After living in active substance abuse, learning to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually can be difficult. For many women, perhaps this is an entirely new concept. Within addiction treatment, you will learn many new habits that you can implement daily to improve your mental health and help prevent a relapse. Most importantly, you will learn why practicing self-care daily is important all year round.
What Exactly is Self-Care?
The term self-care is often thrown around in conversations, and some people confuse self-care with doing something selfish or spending money on yourself. While self-care can be anything you want it to be, the actual definition, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is “taking time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical and your mental health.” Making daily self-care routines offers holistic healing, as these activities heal your mind, body, and spirit.
What you do for self-care is entirely up to you; the most critical part of that definition is “taking time.” When you take time every day to do things to improve your health, you are showing yourself that you are worth it. Self-care is a form of self-love and is healing for you and helps you to be more available in your relationships, your career, and throughout your life. Self-care empowers you and allows you to achieve your potential.
What Are Some Things I Can Do Daily Just For Me?
The possibilities for self-care are endless and as unique as you are. The word “self” in self-care is essential to remember, as you are the one who should be choosing the daily activities that work for you. Some of the fundamental habits that many women practice daily are:
- Proper sleep hygiene
- Mindfulness meditation
- Positive affirmations
- Getting outside for fresh air
- Sensory experiences
- Enjoying a hobby
In addition to the typical daily habits that so many women do, finding time each day to do something you love is an excellent form of self-care. Taking the time to do things that make you feel alive helps you reconnect with yourself as you heal. These activities are very personal and should come from within. Perhaps there is something you used to do or enjoy but have not done for a long time. Or maybe there is something you have always wanted to do or learn that you never made time for. Some ideas could include:
- Learning a new skill, such as painting, gardening, etc.
- Picking up an old hobby like playing an instrument or a sport
- Taking a class
- Learning a language
- Improving your career skills
- Learning new relaxation techniques
This list could be endless, depending on what inspires you and feeds your passion. Taking the time to feed your inner self by doing something you love tells everyone in your life that you are valuable enough to take that time, including yourself.
Benefits of Practicing Self-Care
Utilizing self-care every day provides you with resilience and can help strengthen you and prevent a relapse. Daily habits like mindfulness meditation, yoga, good sleep, and nutrition improve your mental and physical health after substance abuse. They are like exercise for your brain. Habits like these help decrease stress, increase emotional resilience, and reduce cravings.
Sometimes after treatment, it can be challenging to fill the time you once spent using substances. Practicing self-care allows you to schedule activities throughout your day to fill that time and be proactive in your recovery. Most importantly, taking time for yourself helps you heal your mind, body, and spirit.
Why Should I Practice Self-Care Year-Round?
Practicing self-care in treatment alone helps to give you a foundation for healing. However, recovery maintenance is found in every daily habit you complete. Healing from substance abuse is a process, not a destination. Daily self-care is like putting gas in your car to keep you on the road. You risk “running out of gas” or relapsing when you stop self-care. If you stop engaging in your daily recovery routines, you have effectively already mentally relapsed. Being able to pick those routines back up and recommit to your recovery can help you avoid a physical relapse, but if you give up your self-care, you could also be giving up on your recovery.
Most importantly, though, self-care is how you find yourself again. It is you telling yourself that you are worth it. Taking time for yourself demonstrates to the world and yourself that you matter.
When you devote time to yourself every single day to improve your mental and physical health, you are not only healing from substance use but also creating resilience to prevent future relapse. Self-care is also an outward demonstration of self-love that tells both you and the world that you are worth it. The staff at The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women already know that you are worth it; we help you regain self-worth and learn to love yourself again. We begin with detox in a safe place to cleanse the body. Our residential treatment program offers a dynamic curriculum and a loving, non-judgmental place for women to heal from substance abuse. We also provide life skills and help you back to the path of occupational wellness to be successful in all areas of your life. Contact us at (714) 581-3974 to find out how The Ho Tai Way can help you find your way again.