Why We Prioritize Self-Care During Rehab

Why We Prioritize Self-Care During Rehab

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When people are going through rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction, prioritizing self-care is a vital tool on the path to sobriety. It helps people to remain strong physically, mentally, and emotionally as they work to overcome their addiction. We will explore the many benefits of self-care during rehab and how it can help you become the best version of yourself. We’ll also examine how Ocean Hills Recovery is committed to helping patients overcome their addictions and prioritize self-care through various treatment programs.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care can cover a wide range of things we do to recharge our mind, body, and spirit and remain in good health. It can involve daily tasks to manage our personal hygiene and physical health. Self-care also includes activities that can help our mental and spiritual well-being [1]. Anything we can do to manage stress and take care of our health and well-being falls under self-care.

The Importance of Self-Care

Many people mistakenly assume that self-care is about expensive shopping sprees and pampering yourself. But self-care is much more than that. It is a crucial part of the recovery process and every day after that if you want to live a healthier life.

The first step of self-care for those dealing with substance use disorders is seeking treatment. This opens the door to a fresh, healthy lifestyle. Without first choosing to go to rehab, you will never be able to give yourself the care you deserve to live a productive life. Once a person enters rehab, they can discover the many ways to prioritize themselves.

Self-care during rehab is necessary because it allows you to make the changes you need to improve your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Without self-care, you may not be able to realize the strides you are making in your recovery entirely. Learning to prioritize self-care during rehab will become a part of your daily life once you complete your program.

Self-care helps people regain positivity while coping with the challenges of addiction and becoming sober. They can develop healthy coping mechanisms that can help them manage their stress and other factors that may cause relapse [2].

Self-Care and Mental Health

More than one in four adults who have serious mental health problems also have a substance use problem [3]. Those who suffer from depression and anxiety disorders are most likely to suffer from a substance use disorder. Many people with mental health disorders turn to drugs and alcohol to mask the pain they may be experiencing.

Practicing self-care can help to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and other contributing factors that lead to mental health disorders. When the mind and body feel refueled and refreshed, you feel better about yourself and the world around you.

Impact of Ignoring Self-Care

Ignoring self-care during rehab can have detrimental effects. It can result in:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Loneliness
  • Hygiene Issues
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble Concentrating

When we are not eating right or fueling our bodies with the proper activities, we won’t have the necessary energy to overcome addiction. Poor self-care has also been linked to relapse because of the stress it can cause on the body. When we are stressed, more cortisol hormones are released. Some studies have found that these cortisol increases were linked to relapse [4].

This is why maintaining proper self-care during and after treatment is so vital to a person’s overall recovery from a drug or alcohol use disorder. If you notice signs that you or someone going through rehab is ignoring self-care, it’s important to note them so that change can occur to make self-care a priority.

Types of Self-Care

Self-care takes many different forms, but it ensures that the mind, body, and spirit are all taken care of to create a strong sense of self [1].

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional self-care helps people deal with the negative emotions that can surface during recovery. It can help people connect with their emotions and deal with them correctly. This can include journaling, talk therapy, meditation, and expressing gratitude.

Part of emotional self-care can also involve maintaining boundaries. Sometimes, it is necessary to say “no” to people to preserve your well-being. If people or situations cause stress, limiting interactions is not selfish. This is making yourself a priority and giving yourself the care you need and deserve.

As people learn to prioritize self-care, avoiding negative feelings that can lower self-esteem is essential. Negative self-talk can wreak havoc on your emotions. Work to find positive words that can help build confidence and provide the emotional self-care necessary during rehab.

Physical Self-Care

Physical self-care covers a wide range of activities that allow the body to feel good. When we feel good, we have more energy and want more out of life … much more than drugs and alcohol could ever provide. Since the body and mind are connected, the other also benefits when you give one the attention it deserves.

Making physical self-care a priority can mean prioritizing sleep, eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and exercising regularly. Eating nutritious foods gives the body the energy it needs and helps to stabilize moods. When you feel good, you’ll be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol.

Physical self-care can also include dancing, getting a massage, and even taking a nap when you feel like a break. None of these activities should be viewed as selfish because they are essential to prioritizing physical self-care.

Spiritual Self-Care

Spiritual self-care will look different for everyone because not everyone is strongly religious. It can include any ritual that helps you connect to your inner self. It gives you energy and is inspiring. When practicing spiritual self-care, doing what feels right to you is essential. This can include practicing mindfulness and meditation, yoga, walking in nature, and participating in religious practices.

Other Ways to Make Self-Care a Priority During Rehab

Find Support Groups

You can also prioritize self-care by finding other people to talk to who are going through the same things. This can help to avoid feelings of loneliness. Knowing that there are people fighting the same battles can prevent us from feeling as though there is something wrong with us and can help to build our self-esteem.

Discover Who You Are

Battling a drug or alcohol addiction can also make you lose your sense of self. Discovering who you are and who the new you are without drugs and alcohol can also contribute to your self-care. Give yourself time to find balance and determine what is essential. This will help you grow and realize your full potential through recovery.

Form Healthy Relationships

Forming healthy relationships can help you feel better about yourself and your situation. People who can raise you up and be positive make amazing contributions to the recovery process.

Removing negative people from your life can also help you prioritize self-care. These people will not make you feel good about yourself and are not what you need as you move through recovery.

Find a Mentor

Having a mentor can be extremely helpful during the recovery process. This person can help you maintain the physical, emotional, and spiritual self-care you need during rehab. This person can also inspire you to show that the rehab process does work and people can be successful during recovery.

Take Time to Have Fun

It is perfectly alright to have fun during the recovery process. Finding activities that bring joy and relaxation can help you care for yourself better. It can also show you that you don’t need drugs or alcohol to feel good or have fun. As you explore different hobbies and activities, there is also a good chance that you will form new friendships with people who will not tempt you to use drugs and alcohol.

Seek Drug and Alcohol Rehab at Ocean Hills Recovery

Ocean Hills Recovery offers alcohol and drug addiction therapy for people trying to live a sober life. These programs can fit your needs and lifestyle as you learn that drugs and alcohol do not need to be a part of your life.

Dual diagnosis programs are available for those who are also suffering from a mental health disorder as well as a substance use disorder. Our programs are staffed by licensed and professional staff who genuinely care about their patients.

Each client can expect a tailored program to help them overcome their addiction while being shown ways to prioritize self-care. Patients are encouraged to explore the things that make them happy and whole. Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to learn more about our various treatment programs and begin your recovery journey.



[1] https://www.everydayhealth.com/self-care/

[2] https://campuspress.yale.edu/ledger/why-is-self-care-important-in-recovery/

[3] https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health/mental-health-substance-use-co-occurring-disorders

[4] https://www.goodrx.com/conditions/substance-use-disorder/self-care-in-recovery


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