Addiction is a cruel disease that can strip away all you hold dear, including your health, your happiness and your relationships with loved ones. Once you commit to working on your recovery, one of the first things you’ll need to re-learn is how to be kind – both to yourself and to those around you. Here are five ideas for developing a practice of kindness.
1. Make Time for Self-Care
Setting aside time each day to exercise, practice a musical instrument, read, write in your journal or do a new hobby might sound self-indulgent, but practicing self-care is essential in addiction recovery because it can help stave off depression and keep you feeling positive about the progress you’ve made.
2. Meditate Daily
Kindness can and should be a mindfulness-based practice. When you are intentional about treating yourself and others kindly, you’ll begin to notice other acts of kindness that occur around you each day. A type of meditation called loving-kindness meditation can help you set your intentions around the kindness you receive from others, as well as how you can be more compassionate in the way you interact with the world.
3. Practice the Golden Rule
We all learned growing up that we should always treat others the way we would like them to treat us. However, how many of us have made this rule part of our daily lives? Too often, we get so wrapped up in our responsibilities that we lose sight of our place in the grand scheme of things. Everyone you interact with has unique struggles and things to worry about, and in their minds, those concerns are just as important as whatever you might be dealing with. When you interact with people each day, try to put yourself in their shoes and practice compassion toward them.
4. Nourish Your Body
Failing to eat healthy foods in addiction recovery is another way you can be unkind to yourself. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh produce, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins can not only help keep your weight stable, but it will also make you feel better. As a result of choosing to put nutritious, whole foods on your plate, you will have more energy and will also be more resilient against illness.
5. Forgive Yourself
Letting go of mistakes you’ve made can be one of the hardest things to do, but you can’t be kinder to others until you have learned to be kind to yourself. When a painful thought or embarrassing memory of your past comes up in your mind, don’t dwell on it. Instead, accept it as part of you, recognize you aren’t that person anymore, then move on. It doesn’t do you any good to live in the past. If you find yourself struggling to forgive yourself, work on this with a therapist.
Outpatient Treatment and Transitional Living Solutions for Women Living With Addiction
Don’t let addiction take away your joy in life. Rediscover who you are without drugs and alcohol clouding your judgment at Canyon Crossing in Prescott, AZ. We offer a single-gender treatment environment where women can forge new friendships, learn healthy coping mechanisms and emerge on the other side as healthier, more confident and more compassionate people. To learn more about how we can help you become whole again, contact us today.