Loving yourself is vitally important to happiness and comfort in your everyday life, but it is far more difficult to achieve than most people think. Many people get close to self-love but end up filling the gaps they cannot fill with vices that end up driving them further away from what they want to achieve.
Now that you are entering a life of recovery and sobriety you have an excellent opportunity to start from scratch and fully dive into self-love with the knowledge and understanding that these vices are not necessary or helpful.
Despite the fact that it is an excellent opportunity to work on your own self-love, it is also an extremely difficult time to love yourself. You have just been through a major life change and being able to continue to look at yourself will feel tiresome and challenging.
To make it a little easier you can follow the inspiration and ideas presented below to help you move forward on your journey.
It is a very common habit to always respond to friends and strangers with positive responses about how you are doing. While responding with “good” and “well” is socially responsible, it can sometimes feel fake when you know deep down you are not doing well. While we don’t recommend spilling your guts to strangers, we do recommend that you start thinking positively more often so that these responses feel less and less fake over time.
Practicing positivity will go a long way in boosting your feelings of self-worth and overall mood. By blocking out negative thoughts and replacing them with positive reinforcement you remind yourself that you are doing well and can go through life with more energy and confidence.
While this all sounds good it is difficult to repress negative thoughts. A great place to start on the positivity journey is to write down a list of 10-15 positive traits about yourself. These traits can be simple or complex, just make sure they are authentic. You can then return to this list whenever negative thoughts begin to creep into your head.
Surround Yourself with Support
Shortly after recovery, especially when focusing on yourself, it can be easy to accidentally isolate yourself from friends and family. While it is important to focus on yourself it is still beneficial to keep relationships you have intact.
While maintaining relationships, it is exceptionally challenging but essential to be selective about who you spend your time with. Some friends from your former circles may not understand your mission and can end up being detrimental to your journey rather than beneficial.
When you are first embarking on your journey of recovery it may help to look for a support group that understands your plights. This group will then help guide you in talking to your friends and families about your newfound sobriety and how your relationship will have to change slightly moving forward.
Keeping supportive people around you will provide you with another form of positive reinforcement and an outlet for your fears and apprehensions.
Take Care of Your Body
Taking care of your body is often brought up when discussing self love. Making sure to pamper yourself and take part in relaxing rituals will help you keep a clear and focused mind. Activities like afternoon naps, bubble baths, and massages will go a long way in keeping your mind clear and focused on your goals.
On top of this pampering it is also important to make healthy choices. Eating a healthier diet, exercising, and drinking lots of water will also help you keep a clear and focused mind. For many people this is a bit of a new habit, so starting simple with stretching or practicing yoga in your own house will help you start getting in the habit of exercising.
Mindfulness is a very simple idea that is often over complicated. To make it accessible and less intimidating it is important to start with the basics. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be cross-legged meditation, it can be something as simple as putting down your phone for an hour, or sitting on your bed and closing your eyes.
Instead of focusing on what mindfulness looks like for other people, you simply need a way to slow down your life and think. While you are thinking it is important to focus on positive thoughts and ideas. If you are having trouble with your mind drifting their are plenty of guides on the internet to help you on your journey.
Be Gentle With Yourself
The journey towards self-love involves an intimidating amount of self reflection, often about your negative traits. This makes it vitally important to remain patient and gentle with yourself. Everyone has these dark aspects of their life and reflecting on them makes you strong despite how you may feel when you think about dark times. When you are feeling upset with yourself just remember that you are moving forward and that you are better off for it.
Stay Focused on Change
Throughout this process, it is important to stay focused on who you want to be in the future. Staying focused on what you are trying to change is a great way to ensure you are being focused and productive.
To help you stay focused it is helpful to set both short and long-term goals that provide yourself with a clear path and reliable reassurance. Simple goals like exercising twice a week, or writing your list of positive traits will quickly turn into months of positive thinking or a year filled with exercise.
Continuing the Journey
You have already embarked on a difficult journey by working to live sober, and while working on self-love is another difficult journey to embark on, they go hand in hand. As you build up more and more self-respect the old you will seem more and more distant, allowing you to continue on your journey to a healthy and happy life.
Just remember that your journey to self-love will not be a straight forward one. You will have bad days, weeks, and even months, but if you continue to follow the ideas above you will be able to bounce back stronger after every setback. This will allow you to feel more happy, confident, and at ease on a daily basis.