Understanding the Basics of Self-Care

Understanding the Basics of Self-Care

Self-care is an important factor in overall wellness. It is especially important when it comes to someone’s recovery. It is beneficial to communicate ways in which self-care can aid someone in having a successful recovery process. 

What Does Self-Care Look Like? 

Self-care is personal and can be different for each person. Overall, self-care is the practice of taking time out for yourself to participate in or perform activities that you enjoy. These activities should be targeted to help you live a better quality of life and improve your overall mental and physical health. 

Practicing physical self-care includes exercising, eating healthy, and enjoying your favorite activities. Mental self-care activities are those that will help lower your stress levels, such as leisurely reading, meditation, or connecting to and speaking with others in your support community. 

Why Is Self-Care Important in Recovery?

Self-care is essential to your long-term success in recovery. It is important in your recovery process that you create routines that will help you positively cope with your emotions and circumstances. Self-care helps replace negative behaviors with physical and mental activities that will improve your mood, lower your stress, and help you stay focused on your personal well-being. 

If you make it a priority, self-care will aid in your recovery. Not only is self-care important for the individual in recovery, but it is also important for those supporting their friends or loved ones on their recovery journey. 

Daily Self-Care Practices

Need help starting your self-care journey? Here are a few activities you can begin to practice: 

  • Get the Proper Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? According to the article “Get Enough Sleep,” adults need at least seven hours of sleep or more each night. Sleeping the proper amount will help improve your mood and increase your productivity.
  • Move Your Body: What physical activities do you enjoy? Is it going to the gym, doing activities outside, or walking your dog? Moving your body 30 minutes a day can aid in reducing stress. Find a few activities that you like and alternate these activities throughout the week to keep you motivated.
  • Stay Connected: According to a study on the benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction, “active engagement in peer support groups has shown to be a key predictor of recovery.” It is important to stay connected with a support group of peers, friends, and family. Find ways to connect with others that bring you joy.

Take Good Care of Yourself

Self-care is not self-indulgence — it is the act of making sure you take time for yourself to improve your mental and physical well-being on a regular basis. 

If you are seeking self-care, remember that you are the only one that can provide it to yourself. While there are others who will happily help and support you, the decision to take care of yourself must be a personal decision. 

If you support your peers, friends, or loved ones on their recovery journey, it is also imperative that you take the time to practice self-care on a regular basis. You can only be the best support for others if you first take care of yourself by making self-care a priority. 

Approaching Self-Care While at Home

Due to the Covid pandemic and other circumstances, many people are working from home these days. If your activities are limited and there are always others around you. Here are a couple of tips that may help you find time for self-care: 

  • Plan Your Self-Care: Do you have meetings and/or obligations throughout the day? If so, it may be helpful to schedule your self-care. This could be scheduling a healthy lunch, an outdoor walk, or even a break to sit quietly. Be sure to place these events on your calendar or schedule and set a reminder to take a break from your routine.
  • Establish Boundaries: Are you around others most of the day? If so, feel confident to set boundaries around your time and schedule. Let others know you have a commitment to self-care and being healthy. Remember the time you set aside does not have to be a long period of time — taking 15 mins for yourself to regroup and focus can be extremely helpful. Also, be sure to step away from the phone or any other things which may interpret you.

Keep in mind that self-care is also self-preservation. Taking small steps every day and making time for yourself will improve your health and outlook tremendously. You can learn more about self-care activities here.