How to Boost Your Self-Esteem During Early Recovery

Early recovery is an incredibly vulnerable time. Even if you feel ready to get sober and you’re prepared to begin rehab, your self-esteem might feel wounded when family and friends call you because they’ve just found out about your addiction. Perhaps co-workers are expressing their shock. Plus, you might be coming to terms with addiction yourself, given the denial you’ve been experiencing for some time.

In fact, one of the first things that needs repairing in recovery is self-esteem. You might think of self-esteem as value or self-worth. To hold something in high esteem means that you highly regard it; you appreciate it and value it. Self-esteem refers to how you feel about yourself.

To help build your self-esteem while in treatment to heal from addiction, consider the following:

Cultivate Connections

One of the quickest and most powerful ways to boost self-esteem is to make new friendships or strengthen old ones. Friendships can help a person feel seen, understood, and appreciated. It’s in relationships that we feel a part of something; we feel as though we belong, and we can feel hopeful about the future. When someone else sees where you are and where you’re going, it can create feelings of possibility. In fact, having a strong community of supportive people is one of the key components to a successful recovery. Connections can be a great way to boost self-esteem.

Practice Daily Mental, Physical Self-Care

Although this might be hard in the beginning, doing so can change your entire outlook on life. When you’re sleeping well, exercising, and eating well, you have greater resilience and inner strength. Typically, when you’re healthy and feel good physically, you’re more likely to feel good mentally and emotionally, too.

Create SMART Goals

For goals to be powerful and healthy, they should be designed to be SMART. The essence includes: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

When SMART goals are successfully achieved, such as overcoming a strong craving, you’re more likely to feel good about yourself. Over time, continued successes in your recovery can be a great way to boost the way you feel about yourself. When you move closer and closer toward your goal of sobriety, you’re more likely to feel like you’re making progress in your life.

Focus on Your Strengths

An important part to boosting self-esteem is focusing on your strengths. If you know, for instance, that you are great with organization, then perhaps you can spend time organizing your own life now that you’re in recovery. You might even volunteer your time to help others get organized. Volunteering and getting involved in charity work is a great way to feel good about yourself. And it’s a great way to give back while recovering from addiction.

Find, Face Your Weaknesses

Just like knowing your strengths is important, it’s just as important to know your weaknesses. When you know this about yourself, you’re more likely to avoid circumstances that can be problematic for you. For instance, if you know that you’re not good at being social, then perhaps avoiding social events during this time can support your overall recovery. Knowing both your strengths and weaknesses can help you make choices that support your self-esteem and overall well-being.

A person’s self-esteem is incredibly vulnerable during the first 90 days of sobriety. These are suggestions for boosting your self-confidence so that you can continue to heal from drug or alcohol addiction.


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