The Importance of Self-Care in the Sober Lifestyle
Sobriety isn’t a destination you reach and never look back. Sobriety takes daily effort on behalf of the recovering addict to maintain a life free of substance abuse. It can be a struggle, especially when temptations lurk around every corner, from the backyard barbeque to going to the bowling alley or your friend’s birthday house party. Once you put drug use in the past, you must find new ways to cope, and it focuses heavily on self-care.
Achieving sobriety is not easy. It requires a tune-up of your former life, and you may even need to adjust your social circle, routine, and mindset. That’s because drug abuse is toxic not only to the body, but the mind and spirit, as well. After abusing drugs for months, years, or even decades, you’ll need to train yourself to restore and maintain your mental, physical, and spiritual health in order to enjoy life without the use of drugs or alcohol. How do you do this? By practicing self-care regularly
What Does Self-Care Look Like for a Recovering Addict?
Being an active addict means you abandon concern for your wellbeing – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – it is all neglected in the hope of getting that next hit, that next buzz, or that euphoric high. Self-care promotes your health and wellness in a way that putting down the bottle simply does not match. In fact, regularly practicing self-care can help prevent relapse.
Here are some ways your can take care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually throughout your sobriety journey:
- Physical activity: Exercise promotes “feel good” brain chemicals. You may have heard of a “runner’s high,” which is when the body has a natural rush of endorphins that makes you feel content. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to start, either. Just get moving!
- Healthy diet: The old adage is true: “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” Many active addicts do not nourish their bodies adequately, diminishing their health even further.
- Counseling: Most addicts have a dual diagnosis, meaning they suffer from mental illness in addition to their substance abuse. By talking with a counselor or psychiatrist, you can regulate your stress.
- Spiritual self-care: Holistic care is important, and that doesn’t mean you have to go to church, necessarily. Spiritual practices may include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.
It Takes Practice to “Practice” Self-Care
Addiction is a disease. It was such a strong force in your life that you continued abusing drugs and/or alcohol despite all the negative consequences. You neglected your health to get your hands that next high or buzz, and it became a way of life. While substances used to be your coping mechanism, you can change this. You have the power to take care of yourself without relying on chemical solutions to your problems (excluding doctor-prescribed psychiatric medications).
With time, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without practicing proper self-care.
Contact us at Decision Point Center by dialing (844) 292-5010 to learn more about our addiction therapy treatment options we offer.