Using Self-Care To Cope With Stress
Stress has always been a part of everyday living. In modern times, we’re more stressed than ever. Whether we’re worried about a public health crisis, studying for an exam, or learning to simply live without the use of substances, life is full of stress. The way that you cope with that stress, as a newcomer to recovery, is very important. One easy skill to begin using today is the art of self-care.
What is Self Care?
Self-care is a term used to describe things we do that soothe our mind and spirit throughout the days and weeks. It’s not a complicated coping skill, but it is vital. As an addicted person, you may have trouble putting this skill into use.
If you incorporate self-care into your daily life, you’ll be rewarded with less stress. Stress can take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. But doing something as simple as taking a bath with Epsom salts after a long hard day of work can help you recharge in unexpected ways. Taking this time to reward yourself and slow down can help you get up the next morning feeling prepared to face the world again.
Self-care can be used to describe any wholesome activity that makes you feel better. As long as it doesn’t hurt you or somebody else, and helps you calm down, you can count it as self-care. (Things that ARE harmful to you, such as vaping tobacco or participating in compulsive sexual activities are NOT a part of self-care.)
Self-Care Activities to Try
Not sure what helps you feel better at the end of a long day or week? Here are some suggestions that you can try out. Keep what works, and forget about what doesn’t:
- Drawing or painting. Many people in recovery have an artistic side. It’s a creative and productive way to express your emotions.
- Riding a bike. Bike rides are great for getting your endorphins flowing to help balance out your stress hormones.
- Going for a nature walk. The calm of nature combined with the exercise benefits can help you focus and enjoy the moment.
- Yoga or stretching. During times of stress, your body may clench and muscles get sore. Proper stretching can help relieve this physical embodiment of stress.
- Listen to music and dance. Like is often said, “dance like no one is watching.” Enjoying music this way may feel silly, but when you were a child you probably loved to act this way. Embrace that child-like side of yourself.
- Take a long bath – either with Epsom salts or bubbles.
- Bake some cookies to share. Food brings people together, and the act of cooking is something many people find refreshing.
- Play and cuddle with a pet. Studies show that petting or brushing a pet for 15 minutes actually helps lower our blood pressure.
- Read a book. Immersing yourself in fiction can be a great way to de-stress for half an hour or so.
You may have other hobbies that aren’t listed above. Feel free to choose something other than the suggestions here. Life is an adventure, and finding new types of self-care is rewarding. You have plenty of time to explore now that you’re clean and sober.
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you or a loved one have a problem with addiction? There is no better time than now to get help for it. Let us help you reclaim your life. We offer a safe, compassionate environment to begin the recovery journey. We can help you detox and decide your next steps in an empathetic home-away-from-home. To learn more about our facilities please contact us at 619-363-4767.
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