How to prioritize self-care in recovery

What is Self Care?

Self-care is simply taking care of ourselves. It is how we show love to ourselves and prioritize our health over all else. Self-Care can be anything that brings you peace, joy, happiness, or a sense of purpose. 

For some people, self-care is going to church. For others, it may be journaling on the beach after a yoga class. Regardless of your self-care, as long as you make it part of your routine, you will benefit from it. 

How Do I Make Self Care a Priority in Recovery?

Making self-care a priority in recovery is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It will help you to learn compassion for yourself, new coping skills, and the ability to give to others. Prioritizing self-care can feel challenging, especially early in recovery. But as soon as you get a good plan down, it becomes much more manageable. 

Creating a Self-Care Plan

Creating a self-care plan can sound intimidating. It doesn’t have to be, though. As long as your plan includes specific self-care activities that you can do regularly, you are setting yourself up for success. 

Your self-care plan can include things like exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time outdoors. Make sure to schedule these activities into your daily or weekly routine. Also, it’s essential to make them non-negotiable. If you need accountability to stay on track, consider asking a loved one to be your cheerleader. 

Learn to Recognize Your Triggers

Understanding what triggers your desire to use is crucial in maintaining your sobriety. Identify the things that trigger your cravings and plan how to manage them. We can recognize our triggers by paying attention to our minds and bodies. Let’s listen to our inner guidance system. We can usually tell when something is making us uncomfortable or vulnerable to unhealthy decisions.

A plan to deal with triggers is vital to include in your self-care plan. Your plan could involve avoiding certain people, places, and things. It could also include practicing relaxation techniques, square breathing, going to a meeting, or reaching out to a support system.

Prioritize Healthy Habits

Self-care in recovery should include creating healthy habits. Habits like eating well, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise, can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Make sure to have these habits as a priority in your self-care plan.

Scheduling your meals, or at least some of your meals, throughout the week could help reduce the stress around mealtime, grocery shopping, and even budgeting. Maybe even consider having a time where you consistently go to sleep and alarms to wake up at the same time every day. Sleeping at the same time every day can be beneficial to all of your bodily systems. Regularly exercising can also improve your sleep quality and activate many feel-good hormones, boosting your mental health. 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness incorporates practices such as meditation, pilates, journaling, deep breathing, and yoga. These techniques can help to reduce stress, improve focus, and promote relaxation. Incorporating mindfulness practices into your self-care plan can help improve mental and physical health and encourage relapse prevention.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction is one of the best-kept secrets in health care. The more you learn to incorporate and prioritize mindfulness in your everyday life, the higher your chances of being physically and mentally healthy.

Reach Out For Support

Recovery can be a lonely and difficult journey. It is vital to have a support system in place. Reach out to loved ones and support groups to build a network of people you can turn to for support and encouragement. 

12-step type groups are some of the most common support groups you will find on your recovery journey. Getting a sponsor can be immensely helpful, especially in your early stages of recovery. Having someone there for you when you need them could be the difference between relapse and staying on the path to recovery. 

Remember That Self-Care is Not Selfish

Many of us in recovery struggle with feelings of guilt or shame. It is important to remember that self-care is not selfish. In fact, it is necessary for maintaining your sobriety and overall well-being. We can’t give from an empty cup, so keeping yours filled is the opposite of selfishness. 

Whenever you start feeling guilt or shame, remember that you are practicing self-care to be whole, healthy, and there for those you love.

Take Time For Yourself

Set aside time for yourself each day to do something you enjoy. This could be reading a book, listening to music, or taking a walk. Taking time for yourself can help to reduce stress, stabilize your mood, and improve your mental health.

Be Patient With Yourself

Recovery is a journey, not a destination. It can take time to develop new habits and coping mechanisms. Steps off the recovery path are a normal part of the process. Be patient with yourself and remember that progress, not perfection, is the goal. 

How Can Agape Treatment Center Help with Self-Care?

Agape Treatment Center treats many different mental health programs. Agape has a meditation and mindfulness program and a yoga 12-step integration. No matter your self-care needs, their caring staff can help. Call today to find out if Agape is a good step in the right direction for your recovery journey. 

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