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Practice Self-Care to Rebuild Self-Respect

self respect in addiction recovery

There is an old axiom that says, “If you don’t respect yourself, no one else will.” Nowhere is this truer than in rehab. Yes, you will be a better father if you are sober; yes, you’ll be more responsible on the job. But the real change that will occur is in you: you will be making conscious decisions instead of letting alcohol or drugs control your life.

How Can I Respect Myself?
Feelings of guilt, doubt, and self-recrimination may have been part of the reason you entered rehab, but they have no place in recovery. Now you must work to build a sense of personal worth and empowerment. Here are 4 steps to help you learn to respect yourself and enjoy life.

Step 1. Start with simple things.
Develop a daily routine that includes personal grooming, nutrition, and exercise. Take care to bathe, brush hair and teeth, and dress in clothing that is clean, neat and appropriate. Take an active role in shopping and preparing your meals. Exercise on a regular basis. You may have neglected your health while you were in addiction, so set up regular visits with your dentist and medical doctor.

Step 2. Learn to relax and have fun.
Recovery is hard work, but it should also be a time to discover new interests. Your fun and social activities no longer have to revolve around drugs or alcohol. Why not try something new? Community colleges offer a variety of adult learning classes, and gyms host sports leagues and competitions. Join a group hike, community garden, or drama club. The recreational choices are endless, but be sure to plan ahead to fill your free time with challenging and healthy activities so you don’t get bored and fall into old habits.

Step 3. Practice reflection without reproach.
Avoiding relapse triggers is a difficult part of recovery. Practice mindfulness to become aware of emotions that act as triggers, and take up meditation to help you relax and alleviate anxieties. Make gratitude part of your daily routine to help you keep perspective and remind you that recovery is something to be thankful for.

Step 4. Accept support and be prepared to give it.
Dealing with the roots of addictive behavior is often painful and frightening, but you are certainly not alone in the struggle. Sharing your feelings and experiences can ease the pain. Participate in a support group. You should find that giving support is just as helpful as receiving it.

The social model at 10 Acre Ranch offers men in addiction treatment the support and clinical treatment needed for successful recovery. A daily routine of therapy, meditation, recovery activities, and recreation prepare you for a fulfilling life in sobriety. Fill out our online contact form now, and a recovery staff member will be in touch promptly to discuss your journey to sobriety.