Self-care means a lot of different things to different people. No matter what self-care looks like for you, you can find meaning in this popular term. It’s all about self-love. Learning to like who you are sincerely is a process. You have to show appreciation for yourself. Luckily, there are tons of ways to do this.
Start your day with a ritual that helps you feel gratitude. Gratitude journaling can improve your mental health. You can start with the basics, thanking your bed for being comfortable, thank your body for moving, simple stuff.
Men are not generally encouraged to give or graciously receive compliments. Thank your friends and loved ones by telling them something you appreciate about them. Once you start experiencing gratitude, you’ll find more reasons to be. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle that produces healthy dividends.
The Importance of Self-Talk
One aspect of self-care is watching your self-talk. What do you think about yourself? When you make a mistake, do you call yourself names? Are you harsh? Taking care of yourself includes even your thoughts. You can laugh at yourself, helping yourself maintain a sense of humor about life. Just don’t let that devolve into being cruel by thinking unkind things about yourself.
Words have power and can become habits pretty quickly. What you believe about yourself determines who you are. Let it be the positive qualities you acknowledge. In this way, you are paying attention to what you’re good at. This could include patience or dedication or remaining calm in a crisis. Give yourself some slack during this process. You’ll discover you’re better at living than you thought you were.
Love Who You Are
Louise Hay, a famous self-help author, wrote extensively about a practice known as mirror work. It involves looking at yourself in a mirror and saying,” I love you.” If that sounds ridiculous or painful, then it’s probably something you should try. Then ask yourself why you can’t say it. Telling yourself “I love you” takes time and practice. Daily affirmations are positive sayings you repeat, like a mantra. Affirmations change the script. Self-help books are also valuable tools to find techniques that work for you. Consider this personal research.
You don’t have to run out and buy a whole new wardrobe to look good. Spending time on how you present yourself can be relaxing and has the added bonus of making you more attractive. Build your confidence with a few easy changes:
- Take care of your skin: The largest organ of the human body is our skin. Taking care of it isn’t just for women. Wash your face in the morning, after a workout, and before bedtime. You don’t need abrasive cleansers or a bunch of products. There are more options for men’s skincare than ever. You might be oily or dry in places on your face, so find natural products that work with your skin type. Use this time to appreciate your skin, which improves when you quit using. Ask other guys what they use if you’re not sure.
- Take care of your hair: Incorporate a haircare routine into your self-care ritual. Try the head and scalp massages you give yourself. These can help stimulate follicles and help you unwind. Stop using that two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. When you know what kind of hair you have, your hair porosity or what kind of curls, you can buy the right products.
Even the simplicity of getting a haircut can do wonders for your mood. The act of sitting and allowing someone else to provide a service is stress-relieving. If you cut your own hair or shave your scalp, you can make it a habit to enjoy the shape of your skull or how great it feels to have a clean neck. Quietly admire your physical qualities. Get comfortable with the way you look.
- Take care of your facial hair: Facial hair can dramatically alter your appearance. Switch up your beard or mustache style. Learn to care for your facial hair with brushes to train the hair in a particular direction. Use natural oils to moisturize your skin. When we pay attention to our faces, we can find what needs closer inspection, like blackheads or that spot we missed. It’s an act of self-care to notice.
Time to yourself is vital during recovery. You’re the only person who’ll always be with you for the rest of your life, guaranteed. Quiet time alone teaches us the most profound truths about ourselves. You can meditate or pray. Cleaning your space also allows you to practice mindfulness. Removing clutter is good for your mental health. Making your environment pleasant to be in is a way of demonstrating to yourself you deserve to live in a nice place.
Finding Joy and Value in Sobriety
Sometimes during recovery, especially in the early days, it can feel like you’re being bombarded with all of the things that you should do and all of the things that you shouldn’t do. The drive to be successful can move you along your path for a while, but you’ll have a hard time maintaining it if you don’t find a way to experience some happiness at the core of everything as well. You don’t want to get so caught up in achieving goals, that you forget to find the joy in the journey.
Setting Realistic Goals
When you really strip it down, recovery is all about setting goals for yourself and then achieving them. You’ll have long-term goals for sobriety and progress, and these can really help direct you when making decisions, but it’s the small, everyday goals that really bring you the most happiness. Your long-term goals are really made up of many bite-sized goals that lead you to the big prize. Setting realistic goals that you can see yourself accomplishing in the near future will set you up to enjoy your successes as they come, and this can fuel your happiness.
Keeping Confidence in Check
Every success, whether big or small, that you experience throughout your recovery will give you a boost of confidence that you’ll need to tackle the next step. This confidence is a key component in your happiness and self-worth, and you should definitely enjoy it when it comes along. Happiness can put success at risk a little bit for those who become overconfident during addiction recovery. Overconfidence can jeopardize your sobriety.
If you start feeling like you’re strong enough to engage in occasional drug or alcohol use, or that you don’t need the help of your support system anymore, your addiction may be hijacking your confidence and steering you away from success and happiness. Remind yourself that these kinds of thoughts can ruin all your progress, put your head down, and keep fighting forward.
Finding Happiness in Success
As long as you’re keeping a healthy perspective about your recovery success, it will give you great opportunities to build your happiness. Take the time to celebrate every success you achieve, no matter how small. Let yourself feel happy and proud of the work you’ve done. Don’t let what still lies ahead of you overwhelm you and throw a cloud over your happiness. You’ll even see that your relationships with others are strengthened as you share your successes and happiness with them along the way.
Self-care is one step toward recovery from addiction. It’s a fundamental part of healing. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer a spectrum of services to help you in your sobriety. From detox to alumni social groups, we want you to win every day against self-sabotage. As you’re learning to take care of yourself, new feelings and thoughts will emerge. If you need someone to talk to, Band of Brothers is a group of men who’ve experienced every stage of sobriety and can offer guidance. If you feel you need more intensive help, we can assess the level of care that’s appropriate for you. Renaissance Ranch staff are experienced and ready to assist you whenever you may need it. Change is granular. You don’t need to add more pressure on yourself for noticeable results. Call us at (801) 308-8898 to learn more about how Renaissance Ranch can help you in your life of sobriety.