One of the biggest problems with addiction recovery is the way in which many addicts fall into something of a pity spiral. They find themselves in a situation where they feel worthless, unworthy of any real effort and something of a lost cause. Unsurprisingly, this has a habit of being one of the most dangerous of all relapse triggers.
An important core element in all rehab centres in London focuses on self-care following the completion of regimented treatment. It’s not until most recovering addicts leave rehab that the biggest challenges present themselves. After all, it’s here that they are suddenly out on their own, under their own control and able to make their own decisions/mistakes once again. This is also when the importance of focused self-care becomes all the more critical.
What’s important to understand is the way in which there is a big difference between self-care and selfishness. Self-care isn’t about being self-indulgent, thoughtless or in any way self-centred. Instead, it entirely about the acknowledging the fact that you are going through something incredibly difficult and therefore deserve plenty of self-focus. After all, this is how you will continually motivate yourself to follow through with your long-term goals.
But in terms of specific examples, what exactly do the experts recommend when it comes to self-care during the addiction recovery process?
Well, first of all it’s impossible to feel good about yourself and the progress you are making, unless you are in a relatively good state of health. All of which begins with a healthy diet. You might think that you are doing yourself a favour by ‘treating’ yourself to regular doses of junk food. But in reality, this instant gratification will soon be augmented by poor health and wellbeing.
Activity and exercise
Likewise, it is of critical importance to remain as active as possible throughout the addiction recovery process. Not only is exercise important for your physical health, but activity also release is exactly the kinds of hormones you need right now to keep you motivated and content. In addition, exercise is also one of the most effective boredom busters of all – boredom being the single most common and dangerous of all relapse triggers.
The importance of comprehensively healthy and consistent sleep patterns simply cannot be overstated. There isn’t a single physical or emotional process within the body that can do its job properly with insufficient sleep. So rather than simply seeing sleep is something you need, turn it into something you enjoy. Develop something of a luxurious and enjoyable bedtime ritual, which both improve the quality of your sleep and makes you look forward to turning in each evening.
Get a Pet
It might sound like something of an unconventional tip, but there’s overwhelming evidence to suggest that pets can provide the kind of therapeutic companionship that goes over and above even the closest members of our families. Studies have shown that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression, heart disease and anxiety – they even tend to have lower cholesterol levels!
Focus on friendships
The kind of support that can be offered by your closest friends during these difficult times really is worth its weight in gold. Self-care can also mean you personally making the effort to fully enjoy and strengthen the friendships you have, well perhaps seeking out new friendships at the same time.
Setting yourself manageable goals is important, but so too is sufficiently motivating yourself to achieve them. As such, you might want to think about establishing something of a rewards system for yourself, wherein you allow yourself a little indulgence of some kind upon achieving one of your goals. Your favourite food, a new item of clothing or perhaps even a well-deserved holiday. Whatever it takes to give you something to work towards that isn’t going to interfere with the recovery process can only be a good thing.
Do Something Nice for Someone
Some people say there is no such thing as a selfless act, given the way in which we always benefit from pride, satisfaction and happiness when we do nice things. Regardless of the philosophy of it all, doing nice things for other people can and should represent an integral element in the self-care process during addiction recovery. It’s not only incredibly therapeutic, but can also help build and strengthen bonds.
Don’t Give Yourself a Hard Time
Last but not least, you are bound to encounter challenges along the way and you will not succeed in everything you attempt. But it’s how you respond to the stumbles and setbacks along the way that will ultimately determine your long-term success. The simple fact of the matter is that if you are too hard on yourself and talked too much pressure on yourself, you are setting yourself up for a far more difficult process than it needs to be.