Why Focusing on Self-Care a Key in Family Recovery
Many psychologists attest that self-love and self-care are important to mental health and well-being. It is important that you are taking care of yourself too.
Having a loved one with SUD can stir a lot of emotions in us, mostly negative emotions that can take a toll on our mental health.
Again, the reason behind why airline attendants instruct passengers to put on their oxygen masks first before helping others put theirs holds true for anyone who has a loved one suffering from SUD.
Why self-care is important
For some of us, self-care may sound like a luxury rather than a necessity or just a fad of the modern times.
Self-care practice is not new. Ancient Greeks practiced self-care even before it has become popular in modern times. The Greek word for self-care “philautia” translates closely to “self-love” or love of self.
They believed that when self-love was practiced appropriately, balanced and in a non-narcissistic way, it provides the foundation upon which other love could be built. The more you love yourself, the more you are able to love others.
Here are the reasons why focusing on self-care is important to family recovery:
Self-care improves our immunity. It increases positive thinking which lessens the risk for depression, stress, anxiety and many other emotional health issues. It is challenging to take care of our loved ones when we ourselves do not feel well.
Taking the time to care for ourselves remind us that our needs are important too. Most of the time, we get so engrossed with taking care of other’s needs and tend to forget that we have our own needs too. Whether we do it intentionally or not, our needs are not the top priority.
Feeling well-cared-for brings feelings of calm, and sends the message to others that we value ourselves. When we practice self-care, we not only help ourselves, but it is the best way we can also help our loved ones with SUD.
Self-care makes us better caretakers. It helps us become more compassionate and understanding of our loved ones with SUD who are feeling unhappy, have low self-esteem and have feelings of resentment.
Practicing self-care should be done on a regular basis. It’s not self-indulgent. In fact, it should become a part of our routines. What are some self-care practices that you can do?
Keep a journal. Write down the things you are grateful for. Writing down your emotions can also help you process them faster. It is not healthy to bottle up emotions, but we know that we can’t just blurt out everything to our loved one with SUD all the emotions that we’re feeling. It may come across as confrontational to them and that might lead to more problems.
Escape to your hiding place once in a while. It could be a room in your house. It’s okay to get away for some time and just be by yourself.
Read a book or meditate. Do something that will help quiet down your thoughts. Reading a book by itself is meditative. If you haven’t tried meditation, there are a lot of guided meditations available online. There are also a lot of health benefits of meditation.
Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself. Accept that you can only do so much for your loved one. Instead of criticizing and judging yourself for the things that you cannot do or do not have the capacity to do for your loved one, acknowledge that imperfection is a part of being human.
The role you play in your loved one’s SUD recovery
The Covid19 pandemic we are experiencing right now is doubling the challenges of recovery for families with SUD. Your role to their recovery journey is more critical in these times.
The BALM® method teaches you how to play your role effectively and how to engage your loved ones in evidence-based short interventions that encourages loved ones to pursue and be committed to their recovery journey.
BALM Family Recovery is offering a FREE 5-day ON-Demand Webinar Series that you can take any time, at your own pace – even after May 15th.
We have extended our special reduced pricing at $99 monthly subscription; or $999 annual for the 1-Year BALM Family Recovery Program; or $500 – two payments for annual subscription.
Call 1-888-998-BALM (2256).