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How Does Self-Care Improve Your Mental Health?

A man practicing self-care by meditating at home.

Have you ever treated yourself after a hard day? Maybe it was getting some food that you were craving or buying a new movie to watch at home. Whatever it was, you took time out of your day to take care of yourself.

The truth is, self-care is so much more than treating yourself or having a relaxing day at home. If you’re in addiction recovery, self-care can help you improve your mental health, maintain your sobriety and build a healthier lifestyle.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is generally defined as anything you do to take care of your physical, emotional and mental health. While physically healthy activities like exercise and proper diet are easy enough to understand, the mental health side is a bit more complicated.

People tend to think of mental self-care as grand gestures, like taking a bubble bath at night or taking a few days off work to recharge. But oftentimes, it’s the little things that can help your recovery and mental health. Simple tasks like making your bed in the morning or wearing clean clothes can move your day in a positive direction. Self-care can also take many forms.

In fact, self-care isn’t always upbeat. For example, taking a few minutes to cry and let out your emotions can be a powerful form of mental self-care. Acknowledging your feelings is especially important in addiction recovery. For example, you shouldn’t suppress or bury the feelings you get when you crave alcohol or drugs. Instead, be honest with yourself, process what you’re feeling and seek support to help you manage your sobriety.

Why Self Care is Crucial to Addiction Recovery

By practicing regular self-care, you can keep your recovery moving in the right direction. Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing makes you better prepared for any stress and anxiety during your recovery. Self-care practices like proper nutrition and keeping a regular sleep schedule will help you manage cravings and reduce your risk of relapse.

When you’re in addiction recovery, finding healthy ways to cope without drugs or alcohol is essential. And, one small act of self-care can gain momentum and trigger a daily routine of self-care. For example, starting each morning with yoga can lead to a healthy, nutritious breakfast, which leads to more exercise later in the day. Self-care can help you stay ahead of triggers and give you the energy and focus you need to deal with any negative emotions.

The Role Self-Care Plays on Your Mental Health

For better or worse, your mental health is closely linked to your addiction recovery. Negative thought patterns and emotions can trigger relapse, while proper mental self-care can help you maintain a sober lifestyle.

Self-care practices, like meditation and mindfulness, yoga and exercise, are needed for managing stress and anxiety. The earlier you can recognize negative emotions, the easier it is to keep them from spiraling out of control. This level of self-awareness takes practice, which is why self-care is something you need to work on everyday if you want to see a real change in your mental health.

Find Healing from Addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we’ve been through addiction ourselves, so we know how challenging it can be to find lasting recovery. But we know that you have the potential to beat addiction and restore what it has stolen from you.

Our family-run addiction treatment center in Florida takes a personalized approach to treatment. We take the time to understand each client’s relationship with drugs or alcohol so we can customize each treatment plan accordingly.

If you’re struggling, know that you don’t have to walk the path to recovery alone. Contact our admissions team today to learn how we can help you heal your mind, body and spirit.

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