I really dislike buzz words. I try and avoid them, but my blog is probably full of them, simply because recovery itself has become a buzz word. Google buzzword, and you will get “a word or phrase, often an item of jargon, that is fashionable at a particular time or in a particular context”.
A term that has been a buzz word of sorts for some time in the recovery and mental health communities is self-care. The act of recovery is defined as self-care, in my humble opinion, because recovery stops further damage to self. So, there you have 2 buzz words for the price of one.
Let’s look a little more at self-care right now. I know for myself, I need a certain amount of sleep, and down time with quiet to recharge myself. Also, I know that sometimes I am not able to withstand a lot of sensory input, such as large, loud crowds, or a lot of angry confrontation. I might bear up in the moment, but it will suck every bit of energy out of me and I will be spent, and sleep or just rest for hours after.
Another aspect of self-care is making sure we are seeking help for physical and mental challenges that are outside our ability to take care of them ourselves through good habits. We need to keep those we trust and love near us, and allow them to speak into our lives when we have lost our objectivity about needing help to care properly for ourselves. If we are actively pursuing our recovery, and staying in fellowship with those we share with and trust, then allowing others this license is part of our program.
The consequences of not doing the above can be dire. When we don’t attend to caring for ourselves, we run the risk of completely throwing our recovery off the rails. I don’t care how many good deeds you are doing for your family, the community or what have you. If you aren’t getting proper nutrition and sleep, and taking care of your mental health, you won’t be doing any good for anybody, least of all yourself.
Of course, recovery self-care requires a commitment to meetings, working our steps and meeting with our sponsor or accountability partner regularly. It can also require reaching out for professional counseling if we hit a big bump, or reaching out to someone via text on a bad day when we just want to throw in the towel and act out or hide under the bed.
Wishing you a lovely start of your weekend, and plenty of self-care on your list. Much love.