Addiction recovery is a long and challenging process. There are many types of treatments available, from the standard 12-step recovery plan to non-12 step rehab Irvine. Many facilities that aim to cure addiction may believe that simply abstaining from substance use is enough to achieve long-term sobriety. However, the reality is that recovery is a holistic process that requires a comprehensive approach to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of an individual. This is why treatment centers like Zoe Behavioral Health include self-care in their treatment plan.
What is self-care?
The term ‘self-care’ is used to describe any action taken on purpose by an individual to improve his or her own psychological, physiological, and social well-being. When individuals neglect their own needs, they experience stress and fatigue that can, in turn, lead to addictive behavior. Self-care practices can vary from person to person, but commonly includes basic activities like working out, getting enough sleep, and engaging in hobbies. By encouraging people to put themselves first, self-care can improve their quality of life.
Why is self-care important in recovery?
Addiction can take a significant toll on an individual’s physical and mental health. Substance abuse can lead to a range of health problems, including liver damage, heart disease, and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, addiction is not only detrimental to one’s professional and academic pursuits, but also to personal and social relationships.
Self-care can support recovery by helping people build a positive sense of self while coping with the challenges of addiction. It can also allow them to feel like they have more control over their actions which will help them become more resilient. By prioritizing self-care, individuals can develop healthy coping mechanisms that enables them to manage stress, anxiety, and other triggers that may lead to relapse.
What are some helpful self-care practices?
Incorporating self-care practices into a recovery program can be challenging, especially in the early stages. However, with time and effort, individuals can develop healthy habits that promote physical, mental, and emotional health. Some recovery facilities also include activities such as yoga, meditation, or exercise to encourage recovering individuals to start engaging in self-care.
Meditation – Mindfulness practices such as meditation can help individuals in recovery reduce stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and promote overall well-being. At the same time, meditation may be able to help individuals cope with the emotional pain triggered by confronting their addiction. Through the practice of meditation and mindfulness, people in recovery can learn to deal with negative emotions and recognize their patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions.
Exercise – Research has shown that regular physical activity can reduce anxiety and depression, facilitate better sleep, and improve overall health. Exercise can help individuals in recovery combat boredom and develop a sense of purpose. It may also help individuals detoxify from alcohol and drugs by reducing cravings and increasing energy. Certain types of exercise, such as yoga, are particularly effective by cultivating focus and attention on the body.
Journaling – Writing in a journal can be a therapeutic way for individuals in recovery to process their thoughts and emotions. The act of writing itself is cathartic and releases tension and stress. People in recovery often feel unburdened when putting their thoughts and feelings down in words. By looking back on their entries, individuals can better understand their thought patterns and emotional responses and how they react to certain triggers.
Being creative – Engaging in creative activities such as writing, painting, or playing an instrument can be an enjoyable way for individuals in recovery to express themselves. It can also reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for relapse. In addition, creative activities can help individuals develop new skills and interests, which can increase feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. Creative self-care should include fun and easy activities and not those that may be too difficult and add stress.
Spending time in nature – Spending time in nature can be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience and can help people in recovery relieve stress and feel happier. Nature provides space for individuals to reflect, meditate, and connect with a higher power or spirituality. This connection with the universe can help people develop a sense of purpose—which is an important aspect of recovery. A recent study also found that people who could see green spaces from their homes experienced reduced cravings for unhealthy substances!
Eating well – Addiction can take a toll on a person’s physical health and damage their liver, heart, and other vital organs. Many people in recovery often struggle with poor eating habits such as skipping meals or relying on junk food. Incorporating a healthy diet into a recovery program can help individuals establish a sense of routine and structure. Furthermore, eating well can support the body’s natural healing process and provide individuals with the energy and focus needed to engage in other aspects of their treatment.
Nurturing relationships – Recovery from addiction is a challenging process that often requires a network of individuals to offer encouragement, accountability, and guidance. These people can include family, friends, peers in recovery, or healthcare professionals. Other ways to nurture positive relationships may include participating in support groups or engaging in community service. By fostering healthy relationships, individuals can build a strong support network that promotes long-term sobriety.