Methadone Maintenance for Opiate Addiction

You Come First: Self Care Tips When You’re in Recovery from Opioids

why is mindfulness important

It is estimated that over 115 people die in the United States daily due to an opioid overdose. This is a staggering statistic, considering the fact that this cause of death is completely preventable.

Unfortunately, many people can’t see the spiral they are on as they become addicted to opioids. For those who know they have a problem and seek help, there’s no question that going to a treatment facility is a great first step.

However, you can’t become complacent and stop there. Another important part of addiction recovery is self-care. What is self-care and what are some self-care tips you can use while recovering from an opioid addiction?

We are glad you asked! Keep reading to find out.

What is Self-Care?

Before diving into types of self-care that can aid your recovery, it’s helpful to know exactly what self-care is.

Self-care is a term that refers to the attitudes and actions you have and do that contribute to the maintenance of your personal health and well-being and that help to promote your overall development.

Self-care is not meant to add more to your already long “to-do” list and it isn’t an emergency response plan. It’s about taking care of yourself and helping ensure you achieve your goals – which, in this case, is to remain addiction-free.

Journaling Your Feelings

While this may seem like an overly simple task that isn’t really going to solve anything, there is actually something pretty therapeutic about writing. When you can spill out all the feelings inside, without the fear of being judged, you get the opportunity to acknowledge feelings you may otherwise keep hidden.

You may learn through your writing where your emotions and struggles are rooted. This gives you a boost and can help you take the next step in your recovery process.

When writing, it doesn’t matter how good you are with words. The key here is to write and get everything out. By writing about your feelings and trials, you can keep up with your recovery process, and may even find insight into why you stumble from time to time.

Take Time to be Alone

We live in a competitive, fast-paced world. It is often difficult to take time to be away from everyone – including your family and friends. However, it’s absolutely crucial for your recovery.

Even if you can only get away a few hours a week, it’s something you should put a priority on. This isn’t being selfish, it’s taking time to ensure you can continue on the road to recovery.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Everything, including the recovery process, feels more intense and worse than it really is if you are tired. It’s important that you try and get a good night’s sleep each night and speak to your doctor if you are unable to do this.

Don’t be afraid to take naps when necessary. Your body is learning to live without the chemical you had become reliant on, it’s only natural to be tired from time to time.

Limit Your Use of Technology

Today, social media is so integrated into your life that you often don’t realize just how draining it can be. It’s important to remember that no one is forcing you to take part in this.

Take some time to take a break and unplug. Doing so will put your mind at ease and reduce your stress. You may even find a hobby or something else to occupy your time, which is also beneficial to the recovery process.

Exercise on a Regular Basis

When you exercise on a regular basis, you are releasing natural, stress-relieving hormones in your body. These can help to improve your mood, and even boost your overall sense of well-being.

You don’t have to participate in an intense workout to get these benefits. Join a yoga class, go for a walk or even take a swim – all of these activities can help improve your overall health and are an essential part of self-care.

Eliminate Negative Self-Talk

While this can be challenging, it’s something you need to try to do. Make sure you pay attention to the thoughts you are having. If you begin thinking negative things, shut it down right away.

A tip to help is to imagine that someone is saying those things about a person you love. Doing this may make it easier to essentially “turn off” these negative thoughts.

Connect with Others

While it is important for you to take time alone, it is just as important to connect with others. Sometimes, when you are going through a hard time (like recovery) you may want to isolate yourself.

The fact is, knowing you aren’t alone is extremely beneficial. Try reaching out to someone who has struggled with overcoming an addiction in the past, or even talk to a professional.

There is no shame in speaking with a therapist. In some cases, having someone with an outside perspective help can be just what you need to begin taking better care of yourself.

Self Care Tips: Help Yourself

There’s no question that getting over an opiate addiction can be challenging and tiring. However, something you can’t overlook is the self-care tips found here. These can help you on your road to long-term recovery.

If you are searching for more information about treatment, and what options you have, we can help. Feel free to check out our article on how to use herbs for opiate withdrawal. We are dedicated to providing the information and resources you need, to overcome your struggle.

About the author

Dr. Michael Carlton, MD.

Leading addictionologist, Michael Carlton, M.D. has over 25 years of experience as a medical practitioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and returned for his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and his Fellowship in Toxicology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

He has published articles in the fields of toxicology and biomedicine, crafted articles for WebMD, and lectured to his peers on medication-assisted treatment. Dr. Carlton was a medical director of Community Bridges and medically supervised the medical detoxification of over 30,000 chemically dependent patients annually.

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