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Is It Selfish to Practice Sober Self-Care?

The term ‘self-care’ refers to a person’s ability to care for their needs independently but does not mean they do it alone. Self-care is especially important to people who struggle with addictions and other mental health disorders. People in new recovery often lack the ability to take care of themselves since most of their lives, they have relied on drugs and alcohol to give them peace of mind, confidence, motivation, and the other emotional, mental, and even physical benefits that substances do provide.

Self-care means paying attention to and supporting one’s own physical and mental health. It is also a big part of treatment for many physical and mental health disorders. (Harvard)

What Do Professionals Say About Self-Care?

Just because drugs and alcohol are addictive for many, it does not negate some of the positive effects they have on someone’s mindset. Still, figuring out how to support your life from numerous directions is how many describe self-care. Most professionals who discuss self-care talk about how well someone cares for their physical health.

How Do Recovering People Care for Themselves?

A lack of good nutrition or not taking medications can cause the person to become physically sick, representing a lack of self-care. Still, there is more to the meaning of what self-care is. The medical writers at Harvard Health Publishing describe what self-care means. They address the idea of self-care as a physical status as well as the state of a person’s mental health. To understand what it means to be giving self ‘self-care,’ it is essential to know what is included. The following serves as a guide to better see how you or a loved one provides positive self-care for their own life.

  • Regular hygiene practices ( bathing, hair grooming, dental care)
  • Balanced nutrition (quality and quantity of food eaten)
  • Positive lifestyle ( exercise, social and leisure activities)
  • Environmental factors (living conditions and relationships at home)
  • Socioeconomic factors (income level, cultural influencers, employment)
  • Meeting medical needs (taking prescriptions and following doctors’ orders)
  • Connection to the community (participation in the community, school, work)

What Does Being Selfish Mean?

When a person is selfish, they lack the ability to care about anything outside of their own life. Unfortunately, some people confuse self-care with selfishness. Yet, they are different. Self-care prioritizes taking care of one’s health and mental health. Selfishness is different because the selfish person may harm themselves, aware or unaware, to get what they want. A perfect example of someone who is selfish is anyone who struggles with addiction. People who have become addicted to drugs or alcohol use the substance to self-medicate. They have lost all awareness of what they really need because the substances do it for them. Their behaviors are very selfish and self-centered, but they are not at fault. They are damaged individuals who must use drugs and alcohol to feel better. Still, their answer is to seek professional help at treatment where they will be shown how to embrace self-care over being self-centered, aka selfish.

How Do I Practice Sober Self-Care?

The National Institutes of Mental Health provide an acronym for self-care. G-R-E-A-T stands for Gratitude, Relaxation, Exercise, Acknowledging Feelings, and Tracking Thoughts.

Drug Treatment at Evoke Wellness MA

Evoke Wellness provides advanced substance use disorder treatment methods that emulate the core principles of self-care. Evidence-based behavioral therapy helps individuals learn how to heal their emotions that cause stress, anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol addictions. Evoke also provides holistic therapy that addresses stress management and teaches our patients to relax. Anxiety and stress are two of the most common reasons why a person uses drugs or consumes alcohol. We provide yoga, guided meditation, massage therapy, art and music therapy, and more.