Recovery is more than a full-time job, and it consumes a tremendous amount of our effort and energy. As we come out of addiction and work to embrace wellness, we may realize that some areas of self-care may have fallen to the wayside and that our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health need a total reset.
But how can we work to pay attention to these parts of ourselves, especially with the demands and dedication we need to give to our recovery? It might be easier than you think. Start by breaking it down into categories and take a small amount of time each day to address one, or as many as you want! Here are some tips.
It might be a while since you have felt in tune with your body, so take it slow. You can start with a brief full-body scan every morning (or as often as you like). Focus on your toes, wiggle them, gently lift and let your feet down, roll your ankles. Feel yourself grounded in the earth, planted strong and firm. Next, bend your legs, be aware of your knees.
Move your hips from side to side.Stretch your torso. Be aware of your elbows, arms, hands. Slowly lift them up in the air and then lower them. Roll your shoulders, feel your neck, roll your head around. Come back into yourself
With this body scan, there is no desired result, except for increased awareness of your body.
Where does it hurt? Where does it feel nice to stretch? How does it feel to occupy you, to be in your body again?
Activities like stretching, meditating, or doing simple yoga poses can be effective and easy ways to stay connected to your body, and feel what’s happening for you physically. Going to the gym is another great option if you are wanting to socialize and meet new people. Another option is to go to a nearby park or lake and walk laps or enjoy a slow stroll. The most important thing is to connect with yourself and tune into how your physical state is doing.
Working with a counselor, psychologist, or other mental health professionals can be a great tool to rediscover and maintain a sense of balance and well-being. Psychiatrists can be extraordinarily helpful in dealing with issues related to chemical imbalances, extreme mood swings, or severe depression.
For many, working with a therapist is a key part of the recovery process, but it can be extremely beneficial to keep doing that healing work after time at a treatment facility has been completed.
Through therapy or counseling, you can maintain a healthy relationship with yourself, work to develop and strengthen your relationships with others, address, process, and heal from past traumas, and orient towards an enjoyable and positive future. You can discover ways to uncover your gifts, talents, and abilities and live a more empowered life.
While a substantial amount of emotional healing work can be done through work with a counselor, there are many different activities you can do to check in with your emotional state.Recognize what’s yours, and what emotions belong to other people. For those of us that are compassionate and empathic, we can sometimes be sponges of other people’s emotions and experiences. When tending to your own emotional state, ask yourself how you are feeling.
Try to decipher if any emotions you are experiencing actually belong to a person you were spending time with or holding space for. It is important that we stay in our own experience.
Connect with friends, a sponsor, peer support, or reach out to a loved one. Members of our support system can be there for love, companionship, and encouragement when we are feeling heartbroken or hurt.
Remember to do things that bring you peace. Try writing, painting, drawing, coloring, listening to music, dancing, cooking, or any new activity that brings you back to yourself. Give yourself enough space and time to feel, grieve, and heal.
Exploring a spiritual path can transform the recovery process, and can encourage a more consistent commitment to our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. While many people might think spirituality belongs to those who are religious, or to those who attend church, the truth is that it is available to all of us, at any time. The beauty of a spiritual practice comes from its flexibility, it can unfold how you want it to, and it can look however you want it to.
A spiritual practice can be taking time for reflection, spending time in nature, meditating, practicing mindfulness, connecting with a higher power, creating an altar of items that affirm your life and your mission, anything that benefits the spiritual side of your life. A spiritual practice can be taking care of yourself, committing to your recovery, or embracing a new life.
With these ideas in mind, create a schedule to support yourself. If you put ten activities on a calendar to benefit your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, aim to try at least seven or eight of them (or however many feel realistic for you.)
Track which activities come more easily to you, and which ones you struggle with. If you find you are really consistent with your physical health one month, but that you were also feeling down or depressed, shift the focus next month to tend to your mental health. Be patient with this process and remember to enjoy the journey of being you!
If substance abuse is interfering with your ability to tend to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, contact us at Ashley Addiction Treatment. We understand the importance of holistic well-being, that is why we provide comprehensive, therapeutic, and recreational support, and will be by your side every step of the way. Our committed staff are here for you and want you to have the beautiful, empowered, and enjoyable life you seek. Our peaceful campus is located on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, in Northern Maryland. For more information, or to take the next steps, contact us at 800-799-4673.