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  • Valentine’s Day is often a time of personal reflection in regards to past relationships, current relationships, and more. 

    This year, use Valentine’s Day as a chance to practice self-care. Whether you’re in a relationship or spending the day by yourself, this holiday can serve as a time of self-love and positivity.

    Self-care is one of the key components of addiction recovery. To recover from substance abuse, you have to learn to manage your emotions and take care of yourself.

    Here are a few ways you can put yourself first on Valentine’s Day.

    Focus On Positive Reflections

    It can be tempting to revisit memories of old — the good and the ugly. But for someone recovering from addiction, negative thoughts and memories can trigger a relapse.

    Instead of ruminating on past relationships that didn’t work out, focus on positive memories connected to your relationships (and these don’t have to be romantic, you can remember fun memories with the family, friends, and other people you care about).

    Have A “Me” Day

    Especially while working through therapy, going to support group meetings, and other activities centered on recovery, you may not have made time for doing the things you love.

    Spend the day pampering yourself, eating your favorite foods, seeing friends and loved ones, going out and doing things you enjoy, and watching your favorite shows.

    Choose activities that you might not typically do, but you’ve always wanted to make time for. This day is about self-care, so make it a point to do nice things for yourself.

    Treat yourself by:

    • going somewhere new
    • buying yourself a nice meal
    • getting your hair or nails done
    • having a facial or a massage
    • signing up for a new class
    • getting yourself a small gift
    • having your favorite dessert
    • getting your car deep-cleaned
    • stopping by your local bookstore for a new read

    Practice Holistic Self-Care

    Holistic approaches to addiction recovery and self-care address your physical, psychological, and spiritual needs, boosting your endorphins and helping you to feel more connected to your inner self. 

    A few ideas include meditation, yoga, acupuncture, a luxurious bath, speaking positive affirmations, drinking tea or another hot beverage, or doing something creative.

    Avoid Triggers

    Taking good care of yourself means knowing your triggers. 

    Triggers that might arise on Valentine’s Day for someone in recovery include:

    • seeing people drink wine or champagne
    • being alone
    • being with a significant other who is not supportive of recovery
    • indulgent foods or drinks
    • negative emotions, such as depression

    If being isolated typically causes problems for you, practice self-care by inviting a few trusted friends over. Or, you might see a movie where you can enjoy sodas and snacks to curb cravings for other substances.

    Do Something Active

    Get your body moving and blood pumping by going out and doing something. 

    You might consider:

    • going on a hike
    • taking a walk through your neighborhood or local park
    • taking yourself to the mall for a little splurging
    • going to the gym or a fitness class
    • doing an in-person or at-home yoga class
    • inviting friends to play a game of baseball, basketball, or another sport
    • doing simple stretches
    • going to a nearby beach, lake, or body of water
    • going fishing
    • walking to a destination for a picnic lunch

    This may be especially helpful if Valentine’s Day has brought up hard emotions. Getting active can help to reduce boredom and take your mind off of the things you don’t want to think about.

    Taking care of your physical health in addition to your emotional help can lower your chances of relapsing.

    Make Time For Relaxation

    It’s a great idea to plan activities into your day — going to the spa, meeting up with friends, or having a nice dinner out — but remember to make room for relaxation.

    This might look like sleeping in later if possible, spending a few hours reading or journaling, or finding a comfy spot in your house to simply sit and listen to music.

    Relaxation can help to lower your blood pressure, reduce symptoms of anxiety, mitigate stress and irritation, and much more.

    Connect Yourself To Others

    Having a balance of social activities on Valentine’s Day is a good way to keep yourself grounded. In addition to time spent alone, try to plan at least one social interaction.

    This might include:

    Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic partnerships, but also about the relationships with friends and loved ones in your life. Keep good company with those who support your recovery.

    Find Help For Addiction Recovery

    We’re here to help you achieve your goals in self-care and addiction recovery. 

    If you or a loved one are ready to overcome drug or alcohol addiction, reach out to us and we’ll connect you with a recovery program that can help.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on August 20, 2022
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