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10 Tips for Self-Care in Recovery

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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, many of us are surrounded by reminders to show our love and appreciation for significant others in our lives. While February plays host to this special day, it can be a difficult time for those prioritizing themselves and their recovery this year. On the bright side, the winter months present an excellent opportunity to look inward, focus on self-care, and nurture our relationships with ourselves.

Keep reading for 10 recovery self-care tips you can enjoy this month and beyond.  

If you or someone you love needs treatment for substance use, please call our 24-hour Treatment & Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.

Recovery Self-Care

Self-care is for everyone, and some activities may be especially helpful for individuals in early recovery & beyond. Let’s take a look at 10 tips for self-care in recovery to help brighten up your winter days this February.

1. Move Your Body

Whether you work a sedentary job or simply find it hard to stay active during the winter, moving your body can provide wonderful benefits to your physical and mental health. Simple practices like stretching or doing yoga can help loosen up tense muscles and joints, while more active pursuits like dancing, jogging, or visiting a gym can help improve strength and fitness, decrease stress, and boost your mood and energy levels.

2. Make Time for Reading

Whether you enjoy escaping into a fictional tale or prefer to learn about real-world topics and events, reading is a great way to keep your mind active and engaged while resting your body. Cozy up with a book, a blanket and a cup of tea or hot coco to stave off the cold. You can also incorporate reading into your bedtime routine to help improve your sleep hygiene.

3. Get Social Support

Feeling connected to others is one of our most basic human needs, but life in early recovery often means changing up our social circles. This can feel lonely or intimidating at first, but surrounding yourself with a healthy, sober support network can be an essential part of building a healthy life in recovery. When it comes to social connections, self-care can look like:

  • Joining a support group and/or regularly attending sober support meetings
  • Spending quality time with loved ones who respect and support your recovery
  • Volunteering with a group or organization for a cause you care about
  • Taking a class or attending meetups to learn a new skill

4. Keep a Journal

Intentional self-reflection through journaling is an excellent way to process our thoughts and feelings, identify triggers and behavioral patterns, or simply clear our minds. Keeping a gratitude journal can also help us notice positive things in our lives and remember pleasant experiences.

5. Spend Time Outside

Getting outdoors in the winter months can be challenging, but spending time in nature is an excellent way to decompress and boost our mental well-being. Whether you go for a run or enjoy a simple walk, as little as ten minutes spent in nature can help relieve stress and boost your mood.

6. Straighten Up Your Space

Cleaning and decluttering your home may sound like work, but it can go a long way toward gaining peace of mind and ensuring you have a soothing, relaxing environment to decompress in.  

7. Take Time for Yourself

Connecting with others is beneficial to our mental well-being, but spending quality time alone is an important act of self-care as well. For those in early recovery, alone time can feel uncomfortable, but it presents an excellent opportunity to explore your identity in sobriety. Try exploring new places, trying out new activities, learning new skills, or reconnecting with old interests.

8. Set Healthy Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries with others is one of the most important ways those in early recovery can protect themselves and their sobriety. In some cases, this means cutting off communication with people who previously encouraged drug and alcohol use. In other cases, it might be necessary to distance from friends and family members who are not supportive or understanding of your recovery journey.

Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can help you identify safe, healthy connections, and it can encourage new, healthier behaviors in your existing relationships.

9. Spiritual Self-Care

Our spiritual lives speak to our inner growth, the connection we feel with ourselves, and our relationship with the world around us. One does not need to be religious to engage in spiritual self-care. Activities like meditation, mindfulness exercises, or practices that focus on the mind-body-spirit connection — like yoga — are all ways in which we can engage in spiritual self-care.

10. Reach Out for Help

When self-care simply isn’t enough, it’s important to reach out for help when you need it. Whether it’s time to connect with your sober support network, call on family and friends, or seek out professional help, taking this step is one of the most important acts of self-care we can engage in.

If you or someone you love needs help with substance use and co-occurring disorders, please call our 24-hour Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.

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