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What does self-care look like for men in recovery?

Self-care for Men

As men navigate the challenging journey of recovery from unwanted sexual behaviors, prioritizing self-care is crucial for their overall well-being and long-term transformation. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of self-care for men in recovery, what it entails, what it isn’t, and practical strategies to incorporate it into daily life.

An important Scripture for men to remember on this subject of self-care in recovery is Matthew 11:28-30, in which Jesus says:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The NEED for Self-Care for Men in Recovery

Recovery from addiction (of any kind) is incredibly hard work. It takes extreme focus and dedication to tackle all the factors that contribute to addiction (family of origin, biology/brain chemistry, abuse/trauma, and more). Men, in particular, may face unique societal pressures and expectations that can make it difficult to prioritize their own needs. However, neglecting self-care can lead to burnout, relapse, and a diminished quality of life.

Self-care is not a luxury; for men in recovery, it's a necessity. By engaging in self-care practices, individuals can build resilience, manage stress, and develop the emotional, physical, and spiritual resources needed to navigate the ups and downs of the recovery journey.

What Self-Care IS

Self-care encompasses a wide range of activities and practices that promote physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being. It can include:

  • Engaging in regular exercise, such as swimming, hiking, or sports

  • Practicing prayer and Scripture meditation (Phil. 4:6-8, Isa. 41:10)

  • Maintaining a healthy sleep routine 

  • Eating a balanced and nutritious diet

  • Pursuing hobbies and leisure activities

  • Connecting with a support network

  • Seeking professional counseling 

  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation

The key is to find a combination of self-care practices that work best for the individual and their unique needs and preferences.

What Self-Care IS NOT

It's important to note that self-care is not the same as self-indulgence or escapism. It's not about engaging in activities that provide temporary relief but may ultimately be detrimental to your recovery. Self-care is about making intentional choices that support long-term well-being and personal growth.

Self-care is NOT:

  • Self-ish – knowing the difference between selfish-care and self-care is important. Selfishness is focusing on yourself to the exclusion or harm of others. Self-care is focusing on the health of your whole person. When you are healthy, this is good for everyone, including yourself. (Eph. 5:29, Mark 12:31)

  • Isolation – while times of solitude can be helpful as a part of self-care, isolating is unhealthy and can lead to relapse. A supportive, loving community is an essential component of good self-care. (Heb. 10:25)

  • Laziness – part of self-care can be reducing one’s normal activities for a time to rest and recharge, but this doesn’t mean abandoning responsibilities or ceasing all activities. Good self-care is productive, active, and engaged. (Eph. 2:10)

  • Easy! – a big part of addiction recovery is realizing how self-centered addict-thinking is. Finding the right balance between rejecting the idolatry of self and embracing the goodness of self-care is challenging, but it is worth the effort! (Rom. 12:1-3)

How to Engage Healthy Self-Care

Incorporating self-care into one's daily routine can be a transformative experience for men in recovery. Here are some practical steps:

  1. Develop a Self-Care Plan: Take the time to reflect on your needs and create a personalized self-care plan. This can include a schedule of activities, a list of resources, and specific goals to work towards.

  2. Start Small: Begin with small, manageable self-care practices that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing, prayer, or going for a short walk.

  3. Prioritize Physical Health: Ensure that you are getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. These foundational elements of self-care can have a significant impact on your overall well-being.

  4. Explore Creative Outlets: Engage in activities that allow you to express yourself, such as writing, painting, cooking, learning a new language, or playing a musical instrument. Creative pursuits can be a powerful tool for self-reflection and emotional expression.

  5. Build a Support Network: Surround yourself with a network of supportive friends, family members, or peers who can encourage and motivate you on your self-care journey.

Remember, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment with different practices and find what works best for you. By prioritizing self-care, men in recovery can build the resilience and resources needed to navigate the challenges of their journey and achieve long-term success.

“For You [God] formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” -Psalm 139:13-14

*Be Broken Ministries does not claim to endorse the organizations or persons sponsoring external website links, and we do not necessarily endorse the views they express or the products or services they offer.


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