In honor of Stress Awareness Month, we are sharing 9 ways to practice self-care in recovery.
Self-care can sometimes be the same as self-preservation and in your recovery, it’s a necessity and also a healthy way to find peace and joy. Regular self-care is a critical part of sustaining recovery from an eating disorder.
Incorporating self-care into your life on a regular basis can decrease the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other emotional health issues. It can help you to efficiently cope with stressors and triggers such as anxiety and fatigue, which you may experience as you go about your day-to-day life. Before you choose some self-care activities, listen to your inner self and decide what is best for you at the moment. Do you need time alone or with friends? Do you need to get outside or stay cozy inside? Pay attention to your feelings and not just what someone else is recommending. You will know what best serves your current needs.
Here are some ways to devote time to take care of yourself:
- Meditate for 5-20 minutes in the morning
- Curl up with a good book while wearing fuzzy socks
- Take a few deep breaths
- Enjoy time with a good friend
- Try a new hobby (learning new activities helps you live in the moment)
- Visit a new place you’ve always wanted to see
- Take a leisurely walk in nature
- Listen to upbeat music or a funny podcast
- Attend a yoga class
These are only a few of the endless possibilities to choose from when you need to reconnect with how you feel and experience self-compassion. If a certain podcast made you feel good, tune back in to the other episodes in that series. You can also keep a running list of quotes that encourage or inspire you, and refer back when you are looking for a quick way to lift yourself up.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. Give yourself permission to choose an alternate plan if it makes you feel comfortable. Your well-being is the most important thing. Sometimes self-care might mean shutting off all electronics and just being still and not doing anything for an hour. We are all unique and the important part of our self-care practices is that we make them relevant and useful to our health and well-being.
Self-care will not only help improve your physical health but most likely your mental health as well. It all ties together. Practicing self-care can bring calmness and joy to your life and help you on your journey as you move forward.