Practicing self-care in sobriety is extremely important to keep a strong recovery. Self-care promotes growth, which is the main pillar of successful recovery. Continuing to grow emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually is the best way to ensure long-term sobriety. There are many great ways to make this possible and practice all-around self-care.
Meditation has many benefits. It promotes self-growth spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Its benefits have even been scientifically proven and many doctors recommend for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even cognitive health. Meditation can both be a great way to start the day and increase motivation and end the day to calm the mind and wind down.
Exercise is another practice that has many benefits. It can have mental, physical, and emotional benefits. Exercise promotes general physical health but also has been proven to be a successful treatment for depression and anxiety. Physical activity increases activity in the parts of the brain that is responsible for reward and happiness. Exercise also helps treat insomnia and abnormal sleep patterns.
Journaling can be beneficial for emotional growth. Writing down current moods and emotional states daily allow you to be able to go back and look at past moods. As you grow emotionally in recovery, sometimes it can be hard to notice how far you have come. Journaling gives you a way to document growth and self-care. Journaling also gives you a way to set goals and monitor your progress.
Having a healthy diet in recovery is very important for self-care. Diet has emotional, mental, and physical benefits. Diet plays a role in depression and other aspects of mental health. For those in recovery, the phrase “put good in, get good out” is even more important. Diet can even introduce new hobbies if you enjoy cooking. Hobbies are important for recovery, so picking up cooking cannot only promote fun but can also help you live a healthier life (and save money!).
Yoga is one of the best ways to practice self-care in recovery. Yoga has mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Yoga is a form of exercise combined with meditation. Many people also practice Buddhist forms of Yoga also. Yoga can treat depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Yoga supports feel-good chemicals in the brain.
Community Service/Volunteer Work
Though community service is caring for others, it is actually a form of self-care also. Volunteering and giving free time to help others promotes spiritual and emotional growth. Helping others can help treat depression and gives people a feeling of purpose. Having a feeling of purpose is extremely important for long-term recovery.
Joining a Fellowship
Joining a fellowship of others in sobriety is a great way to practice self-care. A sober fellowship gives you the ability to form a support network and have other people you can contact during difficult times. Isolation is a major symptom of addiction, so having a support network makes isolation more difficult to fall into. Fellowships can also introduce you to other people with similar interests. Fellowships can teach you to have fun in recovery and learn other ways to practice self-care.
Having a therapist can promote self-care in several ways. Therapists can help with goal setting and monitor emotional health. Talk therapy is proven to successfully treat many mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and trauma. Even meeting with a therapist once a month can have significant benefits for those in recovery.
Many people in recovery can be too hard on themselves. It is very important to set goals in recovery and then celebrate when those goals are met! Growth is important for recovery but so is acknowledging it. Whether it be recovery milestones or success at work, you should remember to treat yourself when appropriate. When picking up chips in 12-step fellowships, it is common for people to celebrate by going out with friends or getting dinner with their home-group.
Having fun in recovery is one of the most important forms of self-care. Nobody got sober to not have fun! Find hobbies that you enjoy and engage in them as much as possible. Going to concerts, fishing, joining a sports league, or learning an instrument are all great ways to start having fun in recovery. There are all sorts of ways to have fun without drugs or alcohol. Get together with your sober support network or fellowship and figure out ways that you can stay busy and have fun in sobriety. You’ll be surprised by all the different hobbies people have in recovery groups and would be happy to introduce you.