With the beginning of 2019 behind us and the resolutions many make likely beginning to fall off as they often do, it’s an opportune time to look at what is realistic and manageable, and most of all beneficial, for ongoing self care.
What can you do on a regular basis that will provide the most benefits to you in recovery? Let’s start with caring for yourself emotionally — which typically translates to feeling better physically.
Emotional Self Care
Establishing a meditation routine is one of the best steps you can take towards caring for yourself in recovery. It quiets your mind, something many addicts find difficult, bringing a sense of peace into your life. Meditating first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day. It’s also a relaxing way to end the day — you can let everything that happened during the past several hours drift away.
Practice new self talk
How do you talk to yourself? Often, we are much harsher when talking to ourselves than we would ever consider being with another person. Take a few days to listen to your self talk. If you find you are engaging in unkind conversations, practice stopping when you notice this, and start over. Be conscious of the way you speak to yourself. It’s a habit you’ve established and the pattern needs to be broken and replaced with a new, healthier one.
Exercise can be simple — walking is something all of us can do, unless we have a physical disability that prevents it. It’s one of the best forms of exercise available, it’s free and you don’t need any special equipment. It’s also a good way to clear your mind and for some, can be meditative. Consider going for a bike ride or joining a gym. If you find you often isolate, an unhealthy behaviour many addicts engage in, think about joining a recreational sports league.
Insufficient sleep causes wear and tear on your body and your mind. Getting enough hours of unbroken sleep is critical for physical and emotional wellbeing. Your body, as well as your mind, need that time to recover from the day.
Many people with addictions find themselves replacing one bad habit with another in recovery. Often, that new unhealthy behaviour can be eating sugary, junk food. Consider eliminating unhealthy food from your kitchen and replacing it with healthier options. Drink water when you feel a craving for sugar or other poor food choices. Your body will thank you — with more energy and a clearer mind.
Remember, easy does it. Begin one new habit at a time, or you risk failure by implementing a number of changes all at once. The goal is self care, and you want to be set yourself up for success.