There are many steps during recovery that are essential in enjoying and living a sober life. We know that it is not easy, so here are 8 ways to practice self-care when living a sober life.
Getting through treatment and into recovery is only half the battle. Recovery is a tough road and it will present you with many obstacles, curves, and speed bumps.
You can do it, but you have to be prepared to run the race.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, there are various aspects that need to be addressed once you enter recovery.
Why Self-Care Is Essential When Living a Sober Life
You will find yourself struggling through each aspect of recovery if you don’t take care of yourself.
You are in need of some nurturing and love.
And, who is the best person to give it to you? YOU!
So, as you begin living a sober life, consider incorporating these 8 ways to practice self-care into your daily routine.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important. Whether you realize it or not, you need at least 7-8 hours of sleep every single night.
Although you may think that you can get by on less, it is not healthy for you and can ultimately impact your recovery.
Sleep gives the body a time to rest and rejuvenate.
Getting adequate sleep means that you have the mental clarity and focus to face the day – and are ready to make the right decisions that will have an effect on your life.
If you are too tired or find yourself fatigued, you may not end up with the best outcome.
Sleep is a simple way to practice self-care.
- Give yourself a set bedtime and stick to it every night.
- Keep your bedroom dark and cool.
- Remove all electronics from your reach.
- Avoid drinking caffeine within six hours of your bedtime.
2. Nourish Your Body with Healthy Foods
What you put into your body is, of course, going to have an impact on how you feel.
You are designed with the need for certain vitamins and minerals.
If your diet is poor and you aren’t consuming the foods you need, malnourishment can occur.
- During your addiction, eating for nourishment was likely the farthest thing on your mind.
- This means you could have spent much time causing harm to your body.
The good news is that, for the most part, you can make up for lost time.
Consume three healthy meals each day. Eat whole, minimally-processed foods that will provide your body with the nutrition it needs.
3. Create Meaning in Your Life
To have a life that makes you want to live it, you have to give meaning to it.
This can be a combination of many aspects.
Though often, it comes from giving back or feels like you have a sense of purpose.
- Volunteering is a great opportunity to create meaning. Whether you are helping out at a shelter or pantry or participating in a community cleanup, knowing that you are providing something good for someone else can make you feel good.
- Adopting a pet is another way to find some meaning. Not only does a pet bring you love and companionship, but it also brings you responsibility.
- Choosing to become a mentor to others in recovery is a great way to give yourself a purpose and meaning while also having accountability.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has made some poor decisions. It is likely that you have, too.
But, what good does it do to beat yourself up about your past?
And telling yourself you aren’t good enough, strong enough, pretty (handsome) enough, smart enough and so forth needs to stop right now.
Instead, learn to positive self-talk. Talk to yourself like you really love yourself. And, believe it.
Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you are capable, you are worthy, and you are awesome.
Find positive affirmations that speak to you and place them where you spend a lot of time, such as in your bathroom, in your car, on your computer, etc.
The more you read them, the sooner you will start to believe them.
5. Develop a Fitness Routine You Can Manage
When living a sober life in recovery, getting exercise doesn’t mean spending a lot of time in the gym and glaring at your muscles.
All you need is to move.
This could be:
- Going for a walk or jog
- Joining a kickboxing class
- Practicing Yoga
- Or even dancing
When you move, your body’s processes get moving. Your heart is pumping, your blood is flowing, and your brain releases endorphins that make you feel good.
Of course, it also reduces stress.
Self-care means taking care of your mind and your body – so you are going to need a fitness regimen.
6. Find a Hobby or a Creative Outlet
Self-care means you need an outlet, such as a hobby or an artform. Find something that strikes your interest and then go with it.
Whether it’s painting, drawing, playing music, woodworking, or even coloring; a creative outlet allows you to express yourself.
Allowing yourself to lose focus on something healthy can have great impacts on your self and your recovery.
7. Keep Stress to a Minimum
Too much stress can have negative impacts on people.
As you begin living a sober life, try to keep your stress to a minimum.
Incorporate breathing techniques, meditation, Yoga, or whatever works for you that can help you reduce your stress – or, at the very least, the way you react to it.
8. Be Picky About Who You Surround Yourself With
The people you surround yourself often have a great influence on the way we act, the things we do, and the places we go.
Find yourself surrounded by people that you admire – people who you wouldn’t mind adopting their habits. And, people who are a positive influence on your recovery.
Toss aside everyone else.
You have been through treatment and are conquering an addiction in recovery. You have a right to be picky and selfish.
Surround yourself with good.
One way to do just this is to explore the option of living in a sober living house.
By doing so, you are surrounded by like-minded people all going through similar situations.
You will be able to support each other in the journey of recovery.
When living a sober life, you get out of your recovery what you put into it.
Think of this as a do-over in life; a second chance. There is a fairly good chance that you’d like to do things differently this time around.
By taking care of yourself, you will keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy and strong.
This means your mind is clear and ready to face any challenge recovery wants to throw your way.