One of the most important steps in recovery and maintaining sobriety is self-care.
When someone is in the middle of their addiction, they’ve become so disconnected with who they are that self-care is usually the last thing on their mind. They’ve often reached the point where they have forgotten or don’t remember how to love themselves. Or worse, they don’t feel worthy or deserving of love, and have a tendency to feel like they are not enough. Perhaps they have been too busy caring for and worrying about others, and they’ve never established boundaries. They may also feel if they practice self-care, others may think they are being selfish.
What most people don’t realize is you have to make yourself a priority in your life. You have to love and care for yourself first before you can love and care for others. If your cell phone’s battery runs low, you are quick to plug it in and charge it, and if you don’t it becomes useless and doesn't work. But how quickly do we let ourselves get drained without taking the time to recharge our own batteries? We don’t allow ourselves to recharge, we just keep going until we have no energy and feel totally drained, leading us to addiction, depression, illness etcetera.
We may actually feel resentment towards others, blaming them for our exhaustion or the way we feel. We become so disconnected from not only our family, friends, coworkers, but most importantly ourselves.
Don’t you want to feel joy, happiness, and love while maintaining your sobriety? If you answered yes, then it’s time for you to take your life back. It’s time for you to reconnect with yourself, and rediscover who you are. It’s time to create your own self-care practice. While this process may look different for everyone, we all need a place to start. Here are a few ideas to help get you started.
Create healthy boundaries
- Don’t let others take advantage of you or your time. Know where your limits are.
Learn to ask for help and support
- Communicate clearly to others what your needs are, and let them know how they can support you.
- If your surroundings are cluttered, your whole life will feel that.
Make yourself a priority
- Take care of you before others. We tend to think if we take an hour for ourself we don’t have time for others, when actually the opposite becomes true. You create more time and have more energy to give freely without resentment.
Utilize a planner
- If you make an appointment with someone you will keep it no matter what. You have to plan appointments for yourself. Schedule time for you.
Create a list of things that bring you joy and make you happy
- Keep your list handy and have at least twenty four activities on it. Walking, listening to music, meditating, reading, fishing, camping, etc. Just be sure you have enough of a variety, from five-minute activities to several hours, so there is something on your list if all of a sudden fifteen extra minutes pops up during your day.
Create some form of meditation practice or start journaling
- You have to free up space from your busy mind.
Use daily affirmations
- Write positive notes to yourself and put on mirrors “I am loved, I am worthy, I am healthy, I am enough.” Say them out loud throughout the day.
Change things around in your environment
- Rearrange the furniture, drive a different way to work. Our life becomes dull when we always do the same old things.
Learn to become present - Enjoy the moment.
Find some type of spiritual practice
- Whatever that looks like for you. Maybe it is as simple as learning to connect with your own higher self.
As you start implementing your new self-care routine, your life will begin to shift. It won’t happen instantly, but it will happen. You will learn how wonderful it can be to feel rejuvenated, energized, and happy again.
You will have more time for yourself and those you love, and you may gain a new sense of purpose in your life. Have fun reconnecting with yourself and allow yourself to be curious while you rediscover who you are! You have a life out there waiting to be enjoyed and lived.