Self-love and self-esteem have been established as some of the most important aspects of good mental health. Unfortunately, so many of us struggle to love and celebrate ourselves that it’s no wonder that addiction and poor mental health are such common issues. The core of self-love is accepting ourselves as we are, flaws and all. It’s about releasing the idea that we need to be perfect or have to change who we are to deserve love — it’s appreciating that we’re already worthy and loveable, no matter how many imperfections we have or what mistakes we’ve made. Although some lucky few learn these important lessons during their healthy childhoods in their safe, loving homes, the majority of us need to teach ourselves in adulthood. Here are some tips on how to begin the journey to self-love:
Sit with Your Thoughts
Alcohol and drug use are very often correlated with a desire to avoid one’s thoughts. Substance users often don’t know how or feel like they can’t cope with intense negative emotions so they use their drug of choice to numb themselves out. It goes without saying that suppressing feelings doesn’t actually eliminate them. Instead, it entrenches our reliance on drugs or alcohol, because we know that the emotions will come back in full force the second we flush the substances out of our system. For this reason, it’s essential for recovery to accept negative feelings, learn to sit with them, and find ways to process them. This is by no means an easy process but your treatment provider will support you along the way — and the rewards are immense. In fact, many people find that their cravings for their substance of choice decrease dramatically once they get a hold of their emotions, as they no longer need to use to get through the day.
Take Care of Your Body
It’s no secret that the mind and body are not separate entities but they’re closely related. A physical health problem can take a toll on our mental health and vice versa strong emotions can be felt in the body. Taking care of our physical health can actually improve our mental state and make it a lot easier to stay sober. Psychologically, it also makes us feel like we’re worth the effort of taking care of ourselves, which can in turn improve our self-esteem. Simple things like exercising regularly and eating healthily can really make a dramatic difference. You don’t have to go all in — taking regular walks, preferably in nature, or jogging for 15 minutes is a good starting point for exercise and adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet is a great first step.
Leave Substance Use Behind with Hickory Treatment Centers
We know that recovery can seem daunting — but with the right support, it’s not an impossible task. We prioritize treating the underlying causes of addiction, which are of course individual to each patient, rather than the symptoms because we believe this is key for long-lasting results. If you’re looking for support, please don’t hesitate to contact us now and one of our friendly staff members will talk you through your options.