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Learning Self-Care in Early Sobriety
What is Self-Care and why is it such a Big Deal?
Almost every person in our community drank as a form of misguided self-care. Have you ever heard that a glass of red wine is worth an hour at the gym? Have you been encouraged to drink away the stress of the workday? Been offered wine as a heart-healthy option or as a panacea to the sometimes overwhelming responsibility of parenting? And those pretty pink gins and vodkas that are all the rage now are an elevation of the ” drink for self-care illusion”. Pink is the color of health after all! How can anything pink be dangerous!
Alcohol – the ultimate, extravagant, adult indulgence. You deserve to treat yourself!
I got sucked into that con.
Why have we accepted the idea that alcohol is self-care for overly stressed adults? I think that in our world today there is so much focus on the concept of self-care being extravagant, something very special that you buy for yourself. Something that takes you out of your-self. Our understanding of self- care I think is all too complicated and commercial.
Self-care for me in sobriety was learning to REALLY care for myself. Getting more sleep, taking care of my skin, eating more foods that were good for my body but also eating what I wanted, when I wanted. Self-care has meant learning to set boundaries with others and to stick to those boundaries firmly. It means showing myself more patience, self-compassion, and tuning in more to my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Paying attention to what makes me feel good, and finding ways to do more of those things.
Self-care for me has meant self-discipline and self-respect. Keeping my house clean because that helps calm my mind. It has meant not procrastinating important things that I used to put off because of anxiety. It’s the simple day to day actions that I’ve disciplined myself to do, that makes ALL the difference. That to me is true self-care and has helped me a lot because I too, feel guilty for focusing on myself “too much”.
Self-care is not about escaping your life but learning to live in your life in a way that nurtures and affirms your SELF!
Nothing has to replace alcohol and taking care of yourself doesn’t need to be something huge. This was one of the biggest perspective shifts that really helped me find peace in my sobriety. As I slowed down and stopped searching for my “thing” and stopped trying to figure out what I needed to do for “self-care” I found more things that I really enjoy… like exercising regularly and writing.
Go easy on yourself! Start with the basics of actually caring for yourself and then incorporate more things you like to do only when you’ve created some emotional and mental space for them.
Don’t feel rushed.. stay the course and everything will fall into place. ❤️
When you stop drinking, it’s important to learn some genuine self-care techniques, or you risk finding yourself in a place where you reach for a bottle, because the way you’ve often been encouraged to care for yourself, is to drink.
I have heard it said that the best thing you can do for your health is to read. So here you go …. let’s get healthy! These are some posts from inside our BOOM community, and elsewhere that will help.
Stages of Alcohol-Withdrawal Symptoms From Day 1 to Day 30 and Beyond
If you are anywhere in the first 30 days alcohol-free that is a terrific article to help you know what to expect.
Understanding HALT is crucial to self-care in sobriety.
this post explains HALT – 4 Triggers That Slip People Up When They Stop Drinking
Thoughts on liver repair –
Your liver is the largest organ in your body. Its overall health has an effect on you physically and mentally. Poor liver health can bring you down and cause you to feel depressed and dark. Your liver can heal from the damage done if you stop drinking before it gets too far.
I was surprised to learn that our livers can be damaged without the damage showing up on blood tests. There is a terrific documentary in this post that explains that well, Disney Mentality .
Many of the withdrawal symptoms experienced both long and short term when you stop drinking are caused by the energy your body demands to repair your liver. The posts and podcast below share different ideas on how you can help your body repair.
Video Shows What Heavy Drinking Does To Your Liver…article followed by liver cleansing ideas
Bubble Hour Interview with Chris Engen on Nutrition for Recovery
PAWS stands for post-acute withdrawal syndrome. It’s important to understand what it is and not be afraid of it. It’s about your mind and body healing.
Self-care, self-respect, self-discipline. The best thing that you can do for your health is to learn more about what that means for you.
Learn something every day. Read and read and read a bit more. Fill the void left by alcohol with knowledge and inspiration and before you know it, you’ll be practicing genuine self-care without question.
Here are some interesting articles on brain chemistry and alcohol:
Your 5-Day Happy Chemical Jumpstart
Happy Chemical Jumpstart #2 DOPAMINE
Happy Chemical Jumpstart #3 SEROTONIN
Happy Chemical Jumpstart #4 OXYTOCIN
You’ll find the first five chapters of Alcohol Explained by William Porter as well as many other books to inspire and inform you linked into this post
And share what you learn with us! That’ll make you feel good too
More thoughts on that in this post
Trying to Stop Drinking? Start with a Plan and Share It
S self-care is the
O option for “me time”
E everyone needs to
T take time (Alcohol-free) to help
M moments where you
E enjoy your life
R remember that
O over and over
C crappy poison
K kills your
If you’re drinking too much too often and want to stop or slow down, come talk to us.
Alcohol is the only drug that people question you for NOT using but you don’t HAVE to drink. Don’t stay trapped because the stigma of not drinking seems worse than the cost of drinking too much.
You can read more about us Here
And join Here
Boozemusings is a lifestyle blog and the BOOM Community is a peer support group. We are NOT trained addiction counselors but simply a community of people who have overcome or are overcoming alcohol issues. We do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, nor does anything on this website create a physician/patient relationship. If you require medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, please consult your physician.
9 responses to “Learning Self-Care in Early Sobriety”
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[…] 🎄 Spoil yourself – A Lot – When we live alone (I am very much not alone during the day with my son but my evenings are a complete contrast- every night alone) we miss out on physical affection and another, loving presence taking care of us now and then. But we still need it. And when we’re early in sobriety we need it a lot. If you are anything like me, self-care took a bike when alcohol was the star of the show. Kind, loving, thoughtful gestures to ourselves are important, deserved, and a great weapon against the beast. more reading Learning Self-Care in Early Sobriety […]
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