Practicing Self-Love While in Recovery

February 6: National Time to Talk Day
February 6: National Time to Talk Day
February 5, 2023
February 20: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
February 20: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week
February 8, 2023

With Valentine’s Day taking place in the month of February, this is often a month where there is a lot of focus on relationships and romantic types of love. However, one type of love that is all too often overlooked is self-love. This is an important type of love that everyone should have in their life, but it can be difficult to achieve. Maintaining self-love is perhaps even more difficult for those who have struggled with substance misuse.

Practicing self-love is an important part of the recovery journey. This healthy practice allows one to move past their mistakes and focus on becoming the best version of themselves. Self-love is possible for everyone, even if it takes some time to establish.

Understanding Why Self-Love Is Important for Recovery

It’s essential to recognize that you are more than the mistakes of your past. Many people who struggle with substance misuse cling on to guilt or shame due to things that happened long ago. This can persist even after they’ve sought treatment and have been sober for a long time. Part of self-love involves self-forgiveness.

Forgiving yourself is the process of acknowledging the fact that you’ve done your best to make amends for the past and that it’s okay to let yourself heal. This process is necessary in order to finally move on and start living in the present. By allowing yourself to heal, you can finally begin to work toward becoming the best version of yourself possible.

Practicing Self-Love Through Self-Care

Day-to-day life can be very chaotic amid personal and professional obligations. You may find yourself running from one thing to the next throughout the day before collapsing into bed at night. Maybe you never took the opportunity to take stock of your day, consider your own needs, or take proper care of yourself. This can happen not only to individuals in the workforce but also to those who are caregivers to others and are used to putting the needs of others before themselves.

Self-care is important not only for good mental health but also for your overall well-being. It can help improve your mood and allow you to better manage stress. When it comes to self-care, it’s important to remember the basics. Making sure that you’re eating regular and well-balanced meals, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and making time for exercise are all forms of physical self-care. However, proper self-care goes beyond the physical aspects. Mental and emotional well-being should be considered as well.

How to Start a Self-Care Routine

In order to make self-care a habit, start by carving out at least 10-15 minutes a day to dedicate to taking care of yourself. This time is all about you. Your other obligations will have to wait. What self-care might look like is completely dependent on the individual and what works well for one person might not be as effective for someone else.

Consider what you enjoy and what types of activities help you to feel rested, restored, or at peace. Maybe you really enjoy reading or taking a relaxing bath. Perhaps there’s a particular show that always puts you in a good mood when you watch it. Some other ideas for self-care options include:

  • Reading a chapter of a book
  • Practicing yoga or some other form of meditation
  • Taking a nap
  • Doing some journaling
  • Creating art
  • Doing some breathing exercises
  • Making a phone call to a good friend
  • Enjoying a hot cup of coffee
  • Making and eating a nutritious meal

Practicing Self-Care Through Positive Affirmations

When people think about positive affirmations, they may think of compliments that you make toward another person. However, positive self-affirmations are also very much a real practice that can help you to stay motivated, improve your self-esteem, and elevate your mood.

Essentially, positive affirmations are phrases to repeat to yourself to help remind yourself of your strength, worth, and many other positive attributes. Repeating these affirmations on a regular basis can help to train your mind to think more positively. You can say them while looking in the mirror in the morning while you’re getting ready for work or while driving there.

Furthermore, you can write them down in a journal at any time. Just be sure to stay consistent with them.

What your affirmations may be is completely up to you. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some ideas:

  • I am capable of greatness 
  • All I need is already within me
  • I am going to make today a great day
  • Every day I am getting closer to my goals
  • I am loved and valued
  • Happiness is a choice that I’m making today
  • I am not controlled by my problems
  • Nobody can take away my happiness
  • I am going to get through any challenges that may come my way

The month of February is often associated with relationships and romance. However, it can also be a month of self-love. Self-love is important for everybody, especially for those who are on their recovery journey. Learning self-love can help you grow and heal from past mistakes, move forward, and focus on becoming the best version of yourself. One great way to practice self-love is by practicing self-care. Always remember the basics, such as getting enough sleep and eating healthy. Also, be sure that you’re taking care of your mental health. Positive affirmations are another way to practice self-love by reminding yourself of your positive qualities. For help with substance misuse, call The Kimberly Center at (855) 452-3683 today. 

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