Addiction can take over your life and make you lose interest in your hobbies, loved ones, and most of all yourself. It’s not uncommon for those with substance use disorder to neglect their health due to the overwhelming stress that comes along with the illness of addiction and the self-destructive behaviors that come along with it. Once you’re entered recovery after working hard to rebuild yourself during treatment, it’s time to put the focus back on self-care, as it can be crucial to your long-term success. Self-care is different for everybody, but anything that can help build confidence, motivation, and well-being can be considered as an act of self-care that can ward off boredom, triggers, and negative emotions.
Get Some Exercise
Even if you’ve never lifted a dumbbell in your life, you may be surprised how well recovery and physical activity go hand-in-hand. Exercise can increase the level of endorphins in the body that can relieve stress and pull you out of a bad mood. It can also help stimulate dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin, which are brain chemicals that can be negatively affected by previous substance use. Using these functions can help undo some of the damage addiction has afflicted onto your brain and nervous system. You don’t have to join a gym to get your body moving, however. Consider joining a community sport, learning yoga, taking up bicycling, or any other activity you think may fit your idea of fun while also being active.
Change up Your Look
Now that you’re on a new path in life, maybe it’s time to make some changes. Addiction doesn’t exactly allow much time or energy to be spent on physical appearance, so there are some general healthy habits and transformation that can be done to help you feel revitalized. This can be something as simple as getting a haircut, changing your hair color, getting facial hair groomed, teeth whitened or cleaned and much more. Though beauty treatments are traditionally thought to be for women, in 2019, there are no barriers. Both men and women are regularly treating themselves to manicures, pedicures, facials, med spa packages, and more. Feeling confident and polished in your appearance can put some pep in your step and do wonders for your self-esteem.
Make Some Friends
It’s essential to create healthy and stable relationships of all kinds in recovery. This is a way to rebuild trust in yourself that you can make the correct choices that coincide with your lifestyle, and also help you connect with people to fulfill the important human need for interaction. Battling loneliness is very important in avoiding trigger relapses, as well. With the vast internet and social media, it’s never been easier to find people who share your hobbies, passions, and interests. Cautiously, but optimistically open up to the idea of making some new friends to create new memories with now that you are working to create balance in your life in recovery.
Remember: Self-care is not selfish. Though modern society is pushing us to continually burn the candle at both ends, taking care of yourself should not be considered a luxury you don’t deserve. You do deserve to take care of yourself after all the hard work you have put in toward battling the illness of addiction and achieving recovery.