Self-care is vital for recovery from any substance use disorder (SUD). Our time on self-care improves our success, happiness, and overall well-being. This guide helps you prioritize your self-care goals to focus more on doing what gives you the most fulfillment.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care entails everything from eating healthy, getting exercise to spending quality time with loved ones. Self-care practices can also include people’s passions. For instance, some people enjoy cooking meals, others like reading a good book, and others like going on a long walk or seeing a movie.
In the beginning, it may seem hard to take care of yourself. You may feel sick or out of sorts or have difficulty finding your motivation and energy. When you feel you’re not taking care of yourself, you might become stressed and depressed. Self-care improves our physical and mental health—and we want to take care of ourselves as much as possible, especially during recovery.
Signs That You Need to Prioritize Self-Care
In recovery, taking care of yourself entails more than just physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual factors. It involves making wise choices about your time to benefit your overall well-being, and practicing self-care shows that we value our well-being and time. Reluctance to take care of yourself leads to severe and long-lasting consequences. For example, a lack of enough sleep impairs a person’s mood, ability to concentrate, and capacity to fulfill other responsibilities. There are several signs that you might need to prioritize your self-care:
- Lack the energy or motivation to participate in activities that you once enjoyed.
- Experience problematic sleeping patterns like sleeping too much or not getting enough.
- Diagnosed mental health disorders continue to worsen even with medication.
- Overall, mental well-being takes a dive from increased stress, depression, and mood instability.
- Finding yourself more impatient, short of temper, or agitated when interacting with other people, including colleagues, loved ones, peers, etc.
- Appetite changes like an increased desire to eat or lack of appetite.
- The immune system takes a hit from all the stress, which leaves people more prone to getting sick, like the flu or cold.
- Any time you feel you need to take a break or recharge.
Ways You Can Prioritize Self-Care
By making your self-care a priority, you’ll receive much greater satisfaction in enjoying your life. These are just some suggestions on how to prioritize your self-care goals.
- Brainstorm and identify self-care goals: Brainstorm ideas from your experiences, passions, healthcare providers’ suggestions, etc. Use them as a foundation for your self-care goals. Some worthwhile self-care methods include sleep, exercise, proper eating, making time for fun, spending time with friends and family, a warm bath, attending a recovery meeting, etc.
- Make a list of priorities: One of the most effective ways to prioritize your self-care goals is by listing them in order of importance. Consider focusing the most attention and where you can most easily achieve changes that will lead to better outcomes for you. It’s also a helpful tool to have in your recovery program because it helps you prioritize your goals and focus on what you need to do to take care of yourself.
- Avoid competing priorities: Life is full of daily distractions and busy schedules. It is easy to use work, family, etc., to avoid self-care. By prioritizing the time you spend on your own needs and desires, you’ll be able to get more accomplished in a shorter time. Your self-care goals should be consistent with the goals you have for your health and fitness, so prioritizing two or three of them at a time will help you stay focused on your real priorities.
- Consider the effort: When setting a self-care routine, consider the effort for each activity. That effort entails the time, budget, tools, or people needed to achieve that self-care task. This will help prevent feeling overwhelmed. Such a feeling reduces productivity and leads to procrastination. So take the time to evaluate the effort needed to carry out a new hobby, go to the spa, set up a lunch date, etc. From there, you take one task at a time and break down each task into smaller tasks to complete it.
- Review constantly and be realistic: Regularly reviewing your self-care routine will help you remain focused. There’s only so much you can achieve in one day, a week, a month, or even a year. Distractions happen, and some are unavoidable; therefore, maintain a realistic approach when setting and reviewing your self-care routine. Otherwise, you’ll create false expectations of your capabilities, time, and you’ll constantly feel as if you’re falling behind or not doing enough.
Does Self-care Make a Difference in Your Recovery?
The primary goal of any addiction recovery process is to take care of yourself. During our first couple of days in recovery, we often feel frustrated and stressed out. In order to feel better, we often need to take care of ourselves as much as possible, including self-care.
At Restoration Recovery, we emphasize the benefits of self-care practices. During your individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions, our licensed clinicians will help you set self-care goals. For we understand by taking care of yourself, you can have a better quality of life and a happier relationship.
It is important for everyone—especially people in recovery—to take care of themselves. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. Being healthy and well-balanced is critical for your mind, body, and spirit. Unfortunately, it can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming to balance all your responsibilities and goals and still make it through each day with your sobriety. Make it clear to your support system that you’re doing what you can to stay healthy and happy by practicing self-care. By practicing self-care, you will be able to take better care of yourself when you are in recovery and make your health a priority. At Restoration Recovery Center, our therapists will help you achieve your recovery goals, especially regarding self-care. We value self-care as a vital part of a successful recovery journey. Our licensed clinicians will establish a relapse prevention plan that incorporates self-care habits. To learn more about our treatment program, contact us at (888) 290-0925.