Self Care For Recovering Addicts

self care for recovering addicts

It’s already easy enough to beat ourselves up, get lost in a chaotic life and fall into a negative feedback loop that has us down and doubting which leads us to things like drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Addiction shakes you to the core, grabs hold of your life and, at its worst, engulfs it completely. The pursuit of drugs and alcohol shifts to become your absolute priority and everything else falls by the wayside, leaving destruction in the wake. Substance abuse wreaks havoc on your mind and body, destroying relationships and leveling aspirations. It’s the pinnacle of self-neglect.

Getting sober is a monumental step in rebuilding those things but you need to add what was missing in your previous life: self-care. Once clean and on the path of recovery, it’s important to internalize that taking care of yourself is an unequivocal necessity to success. Both mentally and physically. At Principles Recovery Center, we hope all of our clients put an emphasis on self care.

What Is Self-Care for Recovering Addicts?

Simply put, self-care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health”. For recovering addicts, it means finding and prioritizing healthy ways of taking care of oneself. Like all aspects of recovery, a productive self-care regimen is purely dependent on each person’s personality, interests and what they value.

Importance of Self Care in Recovery

As you’ve probably gathered, self-care is more than a bubble bath every now and then and requires dedication and attention. It’s a concept that’s as multifaceted as your life and as such, it needs to touch every part of your life.

Mental – Getting yourself into a good headspace is perhaps the most difficult part of dealing with substance abuse and where self-care can help the most. It was a long road into addiction and it’s a long road out with many distractions along the way. Your treatment equipped you with the tools to not let those distractions steer you towards substances but there’s a difference between that and actively working towards feeling good in your mind. 

It requires making time to learn your triggers on a deeper level and how to cope with them positively. It’s allowing yourself to relax, not beat yourself up and strive towards balance. It’s getting comfortable being alone and delving into and discovering your interests. Exploring what makes you happy.

Mental self-care is learning to love and accept yourself. 

Physical – Food and exercise have a dramatic effect on how we feel. Don’t take exercise to mean that you have to become a triathlete or champion bodybuilder to care for yourself. Nope, it’s as easy as going for a walk or jog, playing some pick-up basketball, taking a swim, etc. the idea is to get those endorphins flowing to create those good and positive vibes.

It goes without saying that what you put in your body has an effect, drugs and alcohol proved that, but the food you eat does too. A diet full of soda and junk food is going to have you feeling like, well, junk. A healthy diet, conversely, will lift you up. It’ll increase your overall energy and enhance your attitude.  Good food = good mood as they say.

Social – Your relationships also are an important aspect of self-care. Prolonged isolation is devastating to mental health so making sure you’re surrounding yourself with positive people is huge. Joining a 12-step group or even entering sober living are fantastic ways to connect with people who understand what you’re going through.

On the flip side, you will likely still have relationships with people from your past life and it’s vital to set boundaries with them and make it very known that you’re 100% committed to your sobriety.

Take Care of Your Addiction at Principles Recovery Center

This may seem unnatural and out of character to you, to devote this much attention to yourself. It’s understandable but the big takeaway is that it’s not selfish to care for, and about, yourself. Not doing that is part of what may have led you to substance abuse in the first place.

At Principles Recovery Center, we see developing an empowering self-care plan as an integral part of recovery and would love to tell you more about how we go about it, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Also, bubble baths are fine, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Drug Addiction Therapy

drug addiction therapy

Once you’ve made the decision to go down the path of recovery and work your way into a life of sobriety, the next steps are well-trodden. Detox then, generally, residential inpatient and then outpatient treatment. At Principles Recovery Center, we believe it’s in those latter parts of the process that drug addiction therapy comes into play.

What Is Drug Addiction Therapy?

In broad terms, drug addiction therapy is the method by which trained professionals go about working through and unwrapping your addiction. It’s less “therapy” in the singular sense though and more “therapies” as there are many varieties. Just as there are many types of people, personalities, addictions and substances, there are particular therapies that are better suited for each individual. 

That’s a great thing too because what works for one person may even be counterproductive to another.

Types of Drug Addiction Treatment Methods

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT is an evidence-based treatment that helps addicts to recognize the negative thoughts and thought patterns that occur when they are faced with challenging, stressful situations. The National Institute of Health notes that it helps patients recognize, avoid, and cope with the situations in which they are most likely to use drugs.

Being able to develop real control over your thoughts is paramount, negative thoughts happen but they don’t have to spiral into negative and destructive actions.

 

Group Therapy

 

Group therapy is a mighty tool in the therapeutic chest. While individual counseling sessions are big components of recovery, nothing comes close to replacing the feel of community that comes from being with people who’ve shared the same experiences as you.

The sense of isolation you might be feeling disappears in the comfort of others and seeing your fellow patients progress has an inspirational aspect to it that functions as a motivator. At the same time, you’re able to create bonds, interpersonal relationships and perhaps even the foundations of a new network of sober friends for life after treatment.

That’s in addition to the positive feedback and support from your peers and therapists that are hallmarks of group therapy.

 

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

 

DBT is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that is as well about facing negativity and changing those destructive and poisonous thought patterns. The distinction between the two is while CBT focuses on change DBT emphasizes acceptance and change, which is where the word “dialectical” comes into play. The idea is to accept your experience

This therapy is best suited for those who grapple with co-occurring disorders, at high-risk or are long-term substance abusers. 

 

Holistic Methods

 

Most often you’ll see holistic methods labeled as “alternative therapies” because for a long, long time they existed on the fringes of addiction treatment and therapy. Nowadays, however, many facilities are embracing these methods as they help tackle the many different and tough to reach parts of the human experience.

The most well-known is yoga which encourages a mindfulness that’s hard to attain through other means. As well, while working to connect the body and mind, yoga fosters self-discipline.

The holistic drug addiction treatment methods don’t end there though. Art therapy helps celebrate self-expression and the creative process. Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese practice of inserting thin needles into the body, works to realign your energy. Biofeedback involves electrical sensors that measure a variety of functions in the body with the goal of getting you to control them better. 

And there are yet more!

How Principles Can Help With Your Addiction

One size fits all treatment means no one is getting the exact treatment they really need and at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida we fully appreciate the importance of a personalized approach. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust that we practice what we preach.

Reach out to us today if you’d like to know more about any of the therapies we offer.