Why Self Care Is Crucial in Recovery

Perhaps you’ve experienced yourself that when you are taking good care of yourself, you notice that you are less stressed, clear-minded, emotionally balanced, and receptive to what comes your way. You might have experienced yourself that when you are taking good care of your body, mind, and spirit, life feels better.

And self care is particularly important in recovery because it’s during this time that you’re going to experience stress. Cravings, triggers, and the discomfort of learning to be without drugs or alcohol can make life challenging. If you’re not taking good care of yourself, those challenges can begin to feel like crises.

Take Care of Yourself Physically, Psychologically, and Emotionally

Physical Self Care

Recovery | Lakehouse Recovery Center

  • Eat regularly (three meals per day is ideal)
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise
  • Get regular medical care for prevention
  • Get medical care when needed
  • Take time off when needed
  • Get massages
  • Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing or do another physical activity that is fun
  • Take time to be sexual with your partner
  • Get enough sleep
  • Wear clothes you like
  • Take vacations
  • Take day trips or mini-vacations
  • Make time away from telephones and Ipads

Psychological Self Care

Psychological Self Care | Lakehouse Recovery Center

  • Make time for self-reflection
  • Have your own personal psychotherapy
  • Write in a journal
  • Read literature that is unrelated to work
  • Do something in which you are not an expert
  • Decrease stress in your life
  • Let others know the different aspects of you
  • Notice your inner experience, such as listening to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings
  • Engage your intelligence in a new area, such as going to a museum, history exhibit, sports event, auction, theater performance
  • Practice receiving from others
  • Be curious
  • Say NO to extra responsibilities occasionally


Emotional Self Care

Emotional Self Care | Lakehouse Recovery Center

  • Spend time with others whose company you enjoy
  • Stay in contact with important people in your life
  • Give yourself affirmations and praise yourself
  • Love yourself
  • Reread favorite books and watch your favorite movies again
  • Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places and seek them out
  • Allow yourself to cry
  • Find things that make you laugh
  • Express your outrage in social action, letters and donations, marches and protests
  • Play with children
  • Spiritual Self Care
  • Make time for spiritual reflection
  • Spend time in Nature
  • Find a spiritual connection or community
  • Be open to inspiration
  • Cherish your optimism and hope
  • Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of life
  • Try at times not to be in charge or be the expert
  • Be open to not knowing
  • Identify what is meaningful to you and notice its place in your life
  • Meditate
  • Pray
  • Sing
  • Spend time with children
  • Contribute to causes in which you believe
  • Have experiences of awe
  • Read inspirational literature

Other Forms of Self Care

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  • Take breaks when you need to during the day to be with yourself
  • Take time to chat with friends.
  • Make quiet time to complete tasks
  • Identify projects that are exciting and rewarding
  • Balance your life so that no one day is too much for you.
  • Arrange your home so that it is comforting and nourishing
  • Have a support group

Ideally, take one or two of these suggestions and create a plan for doing self care every day. This way, no matter what stressful moment you’re faced with you’re guaranteed to meet with ease.


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