Valentine’s Day has become a holiday devoted to showing others how much you care about and appreciate them. Women in particular spend a lot of their time focused on doing things for others and ensuring everyone else’s needs are met. But what about your needs? Practicing self-care can be a great way to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day and strengthen your commitment to addiction recovery.
Take time out for yourself. Schedule an appointment to get your hair or nails done, plan a day at the spa, curl up with a cup of tea and good book, or treat yourself to a movie. Try going solo, as there is no need to bring your significant other along to find something you enjoy and that boosts your mood. Focusing on addiction recovery can take a lot out of you, so give yourself a chance to relax and unwind in a safe space.
Reflect on the Positive
Stop to look back on how far you have come in your recovery. Reflect on the milestones and accomplishments you have achieved. It’s okay to toot your own horn and be proud of all that you have done. If you’ve been feeling as though you’re in a rut, re-evaluating the goals you set for yourself while in a residential treatment program can help you to refocus and adjust what you are working toward.
Remember that no one is perfect. Practicing self-care means giving yourself permission to make mistakes, but realizing that this is also an opportunity to learn and grow. Let go of old grudges you’ve been holding against yourself – or even others – so that you can move on and build a brighter future. Holding yourself to impossible standards that you wouldn’t expect of others can increase the anxiety you feel and make it more difficult to love yourself and push forward in recovery.
Prioritize Your Well-Being
Many addiction specialists and mental health professionals recommend that individuals in recovery avoid engaging in new romantic relationships for at least a year after treatment. Before you can love someone else, you must learn to love yourself. Plus, your priority should be your recovery. Getting caught up in a new relationship may alter your judgment and increase risk of relapse.
Practice putting your needs first and learning how to say no. Recognize what you can comfortably handle and when you’ve reached your limits. You don’t have to accept every invitation or agree to take on every project. Set boundaries, work on improving communication, and focus on healing yourself.
Choose the Company You Keep
Not everyone you meet will be a good influence in your life – even if you want them to be. Identify those people who always have your back and encourage you to be the best version of yourself. Recovery often means cutting ties with toxic relationships. It’s your life, and you get to choose what kind of people you surround yourself with. This Valentine’s Day, spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself, are supportive of your recovery, and are a positive influence.
Engaging in support groups or therapy groups can help you to understand what healthy relationships look like, and how to foster these connections with others. They can also help you to form friendships with others who are in addiction recovery and understand first-hand the challenges you face. They can be a strong source of support and guidance too.
Practicing self-care can be a great way to remind yourself that you and your health matter. Too often people get caught up in hectic schedules and too many obligations that they forget to take time out for themselves and listen to their own bodies and minds. So this Valentine’s Day, sleep in and take your time doing things you enjoy – just because you can. And if you find that you’re having trouble focusing on recovery and embracing a substance-free lifestyle, turn to a reputable addiction treatment center like Crossroads for help. Engaging in an individualized treatment program specifically geared toward the needs of women in recovery can make a difference in your future.