Understanding Self-Care as Essential to SUD Recovery
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Understanding Self-Care as Essential to SUD Recovery

Understanding Self-Care as Essential to SUD Recovery

Addiction impacts various areas of your life, leading to serious self-neglect. Substance abuse causes poor diet and lack of physical activity,  affecting mental and psychological health. 

Due to the self-neglect that comes with substance abuse, you may find yourself engaging in self-destructive behaviors. During recovery, you will learn the importance of why self-care is essential for long-term sobriety.

What Is Self-Care? 

Self-care is understood as the conscious act of taking responsibility for oneself through behaviors that encourage overall healthy well-being. Self-care can manifest, whether spiritually, mentally, physically, or emotionally.  It can look like creating daily routines and incorporating habits such as exercise or journaling that help keep you grounded. 

Why Is It Important To SUD Recovery?

Substance abuse dramatically affects a person by negatively impacting different areas of life. Addiction affects your mood, appetite, physical and emotional well-being, personal relationships, finances, and many other areas of life. Maintaining long-term sobriety will require various lifestyle changes. The decision to actively commit to the choices that help take care of your mental, physical and emotional health is vital to overcoming addiction.

Mental Self-Care

How you think has a significant impact on your overall well-being—mental self-care consist of doing things that keep your mind clear from negative and self-loathing thoughts. The following actions will help you stay mentally healthy if you use them during stressful periods of your life. 

  • Practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness means creating a space that helps you stay connected and conscious of the present moment. This is an essential part of recovery because you can easily find yourself thinking about the past and begin to feel guilt, shame, and sadness over the lifestyle you used to live. You can start practicing mindfulness in small ways like limiting your screen time each day. The most important thing to remember is to stay healthily connected with your day. Mindfulness is a practice, so it will take time to feel like second nature to you.
  • Have alone time. Spending time by yourself is an important form of mental self-care because it allows you to recharge your energy. Having time set aside to be alone allows you to take a break from the social responsibilities that may overwhelm you throughout the day. This gives you the chance to refresh your mind and thoughts while establishing a positive bond with yourself. 
  • Set boundaries. Substance abuse causes many individuals to damage relationships with their friends and loved ones. A part of addiction recovery will be learning how to repair and create new healthy relationships. Healthy relationships involve setting clear boundaries, which are not present while using substances. Boundaries teach everyone involved within your circle how to treat you through a set of rules. An example of setting boundaries for yourself can be not wanting anyone to bring drugs or alcohol around you at any given time.

Physical Self-Care

Substance abuse is a complex and aggressive disorder because it causes many forms of self-neglect such as lack of oral and physical hygiene, undereating, and reduced sleep. Your body and mind are connected, so it is essential to take care of both aspects for your overall well-being. Physical self-care involves incorporating activities into your day that keep your body healthy and active.

  • Physical Activity. Take some time out of the day to get your body moving. Physical exercise keeps your body in shape and even improves your emotional state. When you work out, your body releases endorphins (brain chemicals) that help improve mood, sleep, appetite and lessen depression. 
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in giving your body the rest it needs to recuperate from the day. Lack of sleep impacts many areas of your health, such as slower cognitive functioning, irregular heartbeat, and irritability.  Establish a set time at night that you decide to wind down and get sleep.
  • Personal hygiene. One of the most prominent aspects of addiction is the lack of personal hygiene. Many individuals neglect daily habits that take care of their hygiene.  In recovery, you may still find it difficult to form an effective personal hygiene routine. Work with your therapist and staff to get into the habit of creating a hygiene routine that works for you.

Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care is just as necessary as other forms of self-care. Spirituality is different for everyone and doesn’t have to be associated with any specific religion. Spiritual self-care is anything that allows you to connect with yourself on a deeper level. It is necessary to stay in tune with yourself instead of masking your feelings. Here are a few ways to incorporate spiritual self-care into your life.

Holistic Treatment 

One form of treatment that has shown to be beneficial for some people is holistic treatment approaches. In addition to counseling and medication, facilities will also offer holistic wellness services that include:

Connect with Nature 

Going out and getting a breath of fresh air allows you to not only find mental clarity but allows you to connect with your natural surroundings. Putting down your phone and going out to get some sun or go for a walk is an all-encompassing approach to your self-care journey, as this action honors each modality of respecting who you are and where you want to be. 

Gain Insight from Better Sources

Being decisive about what you consume is a form of self-preservation as it impacts how you perceive yourself and the world around you. Reading books and articles or listening to podcasts that expand your mind and inspire different ways to connect with who you are, feeds you positive information you can use every day to establish symbiotic relationships at school, with friends, and within your home.

One of the key components to having a successful recovery is knowing how to take care of yourself, especially during stressful times in your life. Addiction causes self-neglect which can worsen symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and physical health. At Clearfork Academy, our goal is to give your teen struggling with addiction the tools to live a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. We understand the hardships teenagers may face and how difficult it can be for them to express their pain, causing them to turn to unhealthy coping styles. Through our residential and intensive outpatient programs, we are able to help your teen learn the importance of self-care and help them identify techniques they can use when life becomes stressful. If you are in need of a safe and therapeutic facility that will help your teen recover from addiction and other co-occurring disorders, reach out to Clearfork Academy today (844) 387-8780.