One of the sayings you might hear in recovery is that it is a selfish program. In our addiction, we were probably very self-interested. That’s just the nature of obsessing over a substance.
Now that we are in recovery, the shift from selfishness to selflessness and self-care is vital for continued success. You might have a distorted thought that self-care is selfish; it is not.
If you have ever flown on a plane, you know the safety drill before take-off…where the exits are, how to open the doors in case of emergency, flotation devices, oxygen masks, etc.
Self-care is a direct reflection of the oxygen mask. The flight attendants describe how the mask will come out, how to put it on, and most importantly, that we place it on ourselves first before helping others.
We must practice self-care and on a daily basis. If you think about it, you can only help so many people with their oxygen masks before you run out of oxygen. If you place your mask first, you can help so much more.
That analogy is precisely what self-care is. It is replenishing ourselves so that we can continue to give.
How Do I Practice Self-Care?
Self-care does not have to be expensive or fancy. It can be as simple as drinking water, getting plenty of rest, eating healthy meals. The options are limitless. If you typically eat junk food and consume sugary drinks, your body might be craving a healthy meal and some water.
The most significant piece about self-care is that it becomes a discipline. Just like your recovery, self-care is a necessity. One way to create self-care as a discipline is by consistency and repetition.
Simple Ways to Practice Self-Care
When was the last time you deliberately noticed your feet on the ground and walked barefoot? There really is something to feel our feet on the ground. By walking barefoot, we can literally ground ourselves.
If walking barefoot isn’t your thing, try using all of your senses when you are outside. What can you hear, see, taste, touch, smell?For example, at the beach, you might listen to the wind, waves, birds, and people chattering.You might see the different sizes of the sand grains, the waves crashing onto the shore, or birds flying overhead.
Perhaps you notice the taste of the saltiness in your mouth.
If you are sitting, you might notice how the sand feels, like the warmth or coolness of the sand running through your fingers.
What can you smell? Perhaps the warmth of the breeze, the saltiness in the air, or maybe the aroma coming from the cart vendors.
2. Learn a new hobby.
Have you ever wanted to try something new and didn’t know how to get started? YouTube is full of DIY and how-to videos. You might find something that interests you.
Getting the appropriate amount of rest is vital. When we are tired, we cannot perform at our best. Do you have a bedtime ritual? If not, now might be the perfect time to create one. You might limit your caffeine, take a warm bath or shower, or drink a cup of herbal tea to wind down.
It’s okay to say “No” to someone. If someone asks you to do something, you have the right to decline their request. Setting boundaries is one way to improve your relationships with others. You can’t give what you don’t have – time, money, energy. Replenishing yourself through self-care helps fill the capacity you have to help others.
If you want to learn more about making self-care a daily discipline, call The Ho Tai Way (714) 581-3974.