Recovering from addiction requires tireless dedication to maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. This involves frequently engaging in self-care. Practices that improve your sleep hygiene, nutrition, and physical fitness are essential components of self-care. However, finding the appropriate balance between these practices can be challenging. Utilize these techniques to integrate these practices into your sober lifestyle to assist in balancing self-care.
Importance of Balancing Self-Care
Self-care refers to actions and practices you engage in to promote physical, emotional, and mental wellness. For people in recovery, self-care practices can play an essential role in maintaining sobriety while improving their quality of life. By practicing self-care regularly, you are reinforcing the concept that you are worthy of care and love. This can be extremely beneficial in recovery, as many individuals find that their self-esteem is low as they begin recovery.
Balancing self-care can also play an essential role in alleviating stress and anxiety. When dealing with high levels of stress, your body releases cortisol. This hormone is often considered “nature’s alarm clock” and can quickly impact the homeostasis of your body. When excess cortisol is released, our body responds with alarm, creating a feeling of danger. This can quickly turn into a desire to use substances in to calm your emotions, potentially disrupting your journey at Dream Recovery.
By balancing self-care, you alleviate stress, which decreases your risk of relapse from stress.
Improves Physical Health
Self-care practices can also improve physical health during your recovery. When in a state of active addiction, people often neglect their physical health. Many individuals struggling with substance use disorder (SUD) also struggle with poor nutrition, inactivity, and sleep disruptions. This puts them at greater risk of illness, discomfort, and lowered feelings of well-being.
By engaging in self-care practices, you can improve your physical health. This can allow you to experience increased levels of energy, reduction in pain levels, and other physical benefits.
Balancing Self-Care: Sleep Schedules
Sleep is integral for both physical and mental well-being. It enables your body to repair damaged cells, regulate hormones and consolidate memories.
Unfortunately, many people in recovery struggle with sleeping disturbances or disorders. Utilizing these strategies may help you to balance out your sleep schedule as a start in balancing self-care practices.
Establish a sleep routine
- Set a time to go to sleep and wake up each day and commit to it. This helps regulate your internal clock and maximize quality sleep. Doing this may improve both the length and quality of your sleep each night. Make sure you do not hit snooze in the morning and get up at your set time to reinforce this sleep schedule.
Set up your environment
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Use earplugs, eye masks, or white noise machines if necessary to block out distractions that might disturb you during restful slumber. Pay attention to what conditions you sleep best in and ensure those available in your regular area of sleep.
- Consuming caffeine, energy drinks, nicotine, or other stimulants close to bedtime can disrupt your ability to fall asleep as well as the quality of your sleep. If you choose to use any stimulants, ensure you only use them early in the morning.
Establish relaxation techniques
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to ease tension and make falling asleep easier. Doing this right before bed can help you fall asleep quickly and feel relaxed.
Balancing Self-Care: Nutrition
Proper nutrition is crucial to physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In recovery, many struggle with poor diet due to reduced appetite or digestive problems. Here are some strategies for how you can balance your nutrition.
Maintain a balanced diet
- Aim for balance when planning what to eat throughout the day. Ensure you include all food groups such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Limit processed foods
- Watch your intake of processed foods that can contain excessive levels of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
- Drink plenty of water throughout your day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, and other health problems that require medical intervention.
Balancing Self-Care: Physical Activity
Physical exercise is a critical element of self-care, helping improve physical health, boost mood, and ease stress and anxiety. Yet many in recovery may struggle with exercising due to physical limitations or motivation issues. These suggestions may help you to balance your physical activity.
- Begin slowly by participating in smaller, manageable activities, such as walking or stretching. Gradually increase intensity and duration as fitness levels improve. Don’t expect yourself to jump right into strenuous activities.
Find what you enjoy
- Exercise doesn’t need to be miserable. Focusing on finding activities you enjoy like swimming, dancing, or sports playing will keep you motivated and engaged with your fitness routine.
Listen to your body
- Pay close attention to how your body communicates with you during physical exercise and respond accordingly. It is okay to take breaks or stop and have a rest day.
Balancing Self-Care Altogether
Sleep, nutrition, and physical exercise are only part of self-care practices that can support you during recovery. Other practices may include mindfulness, social engagement, creativity, relaxation, and various other techniques. It is important to ensure that each practice you engage in is done at a level that fulfills your overall need for stability and balance.
Ensure to prioritize your needs, focusing on the aspects of self-care that you may be neglecting. Be flexible with your progress and allow yourself to adjust your routine as necessary. Balancing self-care practices can be difficult, but it will become easier over time once a routine is set into place as your go through your experience at Dream Recovery.
If you are in addiction recovery or know someone who is, prioritizing self-care practices is essential for maintaining a sense of balance and well-being. Start by incorporating small, manageable changes into your routine, and seek support from professionals and loved ones when needed. Understanding what a balance in self-care practices looks like can help you to establish a beneficial routine for your newfound sober life. At Dream Recovery, we provide comprehensive addiction treatment programs that prioritize self-care and holistic wellness, helping you find this sense of balance. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you or a loved one on the path to recovery at (657) 216-7218.