Self-care may be one of the most critical factors in one’s recovery journey. When addiction is experienced in life, the substance at hand can become more important than the person’s health, leading to self-neglect. If one is not taking care of themself, their mood and motivation both suffer, making them more vulnerable to negative emotions and situations. The stress from addiction can create self-destructive behaviors if not recognized and addressed. Drugs and alcohol affect both the mind and the body. As one decides to heal their body from addiction, one must also prioritize healing in their mind to ensure a positive and meaningful recovery.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is a combination of health promotion such as hygiene and nutrition and lifestyle promotion from hobbies or leisure activities. Self-care can be as simple as brushing one’s teeth twice a day or as extensive as taking a vacation getaway. Good self-care is consistent, whatever the action may be. Some examples of ways to practice self-care while in recovery include:
- Fuel your mind and body with healthy food
- Take time for yourself
- Immerse yourself in supportive friend groups
- Stay hydrated throughout the entire day
- Experience the nature that surrounds you
- Create a nightly routine to ensure plenty of sleep
- Exercise by taking a walk or going for a swim
- Take on a new hobby
- Practice mindfulness through meditation or self-reflection
- Listen to uplifting podcasts or read a book
It is essential to keep in mind that self-care techniques and actions are subjective. An individual can begin finding personal self-care techniques by addressing their personal needs.
Self-care is not only doing activities that promote well-being, but it is also recognizing and identifying what kinds of actions bring about specific emotions. Any type of action used to acquire greater self-awareness can evolve one’s recovery journey. Not only does it help to identify triggers that may arise during recovery, but it also can help an individual to recognize personal progress being made long-term. Therapy and counseling can offer professional assistance in self-reflection and identifying individual actions that one can take to promote self-care on a more personal level.
Making Self-Care a Priority
Self-care should be a priority during one’s journey to sobriety. It is essential to dedicate time every day to self-care, as this increases confidence and fosters self-appreciation. These factors can translate directly to how one responds to their recovery, especially if relapse occurs in the process. Recovery can be explained as a journey of self-discovery and newfound awareness for life. What better time to embark on new adventures than during the journey of self-discovery?
The Importance of Healthy Hobbies
Self-discovery can be promoted while participating in new hobbies. As recovery can be a draining process, having a hobby to focus on can increase motivation and add excitement to the journey. Learning new skills can be satisfying and encouraging, especially finding a hobby to excel at. Spending time focusing on new pursuits during recovery can encourage new brain connections, build new friendships, prevent feelings of loneliness, and alter addictive thinking patterns. Consider some of these healthy hobbies as a place to start:
- Participate in community sports
- Locate and attend sober events
- Volunteer in your community
- Take a dance class
- Become educated on a topic you are passionate about
- Find your creative expression through art
- Start hiking local trails
- Learn how to cook
- Find a new form of mindfulness to practice
Setting an Intention
Aside from the many benefits of participating in a hobby, one could also find a hobby by setting an intention. Maybe someone sets an intention to find a hobby that will increase connection with their community. If this is the case, perhaps a volunteering opportunity is a good fit. If someone sets an intention to participate in a hobby that will help them relax, maybe partaking in creative expression work like painting or crafting would be a good fit. Other intentions could include increasing education and knowledge, gaining experience doing something, or testing resilience through a more challenging hobby.
An intentional setting can make the experience of participating in hobbies more intimate and authentic. It can also help bring about more positive feelings of an experience or help cope with a hobby that one realizes they do not enjoy.
Setting an intention can also be a helpful experience for all areas of life. While setting an intention is similar to goal setting, it can help calm and refocus an anxious mind. While stress and anxiety are to be experienced in recovery, especially when trying to acclimate to life outside of treatment, setting an intention every morning can give purpose to each day. This week, be intentional with self-care daily. Identify and participate in a new hobby, and set an intention specifically for that hobby. Focus time on appreciating oneself during the journey of recovery and self-discovery!
Prioritizing self-care in your recovery journey fosters confidence and empowerment. It teaches us to appreciate who we are and that we are worthy of love. It is necessary to take time for self-care daily, as recovery can be a mentally draining process. Revisit self-reflection every day as a valuable tool to identify healthy habits in your daily routine. Finding and participating in hobbies is an excellent form of self-care, as it increases motivation and passion. Setting intentions for your actions can significantly impact your well-being, as it is a form of grounding as you navigate these new waters. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we encourage clients to find meaningful forms of self-care and interact in mindful hobbies. Our goal is to connect you with various traditional and non-traditional recovery methods to help you navigate your personal rehabilitation journey. For more information on our services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.