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Self Care In Recovery

Updated: Jan 12

Self Care in Recovery

What is self-care?

Often we hear or are advised to practice self-care, either by our professional support systems or our social support systems. If not our support systems, it is the media around us. There are tips and advice shared and posted almost every day on social media platforms on how to practice self-care or self-love.

But do we know what self-care entails or why it is necessary?

Say for instance your device or computer becomes slow, what comes to mind? Refresh, clean for viruses, create enough memory space, install new working software and the list goes on and on.

Because we know and understand the importance of our devices, we work hard to keep them safe, protected and functioning.

By the time most of us get sober, our health is in desperate need of a tune-up

Self-care is exactly that. The only difference is that we focus on our health which is more precious than our devices could ever be.

Recovery is about so much more than just getting sober. It requires effort, discipline, and more practice of coping skills and tools. Once we put down drugs or alcohol, we must find a new way to live.

After leaving treatment, which is a controlled environment, we become exposed to triggers, toxins, and temptations that try and test our motivation for change, and our strength in surviving addiction. We are undergoing a profound transformational process. One that largely centers on self-care.

Recovery is about so much more than just getting sober, it requires effort, discipline, and more practice of coping skills and tools

According to 'Ashley's Everything for Recovery', self-care can be defined as, “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health.”

By the time most of us get sober, our health is in desperate need of a tune-up. Abusing drugs or alcohol is toxic to the mind, body, and spirit. After months or years of active addiction, we must put forth the effort to restore and maintain health in all areas of our lives.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), self-care is important because it can help promote health, prevent disease, and help people better cope with illness. You must consider what works for you, as an individual. Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all strategy.

Your self-care plan will need to be designed according to your needs and what is currently happening in your life. The goal is to take steps each day to make sure that you are getting what you need to deal with the stress and challenges you face in your daily life.

Everyone needs to practice self-care regularly, regardless of their mental health status. We are each battling different challenges and problems, as we all equally need care and attention. Self-care is vital for building resilience toward those stressors in life that you cannot eliminate. When you have taken steps to care for your mind and body, you will be better equipped to live your best life.

It is important to assess how you are caring for yourself in several different domains so you can ensure you are caring for your mind, body, and spirit. The domains include physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, and not limited to, social.

Domains of Self-care:

1. Physical self-care

It is known that for your body to function properly, you have to take care of it. This can refer to engaging in physical exercises. With the overuse of technology, the amount of time we spend in the office, often the time used for physical exercise may be limited.

Physical self-care includes how you are fueling your body, how much sleep you are getting, how much physical activity you are doing, and how well you are caring for your physical needs.

Eating healthy, and taking time for physical health care, such as gymming, jogging, yoga, or just taking time to walk outside of office hours are all part of physical self-care

2. Emotional self-care

Often we neglect our emotional state as we are busy catering to that of others. Therefore it is essential to do some form of emotional self-care so that your emotional health can be balanced.

Helping others, being there for others, and providing support for others are important, however, it will not work well for you if your emotional being is in shambles. Building your emotional intelligence should be a priority. It is important to have healthy coping skills to deal with uncomfortable emotions, like anger, anxiety, and sadness.

Emotional self-care may include activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings regularly and safely. Some examples are art therapy, writing blogs, poetry, or daily journaling. Attending support groups to be able to openly express your emotions.

You do not want to wait until you have reached your breaking point

3. Mental self-care

How you think and what you are filling your mind with greatly influence your psychological well-being.

Mental self-care includes doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles, or learning about a subject that fascinates you. You might find reading books or watching movies that inspire you to fuel your mind. Mental self-care also involves doing things that help you stay mentally healthy. Practising self-compassion and acceptance, for example, helps you maintain a healthier inner dialogue.

4. Spiritual self-care

Whether you enjoy meditation, attending a religious service, or praying, spiritual self-care is important.

Nurturing your spirit, however, does not have to involve religion. It can involve anything that helps you develop a deeper sense of meaning, understanding, or connection with the universe.

5. Financial self-care

Financial self-care can start from as little as drafting a budget and following it monthly, learning about financial literacy, and developing discipline when it comes to your finances.

This can be done with the help of professionals at your disposal. The first step is to ask for help from those with the necessary information and knowledge for support and guidance.

It is important to remember that self-care is not limited to the domains mentioned above, individuals are encouraged to look after themselves in every way possible that would yield positive results and improvements in their lives.

Self Care in Recovery Infographic


Explore the multifaceted realm of self-care in addiction recovery, delving into physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and financial domains. The text emphasizes the importance of tailoring a self-care plan to individual needs. Backed by insights from 'Ashley's Everything for Recovery' and the World Health Organization, it highlights the transformative impact of self-care on overall health. Readers are encouraged to foster resilience, prevent disease, and navigate the challenges of daily life through a personalized self-care approach. The article also outlines specific self-care strategies within each domain, promoting holistic well-being in the recovery journey.

Definition and Importance of Self-Care

The blog starts by defining self-care as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's health. It emphasizes that similar to maintaining and protecting electronic devices, self-care focuses on health, which is more precious. In the context of recovery, self-care becomes a fundamental part of the transformational process.

The Broad Scope of Recovery

World Health Organization's Perspective on Self-Care

Importance of Self-Care Regardless of Mental Health Status

Domains of Self-Care: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual, Financial, and Social

Encouragement for Comprehensive Self-Care

In summary, the blog emphasizes the definition and importance of self-care, extends the concept of recovery beyond sobriety, incorporates the World Health Organization's perspective, advocates self-care for everyone, introduces specific domains of self-care, and encourages a comprehensive approach to individualized self-care practices.



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