How Can I Make a Self-Care Plan?

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Self-care is crucial, not only for your mental health but your physical health as well. It also plays a very important role in addiction recovery and can help reduce stress and prevent relapse. If you don't know what self-care is or have never practiced it before, it is never too late to start. You may be surprised just how much happier and more rejuvenated you feel when you create a self-care plan. 

Many people have a false perception of what self-care is and believe it to be selfish. In fact, it's the opposite. Self-care involves doing whatever it takes to take care of your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. By doing this, you become a better version of yourself and are better able to handle anything that life throws at you.

If you are new to the practice of self-care, our team at Pathways Recovery Center can help you come up with a self-care plan that works for you. 

Understanding Why It Is Important to Come Up With a Self-Care Plan

In life, you may find yourself constantly running from one thing to the next. At the end of the day, you may fall into bed without ever really taking the time to check in with how you are feeling or consider your own needs. When this happens over and over again, it can lead to feelings of burnout as well as anxiety or depression. For some people, this can sometimes lead to substance misuse. 

You may have heard the phrase, “You can't pour from an empty glass.” In other words, if you have not taken the time to recharge and take care of yourself, you're going to struggle to put your best foot forward in life. You will find it hard to perform your best at work or school. If you're a caregiver, it may be difficult for you to find the energy to care for those who are dependent upon you. 

It is easy to simply say that you're going to start working on self-care. But it is another thing to come up with an actual plan for it. A plan will help ensure that you'll not only follow through with it but make it a daily habit in your life. 

How a Self-Care Plan Can Help in Recovery

A huge aspect of recovery is strengthening your mental health. This helps to ensure that you can handle whatever life has to throw out at you without feeling the need to turn to substance misuse to cope. It also helps to ensure that you're able to effectively manage stress and are doing everything possible to live a well-balanced life. Practicing self-care is one of the best things that you can do to improve your mental health. 

When you are mentally at your best, you are going to be better equipped to turn down potential urges and stay away from drugs and alcohol. Self-care can help you to accomplish this. 

Ways to Go About Making a Self-Care Plan

The first step in coming up with a self-care plan is going to be to actually block off a time that will be dedicated specifically to self-care each and every day. This may involve you waking up a little early every day or going to bed a little late. The sacrifice will be worth it in the end. 

In order to make time for self-care, you may need to make adjustments to your schedule. This could include shifting around your priorities or making arrangements for childcare or other similar things in order to allow some time for yourself. Once you have created a space in your life for self-care to take place, you'll be more likely to actually follow through it with it without guilt. 

Next, you'll want to consider what type of self-care you want to engage in. This can vary from person to person and can change day by day. The key is finding out what works best for you. It may take some time to accomplish this. 

When it comes to beginner self-care, start with the basics. Consider how you are taking care of yourself physically. Are you eating well-rounded meals, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated? Are you making time for some sort of exercise every day?

It's important to note that the more you take care of yourself physically, the better you will feel mentally. Next, consider different activities that help bring you joy, or recharge and rejuvenate you. 

Options to Include in a Self-Care Plan

Consider some of the following self-care options: 

  • Taking a break from social media
  • Spending quality time with a friend
  • Cooking a healthy meal
  • Practicing yoga or some sort of meditation 
  • Listening to calming music
  • Taking a nap
  • Reading a book
  • Watching your favorite show 

If you're not sure how to make self-care a priority in your life, our team at Pathways Recovery Center can help.

When you aren't making a conscious effort to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally, you're going to begin to feel drained. This can take a major toll on your mental health and may cause you to turn to substance misuse to cope. This can become a very dangerous cycle. If you are currently struggling with substance misuse and are ready to make a change, our team at Pathways Recovery Center is here to help. You don't have to go through this alone. Give us a call at (888) 771-0966 today, and one of our team members will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about our services. 

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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