7 Ways to Prioritize Self-Care

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery.” How you care for your mind and body will influence your psychological and physical well-being. Your mental health affects all of the following:
  • How you regulate and process emotions
  • Actions and reactions
  • Personal choices
  • Interpersonal relationships
When you attend treatment facilities like White House Recovery and Detox, you learn to factor self-care into your new habits and routines. However, after returning home, you may find it challenging to recognize areas of your life that could benefit from changes. The sections below explain some excellent ways to prioritize your self-care. 

#1. Make Meaningful Social Connections 

People experiencing a significant life change like attending rehabilitation treatment sometimes push themselves too far until they burn out from the effort. You can slow down and focus on the meaningful things in your life, like connecting with others. “Social relationships — both quantity and quality — affect mental health, health behavior, physical health, and mortality risk,” according to the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. A few ways you can build social relationships include: 
  • Attend a self-help group 
  • Volunteer 
  • Join a social group, club, or organization
  • Start playing a sports activity and join a local team
  • Spend time socializing with sober peers

#2. Allow Yourself to Explore New Interests 

You deserve to be happy, and even though branching out and expanding your horizons can feel scary, the rewards make it worthwhile. Try doing new activities that have always piqued your interest. Every day is an opportunity to try something new. By allowing yourself to explore these interests, you can improve your mood and quality of life. Hobbies are also helpful for distracting yourself from cravings and unwanted thoughts. Some healthy everyday activities include: 
  • Art, music, and reading
  • Sports
  • Crafting
  • Woodwork
  • Gardening
  • Photography and videography
  • Video games
  • Hiking, swimming, biking, or other outdoor activities

#3. Develop and Stick to Personal Boundaries 

Personal boundaries help you develop healthy relationships with the people around you, and they are crucial for individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. Setting personal boundaries is one way to protect and care for yourself. Let others know what makes you feel comfortable or uncomfortable by setting emotional, physical, material, and time boundaries and then sticking to them. Over time you will find that your values become more established, and your self-confidence will increase. 

#4. Meditation and Finding Time to Be Alone 

Meditation can include activities like yoga, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, or simply spending time alone where you can take a break from the pressures of everyday life. Everyone finds calm and serenity in different ways. Once you identify yours, then work to incorporate it into your routine. Sometimes finding the time to set aside for this is hard, but even 10 to 15 minutes a day dedicated to your self-care can make a big difference for your mental health and general stress levels. Some people feel more comfortable spending quiet time in the presence of others doing activities like:
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Meditation 

#5. Make a Better Choice Each Day 

Every day is an opportunity to make better choices for yourself and the people you love. Each morning, you can decide that you will look after your well-being by doing things that will help you stay healthy and sober. You may find it helpful to make a list of ways you think your life can improve. Start small, make sure the goals are realistic, and then create concrete plans for achieving them. Each day works to get you a little closer to meeting those goals.

#6. Care for Your Mind, Body, and Soul 

Practice self-care daily and become comfortable with the idea that your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health matters. A holistic approach to self-care is best because you can prevent future physical or mental issues by taking care of your mind and body every day. Self-care is taking proactive steps to lead a healthy lifestyle that will prevent problems from developing. You can improve your overall health by doing the following: 
  • Dedicating time to your spiritual well-being 
  • Practicing healthy lifestyle choices like eating nutritional meals
  • Taking steps to remove stress from your life 
  • Manage any SUD or mental health symptoms

#7. Use Technology to Improve Your Mood 

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs has a web page dedicated to self-help resources for individuals recovering from substance use disorder. The site includes online education and apps designed to improve your life. SAMHSA, the American Psychological Association (APA), and other organizations also have apps to help you with mental health crisis prevention. At White House Recovery and Detox, we believe that you are more than your diagnosis. Your feelings and emotions are valid. You deserve to be encouraged while you go through treatment and continuing care. While therapy and peer support are part of self-care, you can do a lot more to give yourself the space to grow and heal. A lot of resources exist for getting help with symptoms and co-occurring conditions. However, what many other facilities fail to offer is education about self-care and the vital role it plays in recovery. The dedicated team at White House Recovery and Detox understands the importance of a holistic approach to care, including making sure your spiritual and emotional needs get met. We also offer alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, and music therapy to familiarize you with positive activities. To find out more about our services, reach out to our office today by calling (800) 510-5393.