Taking Care of Yourself When Detoxing
Self-care is a trending phrase, but behind the stereotype of face masks, tea and a candlelit bath lies much truth in listening to and giving proper attention to the needs of your body. Especially during physically and mentally taxing times, such as detox, it is important to stay in-tuned with your body and take care of yourself in a beneficial, productive way.
What is self-care?
First, consider what self-care is not; it is not indulging selfishly or harmfully in behaviors which you think might be fulfilling but actually have little consideration for your personal needs or health (think tv-show binging, excessive shopping, etc.).
Self-care, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Self-care includes doing everything an individual needs to do to stay healthy and well, mentally and physically. This might include, but is not limited to, eating a balanced, nutritious diet, exercising regularly, practicing good hygiene habits and seeking medical care when necessary.
Additionally, self-care ties into lifestyle habits which help reduce symptoms of stress. In a high-stress society, self-care is taking active steps in reducing this stress through leisure, rest and removal of oneself from stressful environments.
Should I feel guilty about self-care?
Because proper self-care is not indulgent or selfish in any way (in fact, taking care of yourself helps you to be less selfish by first taking care of your needs to put you in a healthy state to then care for the needs of others), you should not feel guilty engaging in self-care.
Prioritizing your health should never make you feel guilty. Proper self-care should motivate you into behaviors that help reduce stress, increase physical health and provide you with energy and determination to continue pursuing your goals and priorities.
Why is self-care important during detox?
Detox can be a difficult time for many. It’s the first step towards a sober lifestyle, and while it’s one of the most important steps, it can also be considered one of the most challenging.
Detox is the process by which substances like drugs and/or alcohol are cleansed from the body as the initial step towards becoming sober. However, because the chemistry of one’s brain is altered through the consistent reliance on substances, the body experiences withdrawal symptoms like sleep deprivation, inability to focus, erratic mood swings and even physical illness like nausea or achiness.
While detox is typically done in a controlled environment possibly with the use of medication (situationally dependent), it still can be a taxing process. For this reason, self-care is essential during detox. To keep yourself as healthy as possible, consider incorporating beneficial self-care practices that complement the detox process while counteracting the effects of withdrawal.
Implementing self-care in detox
Even if you are a resident at a detox center, there are many ways you can begin to put good self-care practices into work in your life.
- Practice good hygiene habits – We’ve all heard the phrase “Dress for success,” and while we’re not saying that you need to wear your Sunday best every day, it can significantly impact your mood if you get up and get ready in the morning. Taking the time to shower, put together an outfit and style your hair or perfect your makeup not only gives you valuable me-time in the morning, it sets you up to feel good about yourself for the remainder of the day.
- Exercise – Whether it’s going for a 30-minute walk outside every day for some vitamin D and fresh air, practicing yoga to strengthen your body and soothe your mind, pounding it out on the treadmill or simply practicing some daily stretches to get your blood flowing, take the time to move your body every day. It not only benefits your physical health; it can also help reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Drink water – One of the best ways to keep your body healthy and help the detox process is by intaking the daily recommended amount of water. Staying properly hydrated helps rid the body of toxins, as well as regulate your body temperature. For women, it’s recommended to drink approximately 2.7 liters a day and for men, the recommended amount is 3.7 liters.
- Eat nutritious foods – Your food is your fuel, so if you’re not providing your body with vitamins, minerals and proteins from healthy sources, you’re not going to feel well. Making sure to select options like colorful vegetables, poultry, fish, fruits and nuts will help you feel stronger and more energized throughout the detox process.
- Practice good sleep habits – Detoxing might lead to sleep deprivation, but doing your best to craft a healthy sleep routine can go a long way. Putting away screens half an hour before bed, reading, planning to get eight-to-nine hours of rest and incorporating a nighttime routine can help you get the sleep you need to stay healthy and energized.
Self-care during detox
In order to get the most out of your detox program, incorporating beneficial, energizing self-care routines is an important tactic in ensuring detox’s success.
To seek detox for yourself or a loved one, or for more general information, contact Freedom Detox today at 800-475-2312.