Working on your self-esteem is an important part of your journey toward sustained recovery. After all, the better you feel about you, the more likely you’ll be motivated to stick with recovery. The experts at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) even recommended adding several self-esteem building activities to your overall recovery plan.
Here are a few ideas adapted from SAMHSA to try today. Notice how you feel about yourself before and after each exercise.
Make affirming lists. Write down at least five of your strengths (for example, persistence, courage, friendliness, creativity) and at least five things you admire about yourself (for example, your good relationship with your brother or your spirituality). Some more ideas of affirming lists, according to SAMHSA, include:
- 5 greatest achievements in your life so far
- 5 of your greatest accomplishments (hint: it can be as simple as learning to tie your shoes)
- 5 things you can do to make yourself laugh
- 5 things you could do to help someone else
- 5 things that you do that make you feel good about yourself
Put your positives to paper. A similar exercise as above, you can also set your smartphone timer for 10 minutes and write down everything that you can think of that’s positive and good about yourself. Be sure to include special attributes, talents and achievements. Don’t edit yourself; just write down anything and everything that comes to mind. When the time is up, read the paper over to yourself and refer to it daily to remind yourself how great you are!
Create an enjoy-life calendar. Purchase a calendar with large blank spaces. Each day, schedule some small thing you would enjoy doing and make a commitment to stick with it. Some ideas:
- Go for a long hike
- Call a good friend or sibling
- Sketch or paint a picture
- Try a new recipe
- Soak up the sun for 15 minutes
Play the exchange compliments game. You’ll need to recruit a loved one for this exercise. Set a timer for five minutes and begin complimenting your loved one — and then switch. Have your loved one tell you everything he/she likes and admires about your for five minutes.
Recovery At NorthStar Transitions
Regardless of the substance used or “drug of choice,” we pride ourselves on helping clients break the pattern of substance abuse and dependence by healing the wounds that led to addiction in the first place. To learn more about or addiction treatment programs, call today: 303-625-6335.