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February, the month of Valentines Day, is often a time when we find ourselves reflecting upon our relationships; however, more often than not we forget to look at the most important one – that of which we have with ourselves.
Active drug and alcohol use commonly compromises are self-love. Learning to love yourself in addiction recovery and accepting who you are can be easier said than done. So much of your identity may have been or still is wrapped up in your addiction. Now that you have found freedom from your addiction, you’re often left to face parts of yourself you may not want to. Finding self-love is one of the most rewarding and life-changing things you can do; however, like most good things it does not come without challenges. The good news is, there are small steps that you can take to love yourself in addiction recovery. You can come to terms with who you once were and who you have come to be now. Implement these practical exercises and go from self loathing to self-boasting.
1. Practice Gratitude: Set a timer and for 5 minutes write down as many things that you are grateful for in your life, including the little things. Then begin to list the attributes about yourself that are positive and unique to you. Forcing yourself to list the best parts of you will make yourself realize you are a better person than you gave yourself credit for. We all have a light inside of ourselves that can be clouded by negative self-image, especially those of us who have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. It just takes a little practice to shine light on the good in all of us.
2. Give yourself a break: Allow yourself to be flawed and full of imperfections, because truth is – we all are! Celebrate the small victories of growth and practice not beating yourself up about making small mistakes that set you back. It is fact that we are our own worst critics but in order to learn to find peace within ourselves, we need to not set the bar so high. Remember, even the people you aspire to be make mistakes. So be kind to your yourself and allow room to be human, it will go a long way.
3. Digital Cleanse: This tip is simple and practical but can have a massive impact on how you begin to see yourself. Studies have been clear in finding that social media has a negative impact on our mental health. Taking a break from using social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat will clear your mind of comparisons and unrealistic ideals of what success looks like. The pressure will be off and you will have time to focus on your own personal journey of growth and happiness.
4. Give Back: The act of serving complete strangers opens up a treasure of chest of love and positive emotions that will in turn will assist you in loving yourself in a fresh and vibrant way. Try volunteering with disadvantaged youth at a local community center or start small by performing small acts of kindness for people in your own home. The love in your heart for others will begin to multiply leaving almost no room for self-dislike in your life
5. Take Care of Your Body: Everything that we consume as far as eating and drinking affects our emotions and energy levels. Try making a commitment to start eating foods that are natural and are packed with lots of nutrients. It’s guaranteed that after you start to feel physically better, you will feel a greater love for your entire being.
Self-care is an open doorway to our own self love and acceptance. Testing out a few or even just one of these tips will spark a fresh new appreciation for every part of you that makes you who you are! Remember “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”– Buddha
Author: Danielle Morales – Footprints to Recovery