As substance abuse spirals out of control, it’s easy to forget the importance of basic necessities such as managing stress, working out, or spending quality time with friends and family. Drugs can function as a quick fix to escape the hardships and realities of life. Overcoming the disease of addiction means focusing on addressing underlying concerns. Self care in recovery can help individuals gain clarity and identify better ways to cope with everyday struggles and possible relapse triggers.
Addiction is often described as a downward spiral. What this means is that over any significant period of time the life of the individual can deteriorate. Addressing self care in recovery is critical to help with long-term sobriety.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact AspenRidge Recovery today directly at 855-281-5588.
What Is Self Care?
Self care is part of the answer to how we consider coping with the stresses of everyday life. Self care means identifying ways to address both mental and physical wellbeing and, more specifically, giving your body what it needs as routine practice.
According to the World Health Organization, the practice of self care is defined as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.”
By definition, taking care of self means addressing different components and needs that can help us achieve better overall health. These components can include:
- Mental Health
- Physical Activity
These factors can help individuals identify healthier ways to deal with concerns and day-to-day worries.
Self Care & Mental Health
Mental health is a critical component of overall health, yet often neglected. While eating right, getting enough rest, and being active are important, mental health — when not properly addressed — can cause stress, anxiety, and other issues. Dual diagnosis describes the instances when a person is facing mental health concerns while simultaneously battling with addiction. Often, these conditions occur together.
Those in early recovery often describe sensations of overwhelming emotions and feelings of being out of control. After prolonged substance abuse, it can take awhile for the brain to recover and heal, before returning to natural functionality.
Why Is Self Care Essential for Mental Health?
Taking care of your mental wellbeing may not be as cut and dry as tending to physical needs such as hydration, hygiene, and food. However, even simple self care tasks can be impactful for mental health.
Techniques that revolve around self care and general lifestyle changes can help a person manage symptoms of mental health issues. In some respects, practicing self care can help prevent some problems from developing or worsening. Self care routines and tasks can help a person build resilience toward everyday life stressors, many of which are unavoidable.
Self care is important to mental health because it helps put into perspective the everyday tasks that, on the surface may seem trivial, but are actually geared toward promoting awareness and long-term sustainability for reducing chances of anxiety, depression, and stress. Self care in recovery can also reduce the chances of relapse.
Self care relies on increasing self awareness. Think about practicing the following when in recovery:
- Identify things and people that matter to you most
- Create environments that support new perspectives, outlook, and changed mindsets
- Get sleep and rest whenever possible
- Find exercise routines that work with your lifestyle
- Practice healthy eating habits
Adopting self care routines into daily or weekly rituals is not only vital for mental health, but research suggests that it also contributes to feelings of confidence, creativity, and helps us feel more productive. Self care can also help individuals find and experience more joy, make better decisions, build strong relationships, and communicate more effectively.
What Is Emotional Sobriety?
One of the cornerstones of addiction recovery is emotional sobriety. Those suffering from the disease of addiction will often find it necessary to address negative feelings and emotions while in recovery. Negative feelings, when they’re unregulated, can often lead to discomfort, cravings, and ultimately end in relapse.
Addressing negative emotions that may have contributed or led to addiction is also highly important. Self care in recovery is one method of addressing negative emotions. Throughout treatment, individuals will have a chance to practice needed skills for emotional sobriety. Some skills attained can be found with tools that include:
- Accepting emotions — both good and bad
- Behavioral therapy
- Community support
- Holistic therapies
It’s natural to feel a wide range of emotions on any given day. Emotional sobriety refers to the practice of being comfortably present with current feelings, without them defining or controlling you.
Simple Self Care In Recovery Techniques
If you are intentional about self care and would like to learn various ways to cope with negative or detrimental feelings while in recovery consider the following. It’s important to note that self care should be made a priority if long-term sobriety is the ultimate goal. Self care might look like:
- Discovering a hobby you enjoy
- Eating a healthy diet
- Enjoying dinner with a supportive friend
- Finding an exercise program
- Going for walks
- Participating in therapy
The disease of addiction demands that drug abuse continues indefinitely. With substance use disorder, it’s easy to neglect health in pursuit of the next fix. As dependency progresses, addiction becomes a way of life where mental health and overall wellbeing is neglected. Many will, instead, use substances as a way to cope, even if they are causing or contributing to continued alcohol and drug abuse.
Self care in recovery helps individuals to learn alternative methods of coping. It also promotes self awareness of emotions and, ultimately, triggers that may hinder progress of sobriety or even help individuals avoid relapse altogether.
AspenRidge Recovery: Promoting Self Care In Recovery
AspenRidge Recovery provides a unique dual diagnosis approach for substance abuse treatment. Our tailored programs address — no only substance dependency and overcoming it — but also underlying mental health issues that may halt progress toward long-term recovery.
Our individualized treatment options help to identify different approaches for overcoming problematic alcohol and drug use. We work to create relapse prevention plans and promote self care in recovery. We can help individuals and families find the tools needed to cope with difficult life stresses, traumatic events, and more. Contact us today to find out more about our treatment.