Self-Care is exactly what the name suggests, it means to look after yourself and your well-being. Having said that looking after oneself is not as easy and as simple as it sounds. It is ironic that when you need to look after yourself the most is exactly when it is the hardest and takes the most effort.
There are times in our lives that we are under more stress than usual, we may be burnt out and life has become unbalanced. Family members of addicts often experience this in life as well as when they are supporting a recovering addict. It can be quite normal to experience the following symptoms and situations:
- Anxiety and worry
- Financial strain
- Family conflicts and disagreements
- Depression and sadness
- Not being able to sleep (insomnia) or feeling so exhausted you want to sleep all the time
- Feeling overwhelmed (like things are “too much”)
- Anger and resentment
- A need to process what has happened and is happening
- A need for reassurance that they have taken the appropriate action
- Fear of the addict’s relapse
- How to help the addict with recovery efforts
- How to set and maintain healthier boundaries
- How to move on despite the addict’s condition and behavior
All our lives are made up of different areas or categories. When we experience high stress periods or prolonged periods of stress our lives often tend to become unbalanced and certain areas suffer, for example we spend so many hours working we do not spend time with family and friends or we never take time to simply relax, It may be that we are so over run with worry and anxiety that we forget to eat properly or we eat too much or we are so worried we do not sleep leaving us exhausted and emotionally drained.
In order to cope better with stress and strains and not to be overwhelmed it is important to pay attention to self-care and balance as many areas of your life as possible. Your well-being in all the areas of your life are important and to help you look after yourself in a balanced way here is a list of suggest areas to pay attention to.
- Physical Well Being (eating healthy food, shelter, sleep, clothes, medical care, exercise etc.)
- Emotional /Psychological Well Being (expressing emotions, feeling loved, having support of friends and family, taking time for counselling, writing in a journal)
- Spiritual Well Being (a belief that supports you, connecting with nature, meditating, going to church)
- Social Well Being (spending good times with family and friends)
- Professional / Occupational Well Being (do you have work? Do you enjoy your work? Do you have a plan to continue growing in your occupation?)
- Private/Personal Well-being: (taking time for yourself, quiet time to relax, time to spend on a hobby, time away from work and family responsibility, writing, reading, taking a walk)
See the self-care wheel as an example – breaking up your life into categories or areas of well-being makes it easier to see where your life is unbalanced and which areas need attention. Take the time to make your own wheel and commit to paying attention to those areas that are lacking. Having a balanced life aids and builds your resilience in dealing with stress and life’s challenges, and moves you closer to achieving your own goals. The more your life is balanced and you look after yourself the better you will be able to support others.
For Additional information you can also read the following article :
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