It can be difficult to see your own self-destructive traits or negative behaviors. It is usually easier to point out others’ problems and provide your loved ones with advice you do not take yourself.
To be an effective support system for a loved one in recovery, you need to practice self-care and support their recovery by making healthy life choices for themselves. Self-care can help both you and your loved one in recovery.
What Is Self-Care and Why Is It Important?
According to National Institute of Mental Health, “Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.” Practicing self-care is essential for improving your well-being.
Mental health is affected by your emotional, psychological, social, and physical health. Taking care of each of these aspects is important because your mental health has a huge impact on your decisions, actions, and interactions with others. Studies indicate that even small acts of self-care in your daily life can make a difference in your quality of life. It can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy and productivity.
Self-care plays a major role in treatment for those in recovery. You should also make a conscious effort to incorporate regular self-care into your life. Through self-care, you can become a healthier version of yourself, therefore you are better able to help your loved one in recovery and be a good example for them.
How Can You Practice Self-Care?
The following are a few tips for practicing self-care. Remember, though, that there are many other ways to practice self-care, and it is important to focus on the methods that work best for you. Simply taking the time to practice healthy coping mechanisms by doing things that bring joy to your life can improve your mental health.
#1. Prioritize a Healthy Sleep Schedule
A healthy sleep schedule starts with sticking to a schedule in which you are getting enough sleep. According to health.gov, most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
It is important to get quality sleep on a regular schedule to feel well-rested during the day. Reducing blue light exposure from devices before bedtime can help with this, as studies indicate that blue light decreases people’s ability to sleep well.
#2. Exercise Regularly
Taking 30 minutes out of your day to go on a walk can elevate your mood while improving your health. If more convenient, you can break the 30 minutes into smaller amounts of exercise and still enjoy the health benefits.
#3. Set Goals and Priorities
To help your productivity and decrease your stress when facing overwhelming tasks, you can prioritize your schedule by deciding what is important to get done now and what can wait to be done later. At the end of the day, focus on what you accomplished rather than mulling over what you were not able to complete.
#4. Focus On Positivity
Identifying negative thoughts and challenging them with positivity can improve your view on life and contribute to a healthy mentality.
How Does Practicing Self-Care Help a Loved One in Recovery?
Practicing self-care while your loved one is in treatment can motivate your loved one into continuing recovery. It provides individuals struggling with addiction the support they need by letting them know that you are also taking the time to better yourself for the entire family’s wellbeing.
Another benefit of practicing self-care while your loved one is in recovery is that it gives you the strength you need to be there for your loved one. Supporting someone with depression or addiction can take a lot of emotional energy, and you will have more energy to give support, be patient, and maintain healthy boundaries when your mental health is taken care of through self-care.
What Should You Consider When Supporting Someone in Recovery?
The majority of treatment professionals consider substance addiction to be a family disease. As a result, they strongly advocate for the recovery not only of the individuals struggling with addiction, but also of their families. This whole-family healing can be facilitated through intervention and family therapy.
According to “Understanding Addiction,” participating in treatment as a family is not only for the individual struggling with addiction but also for your own well-being. It is important to take this into account while remembering that your loved one’s recovery does not depend on you. Although family trauma can be passed down, your loved one’s addiction is not your fault.
You cannot do someone’s recovery for them; however, you can seek professional help that can help you navigate your relationship with your loved one.
When Should You Seek Professional Help?
Family members are likely to notice changes within a loved one struggling with mental health issues such as depression or addiction. You can support your loved one by seeking professional help from resources that can help facilitate treatment entry. The following are indications that you or your loved one may require professional guidance:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appetite changes that result in extreme weight loss or weight gain
- Struggling to get out of bed in the morning due to mood
- Difficulty concentrating
- Loss of interest in things you usually find enjoyable
- Inability to perform usual daily functions and responsibilities
It can be challenging to see our own damaging tendencies or bad behavior. It is usually easier for us to detect negative changes within our family and friends. To be an effective support system for a loved one in recovery, it is crucial to prioritize our own mental health. You can provide a loved one with the guidance they need by practicing self-care. Maintaining your mental health is essential for your general well-being and quality of life. Our mental health influences our decisions, actions, and interactions with others. You can practice self-care by taking time to do things that elevate your mood and improve your mental and physical health. This can include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, meditating, and many other activities. Self-care is essential for individuals in recovery and their family support systems. For more information, contact A New Hope Recovery at (407) 501-8490.