Recovery is an ongoing process. Even after an individual has completed rehab in Hawaii, their recovery journey is not over. Rather, these transitions mark the beginning of the development of new lifestyles and sober practices to further each person’s sober goals. Despite each individual’s accomplishments throughout their recovery efforts, it is still common to harbor feelings of guilt, shame, and resentment, especially toward oneself. Embracing self-love and engaging in self-affirming practices are all instrumental for staying motivated and positive throughout each step of a person’s continued recovery efforts.
The Importance of Embracing Self-Love
Self-love is a core part of ongoing success in recovery and is important for those balancing their continued sober efforts in outpatient treatment with their own daily lives. Feelings of guilt, shame, regret, and more are all complicated feelings that are not easily overcome, especially when they are tied to a person’s past use of drugs or alcohol and their ramifications on family and loved ones.
Newfound stresses when balancing a sober life, such as familial challenges during times of change, professional stresses, such as navigating interviews or workplace cultures, or the stresses of navigating a new social circle or exploring new hobbies, can all be taxing. Embracing strategies to focus wholly on oneself and find things to be proud of and excited about in each person’s own life is paramount for challenging these stresses and the pervasive feelings of shame, guilt, or self-resentment that may accompany them throughout recovery.
Daily Practices for Exploring Self-Love
It can be difficult for those in recovery to embrace a new sense of self-love. While feelings of guilt or regret can continue to affect those in recovery long after their time in a center for alcohol and drug treatment has concluded, self-love practices can challenge these feelings to create a healthy daily life. Not only can these negative feelings inform further mental health challenges, such as anxiety and depression, but they can also inform urges and cravings that facilitate the risks of relapse. Embracing daily strategies to find pride and love oneself is necessary.
Each individual will have their own way of furthering their own self-love in sobriety. Not all individuals will find the same benefits from the same practices, and what works for another may not be as effective for an individual. Continuing to explore self-love outlets throughout and personalizing each person’s practices is necessary to bring feelings of motivation, pride, confidence, and more into their daily life.
Gratitude, whether gratitude expressed toward oneself or others, is an important part of ongoing recovery. While working to express gratitude for the efforts and support of others, it is equally as important to show gratitude to oneself. Keeping a gratitude journal, writing letters to oneself, or making notes of the actions each person does to improve their own life should all be celebrated.
There is nothing selfish about being cognizant of a person’s own progress and the obstacles they have overcome in their journey toward a sober life. Being grateful to oneself and others alike is important for recognizing these profound moments of change and reinforcing each individual’s sober efforts.
Foster Daily Self-Care
Effective self-care is a core part of truly transformational recovery. Self-care is when an individual can detach and focus wholly on themselves, with taking breaks to rest amidst stresses and engaging in hobbies as essential elements of self-care. However, these can also be amazing opportunities for self-love. Exploring new hobbies and interests and taking time to further celebrate each person’s developing sober identity is a great step toward continued sober progress. Self-love can manifest through these outlets as an individual celebrates their own identity and journey.
Engage With Positive Influences
Each stage of recovery and sobriety has no shortage of stress. Making an effort to surround an individual with positive influences can be essential for continuing to identify elements of self-love, even amidst the most challenging times in recovery. For some, this can be in the form of a journal or photographs of milestones in their recovery. Others may adhere to a powerful, personal mantra that can uplift an individual and contextualize their progress during these times.
Positive influences can also be people. Developing a new social group in sobriety with only the most positive, understanding, and supportive people can create these new perspectives and influences. Family members, peers in recovery, professionals from dedicated treatment facilities, and more all work together to create a powerful community that can help each individual identify positive traits and accomplishments to normalize feelings and expressions of self-love.
Lastly, there are also ways to remain positive in digital mediums. While many digital spaces can be wrought with their own stress, particularly in social media, various apps and programs can provide support and positivity. Waking up to a positive message or getting daily affirmations can be instrumental in continuing to approach challenges with a positive mindset in sobriety.
There is no accomplishment that is “too small” to celebrate. Learning to love oneself in recovery is challenging, but taking a moment to identify and celebrate the positive changes in each person’s sober identity is the first step toward embracing self-love and its transformational effects.
Self-love is an important, often enigmatic, part of continued recovery. Whether you are just beginning your sober journey or are continuing to establish a life of sobriety as an alumnus, embracing self-love is paramount. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we champion the opportunity to help you embrace new perspectives and self-love practices. We have created a comprehensive approach to rehab in Hawaii that addresses your personal, social, and spiritual needs, all backed by a community of peers and a plethora of new experiences. While allowing yourself to embrace effective self-love practices can be difficult, it is also wholly transformational and carries profound effects through daily life. For more information on how we can support your continued sobriety, call (866) 390-5070.