In active addiction, you’ll rarely hear the words “self-care”. When you were using drugs, you probably used your drug of choice as a remedy to your problems and stress. In reality, getting high and working to get more of your drug of choice can be very stressful. There is never a moment to relax when you’re stuck in a spiral of active addiction.
That’s why, when you first get clean, self-care is one of the first tools you’ll want to try out. What does it mean, exactly, to practice self-care? For many women, it means to take a few minutes to de-stress, no matter what your other obligations may be. Giving yourself about 15 minutes a day to take time to unwind is an essential way to begin healing the wounds of active addiction. The best part is that self-care is free, and there are many ways you can do it around the clock.
Many people with a substance abuse disorder aren’t used to taking care of themselves. You may have played a role as a caretaker of others, even while you were using, but that didn’t help you look after yourself. Now, you have the opportunity to really help yourself grow and heal. No matter what obstacles you face, taking the time to practice self-care can help you face them with less anxiety and stress.
5 Quick Ways to Practice Self-Care
You’ll want to find what works best for you, but that may take some experimentation. Here are some ways that people in recovery choose to practice self-care:
- Mindfulness mediations. Taking a moment to close your eyes, focus on your breathing and listening to the sounds of the world around you can help you “get out of your head” and live in the moment. There are a few suggestions here you can try for mindfulness.
- Try yoga. Stretching quietly can help your body as well as your mind unwind and yoga has been used for centuries to help people become healthier and happier.
- Take a long bath. Light some candles if you have them. If you live with others, ask for privacy and make sure the tub will be free for at least a half hour.
- Learn something new. Take a class or join a book club. Watch Youtube movies to learn how to decorate cakes. There are many ways to learn new things, and very few cost money.
- Use a coloring book. Adult coloring books are a fun way to unwind and express yourself. Or, go even farther by purchasing a sketchbook and doodling when you’re feeling stressed.
There are many more ways to learn self-care, but these should get your mind flowing. Just make sure you give yourself time each day to feel a little stronger and better.
If you’re not sure of ways to take care of yourself or de-stress, ask your support network or sponsor what they do. There are a lot of great suggestions out there, and no right or wrong answers.
Are you ready to get help for your substance abuse problem? That’s great. We’re here to help. Give us a call at 1-800-970-8774. You’re worth it, and recovery is possible!