Taking good care of yourself

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Now that you’ve made the decision to begin your journey to recovery, below are some tools to aid you in the process. Identifying tools and developing plans will help you be more prepared and empowered to take action when it comes to your recovery. Here are 

Working Toward Goals

People in recovery offer the following suggestions:

Focus on your strengths.

Focus on solving problems.

Focus on the future instead of reviewing hurts from the past.

Focus on your life instead of your illness.

As you work on your recovery, you might want to write down some of your main goals. These goals can be short-term and easily achievable, or you can start identifying bigger, more long-term goals that you want to work your way towards. It’s helpful to think of small steps to take toward them over a certain amount of time, like a week or a month. Remember to congratulate yourself for any successes. Achieving goals -even small ones- 

Developing goals for recovery can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure what it is that you want to accomplish. Consider your interests, things that bring you joy and things that keep you motivated. Also, think about the things you want, like where you want your life to go or what you would do more of if you could. Having a deep investment in the goals that you set 

Once you have set goals for yourself, you need to figure out what things are necessary to accomplish those goals. Be clear about why you set this goal and how your life will be different once this goal is achieved. You should also consider the strengths and skills that you possess that will help you achieve your goal. Try to involve necessary support systems and resources that can help you through the process if and when you need it. Finally, remember to stay focused on the goal and not on the difficulties you might be having. Keep an open mind, and know that you may hit barriers along the way. Recovery is no easy task, and focusing on the negative experiences will only make things harder.

Create a journal or scrapbook with pictures and clippings to help maintain your goals. Keeping a journal or scrapbook is a good way to track your goals and remind you of the things you’ve accomplished and the things you still plan to accomplish. Continue to add new goals as they come up. Recovery is a constant process and continuing to set goals for yourself will keep you motivated to reach and maintain wellness.

Care For Yourself

Taking good care of yourself is paramount to the success of your recovery process. People in recovery find that their physical, spiritual, and emotional health are all connected, and that supporting one supports the others. Taking care of all aspects of you will increase the likelihood that you stay well.

To help support you in your recovery, you can access a three-minute screening tool and progress monitor for depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Click here to take the screener or mark your progress.

Some tips for self-care include:

Live Healthy, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid drugs and alcohol. Manage stress and go for regular medical check-ups.

Practice good hygiene. Good hygiene is important for social, medical, and psychological reasons in that it not only reduces the risk of illness, but it also improves the way others view you and how you view yourself.

See friends to build your sense of belonging. Consider joining a support group to make new friends.

Try to do something you enjoy every day. That might mean dancing, watching a favorite TV show, working in the garden, painting or reading.

Find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, getting a massage, taking a bath or walking in the woods.

The National Institute of Wellness has created an online “wellness” screener that allows you to keep track of your own recovery journey. Visit the NIW’s website at http://www.testwell.org/twfree.htm to obtain your wellness score.

You can also visit LiveYourLifeWell.info to learn more about the 10 Tools to Live Your Life Well.

*This article is prepared by Mental Health of America

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