The Basics of Early Recovery and Self Care
In conducting therapy with clients at the AToN Center I often see many highly functioning people with multiple responsibilities who are sustaining their complex lifestyles, often temporally, with drugs and alcohol. I often recommend that people get back to the basics. This can include eating well, developing healthy sleep cycles, positive socialization, and simple relaxation.
In sobriety many people have to re-learn basic life skills that have gone ignored or bypassed for many years. For example, instead of eating readily available fast food or nothing at all, a person can make the time to go to the grocery store and have a salad. Yes, this does not sound as grandiose as “fixing all of life’s problems” but this is a simple step which can improve your health and help you feel better today. Learning to stick with a sleep schedule and stay away from naps can be a challenge.
Again, this is not going to lead to “peak experience” but there may be a day when you actually feel well rested with good energy. Also, rather than planning an elaborate party, with a multitude of socialites and acquaintances, imagine having a close friend over for dinner and even cooking and cleaning together.
Many people early in their recovery are often reflective on missing out on these small moments of self-care as they have dedicated their lives to their addiction. It may sound simple but these moments can help a person feel more grounded and centered.
Chad K. Cox, PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516