Recovering from addiction can be somewhat of a challenging process especially in the early stages. Beyond freeing oneself from dependence on mood altering substances, a greater challenge lies ahead in having to acknowledge difficult experiences which led to the reliance on substances as a means of coping in the first place. It is through encountering adversity that one’s view of the world, others and especially him or herself is often negatively impacted. Loving oneself at this point almost seems like an impossible task.
Yet, self- love is one of the most essential components of recovery. Perhaps you may be wondering, how can you nurture self- love in your own recovery journey. It is first most important to better understand what it means to love yourself better and how it can be achieved.
Self- love is an appreciation and regard for oneself which is demonstrated by actions intended to support one’s wellbeing. It is the type of love that becomes tainted by the vicious cycle of addiction and a negative perception of the self. Therefore, recovery requires acceptance of and a commitment to caring better for oneself which can be achieved through practicing the following self-care strategies:
- Pay attention to how you feel! Consider what your needs are and ensure that they are met.
- Prioritize your physical and mental health needs. Adequate rest is key!
- Monitor what you say to yourself! Practice reframing negative self-talk to more positive compassionate affirming statements.
- Stress is inevitable! To cope, utilize evidence-based tools such as mindfulness meditation and ask for help especially via your sober support network.
- Feeling accomplished helps you to feel good! Therefore, learn a new skill, develop healthy relationships, or give of service.