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Dimensions of Self-Care

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2019

August 11, 2011

by: Amy Cluff, LCSW

“To succeed, you need to take that gut feeling in what you believe and act on it with all of your heart.”
– Christy Borgeld

Self-care is an essential piece of recovery for addicts and their partners. Make a commitment today to take good care of yourself.

A good place to start is to choose 1-2 activities for each area of your life: Emotional, Spiritual, Physical, Relational, and Personal Development. You can choose from the examples below or journal your own self care activities. Decide how often you want to participate in the activity. If this is new to you, it is okay to start slow, and then add in more self-care as you feel ready. It is very helpful to write down your commitments to self care and to track your activities. You will feel the confidence and satisfaction that comes from taking care of yourself.

Emotional:
o Participate in your meetings, therapy, support groups
o Journal
o Use positive affirmations each day
o Identify and maintain your personal/ relational boundaries
o Identify and reach out to people who support you
o Practice mindfulness and reflective contemplation
o Value your accomplishments and progress
o Take some alone time for self care (be sure to communicate about it with your spouse and children, if needed)
o Develop and use a routine (again- start small if needed, such as a morning routine, or a night routine, or a spiritual routine)
o Use uplifting music, media (books, movies, television)
o Remember beautiful scenery
o Remember happy, peaceful past events
o Slow down life’s pace, take healthy breaks
o Share healthy touch (hugs, holding hands, arm around shoulders)
o Share intimacy with your spouse (if you are emotionally ready)
o Reach out and talk to some one if you are down, overwhelmed, or feeling ashamed
o Contemplate your purpose, goals
o Create an inviting atmosphere with lighting, music, and organization
o Take quiet time
o Dress up nice for yourself
o Think about your good qualities
o Think about the unique qualities, strengths of your gender
o Spend time with people who support you
o Ask for help if you need it. Take help if it is offered

Spiritual:
o Prayer
o Meditation
o Scripture or spiritual reading
o Attend church services and participate in religious ceremonies
o Repeating spiritual affirmations
o Serving others
o Journaling
o Listen to uplifting music
o Sing uplifting music

Physical:
o Use relaxation or breathing exercises for at least 5 minutes daily
o Stretch, practice yoga
o Exercise 3-6 times per week, for at least 30 minutes
o Take a long walk
o Set a time to go to bed and to wake, and get adequate sleep
o Spend at least 10 minutes outside daily
o Limit “screen time” of television, computers, gaming, and hand-helds to little or none. It is a good idea to set “no technology times” during the day, such as at meal times, and family time
o Keep a food journal
o Limit sugar and/ or fat intake
o Limit caffeine to little or no caffeine
o Limit alcohol to little or no alcohol
o Follow nutrition guidelines or diet plan
o Maintain your grooming, hygiene
o Soak in the bathtub
o Get a massage
o Repetitious movement, such as yoga, dance, jogging, swimming, needlepoint, doodling, crocheting, quilting, playing an instrument, weeding/ gardening

Relational:
o Share how you’re feeling with your spouse
o Practice check in routine with your spouse
o Spend time playing with children
o Go on a date
o Talk with some one you love, check in with them about how you are feeling
o Spend time with another adult, go on activities with other adults
o Consciously smile at others
o Consciously say something kind to others
o Limit complaining to little or none
o Limit gossip/ talking about others to little or none
o Simple acts of service
o Participate in a social group, such as choir, book club, class, play group
o Share family meals
o Attend religious services as a family
o Write a letter
o Play interactive games, cards, board games
o Play on a sports team
o Hold family meetings/ family check-ins
o Family activities
o Participate in family sports
o Group nature activities, such as hiking, bird watching, boating
o Go on a picnic
o Tell some one what you are specifically thankful for about them
o Do household chores as a family
o Sing, play music together
o Make a gift for some one

Personal:
o Work on your hobbies or start a new one (gardening, reading, art, music, cooking, needlework, sports, photos, mechanics, building, family history, etc.)
o Educate yourself individually or at a class
o Plan and maintain a budget
o Read uplifting book, articles, etc.
o Work on your projects or repairs (often stuff you’ve been procrastinating)
o Set mini goals for work/ school/ home
o Do a crafts, arts

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