Enrolling in a detox programme is the best way for someone struggling with a substance use disorder to start getting their life back on track. The doctors, nurses, and other trained professionals at medical detox facilities are experts at mitigating the most dangerous potential effects of withdrawal, but they can’t do all of the work for program participants. People who want to maximise their chances of getting through detox successfully also need to do more than just commit to getting clean and sober.
Practising these five crucial self-care tips is also essential.
1. Connect with others
Most people think of detox programmes like those offered at tricare rehab as being primarily about getting medical care and pharmaceutical interventions to help with symptom management. However, these programmes also come with the hidden benefit of offering lots of opportunities to connect with others and learn how to build healthy relationships. Addiction and the mental health problems that often accompany it all thrive in solitude, so gathering with others and forging bonds is a must for anyone who wants to support not just personal health during detox but also long-term recovery.
2. Stay Mindful
Mindfulness refers to the practice of being aware of both physical sensations and mental activity. Although it may sound easy to simply pay attention to what’s going on both internally and externally, this essential self-care technique can be challenging, especially during rehab. However, staying present with thoughts, feelings, and sensations can give people the chance to get in touch with their inner experiences and address the underlying issues that they were avoiding while they were using substances.
3. Find balance
Modern society has created a false association between business, productivity, and value. For those who are in the early stages of recovery, it’s easy to fixate on one activity as a form of distraction when really, the best approach is to find a healthy balance between work, family, social life, addiction recovery activities, and self-care.
4. Create some ‘alone time’
Some people take comfort in being around others 100% of the time. However, that’s not a realistic way to live life, even in the context of an active detox programme. People often find that they are completely different when they’re sober, which can make it challenging to be alone. Spending a few hours here and there getting to know that new person can be incredibly rewarding, though, so try to schedule alone time for things like journaling, exploring new activities, painting, or just listening to new music and relaxing.
5. Set boundaries
When people use drugs or alcohol, they tend to associate with others who do the same. Choosing to go to detox can change those relationships. Having strong boundaries in place is the only way for people in recovery to maintain healthy relationships with others who may still be using drugs or alcohol, and cutting off contact with people who don’t support the decision to stay sober may be the only way to manage some friendships.
Getting sober is the best thing people can do for themselves
Self-care isn’t just about finding time to relax and learning how to prioritise healthy relationships. Getting sober can be viewed as a radical act of self-care in itself. Although it takes a lot of work, people who give up drug and alcohol abuse in favor of a more balanced approach find that they know themselves better and can appreciate life much more than they did when they were using.
Tim Williamson, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.