Real Self-Care Tips for The New Year Ahead

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We’ve all heard the term “self-care,” but what is it – really? Some believe it can be a simple act of kindness for yourself; others see it as a way to reduce stress. This year, your self-care regimen can be all of those things, but it can also be about taking small steps towards larger, productive goals that target the social, physical, and emotional aspects of your life. Here are real self-care tips and tools to help you stay focused on your health and well-being, prevent self-sabotage, and ultimately help you to remain true to your sobriety. 

Plan Physical Assessments:

Scan your body at the beginning and end of each day. This act establishes a routine that will turn into a habit. Whether it’s meditation or the simple act of daily reflection – take time for yourself each day to perform a physical assessment. You can begin this by asking yourself simple questions such as: 

  • How do I feel physically? 
  • Did I get in some form of exercise today? 
  • Did I drink enough water? 
  • Did I get enough sleep? 

Are you lacking in any or all of these forms of self-care? It’s time to create a plan to get back on track. Be gentle with yourself as you are only human, and it’s okay if certain things get away from you at times. You can do this daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever works best for you – just make it a routine. 

Create Emotional Check-Ins: 

Throughout the year, create a plan for emotional check-ins. Regularly ask yourself questions such as “Am I present” or “Am I in touch with my emotions?” This kind of self-awareness can help you create stronger relationships, make better decisions, and build self-confidence – which is paramount in keeping on track with your sobriety. Research on self-awareness suggests, “Without self-awareness, people could not take the perspectives of others, exercise self-control, produce creative accomplishments, or experience pride and high self-esteem (Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2004).”

Another way to establish emotional check-ins is to follow the HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) method. The HALT rule is typically used in addiction recovery to manage potential triggers, such as being angry or emotionally exhausted, which can lead to self-destructive behaviors and possible relapse. However, it can be used in all areas of your life from work situations to dealing with complicated relationships. 

HALT can be used as a system for achieving emotional balance. For example, you can use this method to manage the stress that often leads to feelings of anger. Is a co-worker draining your energy or triggering feelings of anxiety or frustration? You can stop and ask yourself a question such as, “Do I need to take a break and recharge my emotional energy right now?” If the answer is yes – walk away and do something healthy to recharge your emotional tank. 

Reducing or eliminating any undue stress this year can also be part of your emotional check-in routine. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What or who is causing me stress? 
  • How am I currently releasing negativity in my life? Is it working?
  • What can I do to release stress to be more productive throughout the year? 

Now, make a plan of action and list some ideas of things you can do to help better manage issues that may come up this year. For example, maybe you’ve come to realize that you love tinkering with your motorcycle or you love gardening. These activities boost your mood and help you to relax. Now, maybe plan on slowly creating an herb garden or rebuilding an old motorcycle. The point is – have something to look forward to that releases negativity and stress, creates space for positivity, and can be done in small increments over a period of time. Whatever it is – it will be your “go-to” for when things go downhill, and you will have something to show for all of your hard work and dedication.

Get Social

An excellent form of self-care is taking the time to connect, or re-connect with others in the new year. Receiving positive energy and love from those you care about will boost both your spirits and self-esteem, but more importantly, it will keep you feeling centered and supported. A few ways to get social this year may include:

Making time for family and friendsif you’ve lost touch with a close friend or have been too busy to connect with your family, start the year off with a phone call or text letting them know you miss them and want to schedule a time to see them. Commit to this time together and maybe even make it a monthly or weekly event. Do an activity you both enjoy, as this will make it easier to develop into a routine.

Take a new class or start a new hobby Engaging in a new activity or hobby isn’t just fun and social, but it can also have health benefits such as reducing stress and boosting immunity. 

Go to support meetings – if you aren’t already in a post-rehab program, it’s time to join one this year. People who are successful in recovery, as well as their day-to-day life, attend support meetings. The Kimberly Center offers continuing care programs with access to counseling and 12-step group meetings all in one location. Taking small steps towards better self-care this year will help you stay focused on your health and well-being and ultimately help you to remain true to your sobriety. Let The Kimberly Center help you on this journey of self-love, call us today at 855-4-KCENTER (855-452-3683).

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