how to practice them will help you develop a schedule that allows you to practice self-care while handling your other responsibilities.

#1. Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care revolves around eating, sleeping, and exercising. Practicing physical self-care not only helps your body stay healthy, but it will help you with your mental health as well.

When you do not sleep, eat well, or exercise, your brain will not get the proper nutrients or rest needed to function appropriately. This can lead to feeling physically sick and exacerbate depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions, making recovery even more difficult.

You may struggle with physical self-care since day-to-day life can make it challenging to find the time to practice it. However, there are a few simple things you can do that will help make practicing physical self-care easier:

  • Food Prepping: Taking the time to make a meal every day may seem like a pipe dream. Fortunately, with food prep, you can make your meals in advance when you have extra time. If you have a crockpot or pressure cooker, you can throw a meal together that can last you for the entire week in a matter of minutes. Most recipes take 15 to 30 minutes to prepare. Although these recipes can take several hours to cook, you do not have to monitor most recipes strictly. This means that you can set it and forget it, allowing you to tackle other tasks while your meal is cooking. 

  • Exercising: You do not need a gym membership to get enough exercise to stay healthy. Spending 30 minutes every other day walking, swimming, or using a home workout video on YouTube will help your body get the energy it needs.

  • Sleeping: Before your bedtime, shut everything down. Take an hour to unwind and unplug to help you relax into a good night’s sleep.

#2. Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care is the practice of processing your emotions in a healthy way. When in recovery, you may have times when you feel overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious. Identifying healthy coping mechanisms to deal with these negative emotions will help you overcome cravings to avoid relapse.

Tips for practicing emotional self-care include:

  • Talking to friends and family members about your emotions

  • Journaling

  • Setting aside leisure time to cool down

  • Speaking to a therapist

#3. Mental Self-Care

Mental self-care helps you stimulate your mind by engaging in activities you enjoy. This can limit feelings of boredom, which have been shown to increase the likelihood of relapse. Mental self-care is one of the easiest types of self-care to practice because there are endless options such as:

  • Participating in outdoor recreation such as hiking, swimming, or playing sports

  • Doing a puzzle

  • Reading a book

  • Playing music

  • Watching an inspiring movie 

  • Researching a fascinating subject

  • Making art

  • Playing a game

#4. Social Self-Care

Social self-care focuses on helping you build lasting relationships. Relationships are crucial to recovery because they allow you to have a support system that will be there for you on your hard days and hold you accountable for your recovery goals.

Practicing social self-care can include:

  • Facetiming or calling a loved one

  • Getting coffee with a loved one

  • Setting up an activity with friends or family

#5. Spiritual Self-Care

Although spiritual self-care can be religious, it does not have to be. Spiritual self-care is any activity that allows you to feel closer to yourself and the universe surrounding you. Practicing spiritual self-care can allow you to experience gratitude and help you develop a deeper sense of meaning.

Spiritual self-care can include:

  • Meditating

  • Spending time in nature

  • Praying

  • Attending a religious ceremony

Your Total Well-Being Comes First at The Forge Recovery Center. We Value Self-Care!

At The Forge Recovery Center, we believe our patient’s well-being comes first. We are focused on helping those we serve to develop tools that will allow them to lead happy, healthy, and drug-free lives when they leave recovery.

We understand that no two people are the same, which is why we teach a wide variety of self-care techniques to ensure you re-learn to love and take care of yourself in ways that match your values and beliefs and that work with your daily schedule.

Our expertly trained staff will help you get back on track by helping you build a program rooted in self-care and assisting you in developing lifelong relationships with peers who share your recovery goals.

Recovery can be hard, but we are here to make it a fulfilling journey. If you have questions about treatment options, contact The Forge Recovery Center today!

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