Practicing self-care is an important aspect of addiction recovery, but it is often confused with selfishness. Grabbing the biggest piece of cake is selfish, but eating healthy foods when you are hungry is self-care. Here are a few simple ways to nurture yourself.
1. Say no
This sounds simple, but without practice it is hard to say no to friends and loved ones who ask us for a favor. Before we know it, we are overworked and overwhelmed. Think carefully before you say yes to other people’s needs before your own. Taking on more than you can handle can lead to destructive resentment.
2. Remember to eat
Sometimes we neglect the need to simply add fuel to our body. Hunger can make us irritable and can lead to negative emotions. If you are busy, grab a snack like a banana or a granola bar. In general, try to eat less meats and processed foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains give you the fuel to think more clearly.
3. Nurture your spiritual life
Some addicts struggle to connect to an organized religion, but there are other ways to nurture your spiritual life. Meditation is an effective way to connect with both your higher power and yourself. To get started, try a guided meditation app for your smartphone or listen to recordings on sites like YouTube.
If you do belong to an organized religion, make time to attend worship services and participate in social activities. Your religious group can be an extra source of support for you as you recover from addiction.
4. Turn off tech devices
It seems that our smartphones are glued to our hands and we can’t get away from phone calls, emails and games. Schedule time to turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet, even if it is only for a half hour. If it is important, your friend or family member will leave a message.
Self-care involves going for a walk, listening to music or just having some quiet time. As you go about your day notice the times of day when you especially need food, rest or rejuvenation and plan that into your schedule.