It is incredibly easy to get caught up in the grind of everyday living. Often people get stuck in a cyclical pattern of simply getting through what one needs to get through to survive, with minimal regard for one’s physical, emotional, or mental health. For example, people will turn to fast food because they may be too tired from their workday to think about cooking a nourishing meal, or because they cannot afford to buy a healthy alternative. This may seem like small, perhaps, insignificant example, but our nation is currently experiencing a huge increase in both adult and child obesity. Being mindful about oneself and spending time to self care is essential.

The notion of self care does not have to be all consuming and overwhelming. Carving out a certain amount of time, any amount of time, can make an incredible difference in a person’s life. Self care can be achieved in a myriad of ways. For some it may be a massage, pedicure, manicure, or facial. For others, it may be going to a movie, concert, or the theater. Spending a night with friends can be one method of self care. Additionally, self care can simply be going to bed extra early to get a bit more rest. It could be as small as buying a coffee before work, or grand as going on an exotic vacation.

Every person in the world can benefit from a little self care. A person suffering from substance abuse or addiction is no exception. There are many stigmas associated with drug addicts and alcoholics. Self care is definitely not on that list. People who struggle with substance abuse and addiction allow all else to fall by the wayside. An individual’s personal hygiene, diet, job and financial responsibilities, friendships…etc. will all play second fiddle to feeding one’s addiction. This does not leave any room for an individual to self care.

The notion and practice of self care in the substance abuse recovery community is imperative. If an individual who is in treatment for substance abuse or addiction does not set self care as a priority, he or she may be putting him or herself at risk of relapse. Part of the reason a person may have turned to drugs or alcohol, in the first place, could be partially attributed to a lack of self care to begin with. When an individual goes through treatment for substance abuse, he or she must learn new ways to deal with the challenges of everyday life. All of the habits and patterns associated with and practiced during one’s substance abuse days must be dropped or adjusted. This, in turn, will leave space to create new and healthy patterns and habits for the individual. It is during this time that introducing and integrating some type of self care practice would be beneficial.

One of the great benefits of self care is that it can pull a person out of what can turn into a mundane, everyday life routine. Getting stuck in a routine can seem comfortable, but may also feel stale and boring. No matter what stage a person is in his or her life, shifting up a routine, welcoming and even planning for small or large changes can be refreshing and nourishing. The work versus personal life balance is challenging in the United States. There are new laws being set in place regarding paid family leave and maternity leave, which other countries implemented long ago. These new laws can be viewed as a requirement for self care. They can certainly provide easier access for an individual to practice self care. In reality, if a person does not take care of him or herself, he or she will be run into the ground. A person that takes some time to do something for him or herself will actually help to maintain a healthier immune system than those who do not. Additionally, practicing self care will help a person increase his or her ability to experience joy and happiness in his or her life. It is essential for an individual to find some number of manageable methods to practice self care weekly, if not daily.

Any person interested in learning more about self care should feel free to reach out to any therapeutic office or clinic. Identifying a meaningful method of self care can be somewhat of a personal experience. It is, however, essential to pinpoint some method or methods for oneself and practice self care regularly.