Alcohol and substance abuse is not something to be taken lightly. It affects more people than you probably know. In fact, 10.6% of couples say they divorced due to drinking or drug abuse.
Even though it’s illegal for you to drink under the age of 21, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. You may not think those numbers matter too much, but they represent a great number of people who struggle with addiction and likely will continue to struggle as they grow older. Coping and recovering from these addictions is not easy. One of the most important aspects of substance abuse recovery is self-care.
When someone has dealt with substance abuse, the physical and mental toll it takes on your body is intense. As someone struggles with addiction, the last thing you might be doing is managing your mental health. So when in the process of recovery, this is probably the most important thing one can do for themselves.
Here are some of the best ways those struggling with addiction can take better care of themselves.
The first step to self-care in the recovery process is to come clean with friends and family members who are supportive. Having people on your side is going to be the most important tactic to regaining control over your life.
You’re going to need help. Trying to take on addiction by yourself will likely result in relapse. Don’t be ashamed to open up to others! The more support a person has, the more likely they will remain sober.
The next step for self-care is replacing the habit. This is a great way to train your mind and body to do something else, something you enjoy or that is beneficial to you, instead of going back to old, damaging habits. For instance, should you feel the urge to relapse, replace the feeling with a more positive task like reading a book or watching a tv show or even taking a shower, if you’re home, to try and change your mind off wanting the unhealthy habit.
Another beneficial tactic in recovery self-care is talking with a professional. The best way to take care of yourself is by getting advice from someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about and has dealt with helping others before. A professional therapist or an anonymous support group will offer the best strategies to use when you want to use substances again. As such, they will also offer the best support should you relapse but want to keep trying. There is absolutely no shame in getting this kind of help, and it’s likely to be the best thing you can do for yourself.
Lastly, creating boundaries for yourself is crucial to maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Learning how to say no to people and avoiding those who don’t support your recovery will be imperative to becoming a healthier person. Creating those standards for what you actually want in your life and what you no longer want in your life will help create a clear expectation for yourself. This will help you avoid relapsing in the future.
Recovery from substance abuse is a long road and one where self-care is necessary. Help yourself to recover by learning the ways you can love yourself best and fill your cup so substance doesn’t seep back in.