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These 3 Tips May Help Substance Abuse Counselors Practice Self Care

These 3 Tips May Help Substance Abuse Counselors Practice Self Care

Staying at the top of your game as a substance abuse counselor is important for both you and your clients. Self care is one area that falls away when you are overwhelmed with both work and life. Keeping on top of it requires a strategy, and some tips, to stay strong when you are struggling to destress after a long day at work.

Why Self Care Matters

Even if you practice what you preach to clients about self care, it is easy to let it fall by the wayside when you are busy working, raising a family, or just out living life day-to-day. Interactions at work can be stressful, changes in the workplace, or a new job can all bring challenges but life itself is also challenging. Therapists are not immune to feeling stress, anxiety, frustration, or fears about life circumstances. These stressors highlight the importance of self care for addiction recovery counselors so you can live a healthier life while serving clients’ needs, as well.

Eating Well

Staying on top of your nutrition game is key to feeling better. It will be different for each person, but generally the following tips are most helpful overall:

  • Cut down on the amount of sugary drinks and sweets that are consumed
  • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water to feel and look your best
  • Snack responsibly so that you can eat healthy between meals (think apples with peanut butter, carrots, celery, and other veggies)


Finding time to exercise may be difficult unless you live where you can walk, bike or get to work some other way. Frequent to mild levels of exercise have proven health benefits. Exercise can help to reduce anxiety, depression, and the risk of diseases including cancer, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease. Exercising is a great way to care for yourself. Determine what level of exercise you feel comfortable doing and contact a physician if you have health concerns prior to starting. Otherwise, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Exercising at work is easy if you just take a few minutes to walk outside on breaks, walk to a co-worker’s desk or take the stairs
  • Meet up with friends for social games rather than drinks and dinner. Take a walk at lunch with a coworker or hit the dance floor
  • Exercise at home by walking the dog more, embracing yard work, or doing some yoga and mild exercises during TV time

Mental Health

Never underestimate your own mental health status. Working with substance abuse and addiction clients can be draining day after day. Reduce stress by taking a positive attitude towards it as well as:

  • Making time to engage in hobbies that you find fun in your free time
  • Get your own therapist if you feel overwhelmed
  • Try meditation to lower anxiety and depression

A holistic approach to self-care can support your work but don’t forget to check in with a therapist if you are struggling and cannot seem to feel better. It may be time to consider other alternatives rather than suffer in silence.

Serenity believes the power of addiction rehab lies in having a supportive team of therapists and counselors who believe in a client’s ability to succeed. The other half is the client’s own belief in his or her own recovery. We will help you find ways to integrate what you learn into recovery so you can be more successful. Call us to find out more information about our programs and services at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401