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Love Addiction: Practicing Self-care

by: Dr. Howard C. Samuels
Love Addiction: Practicing Self-care

If you’re dealing with love addiction recovery, then you should know that self-care is important. However, if you’re like many love addicts, self-care might feel like a foreign concept. That’s because love addicts have a very hard time practicing self-care when they’re so focused on other people. This is especially true if they’re involved with someone who is emotionally unavailable. Yet, self-care is an important part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Self-care is also very important to the process of recovery. Learning how to engage in self-care will help you through treatment and recovery from love addiction.

Love Addiction Free Worksheets

Lack of Self-Care With Love Addiction

When you struggle with love addiction, it’s common for a lack of self-care to show up in many places in your life. The following are some examples of this:

  • Not setting boundaries with other people
  • Making choices that go against your personal beliefs
  • Devaluing and abandoning your own needs and desires
  • Basing your self-worth on being in a relationship
  • Enduring abusive or loveless relationships
  • Letting your partner’s identity become your own
  • Taking the blame for things that aren’t your fault
  • Trying to earn someone’s approval
  • Believing yourself to be in love with someone you haven’t known very long
  • Tolerating abusive and uncaring behavior from others
  • Abandoning other interests and people for your love interest

Many people with love addiction also expect perfection from themselves while allowing others to be cold, disrespectful, and even abusive towards them. As you can see, these are not healthy behaviors that contribute towards self-care.

Focus on Yourself

One of the first steps to practicing self-care in your recovery from love addiction is learning to self-focus. This means to put your needs and wants above anyone else’s. Love addicts tend to be very good at taking care of others, but not so good at self-care. Consider the following as acts of self-care and self-focus:

  • Don’t put anyone on a pedestal over yourself
  • Don’t do things that feel wrong
  • Trust your instincts
  • Don’t feel like you have to be nice and respectful to everyone
  • Don’t take the blame for others’ problems
  • Let go of things that you don’t have control over
  • Make time for yourself often
  • Don’t be a people pleaser

Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Love As Self-Care

Self-love and self-compassion are similar to focusing on yourself, but they have some distinct differences. For example, self-compassion means allowing yourself to make mistakes and to be imperfect. Love addicts often expect perfection from themselves while allowing their partners to display all manner of negative behavior. Other forms of self-compassion and self-love include the following:

  • Don’t speak negatively of yourself
  • Don’t violate your values
  • Don’t listen to anyone who tells you what to think or how to behave
  • Don’t tolerate anyone who tries to make you feel worthless or inadequate
  • Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes or missteps
  • Don’t pursue perfection
  • Honor and validate all of your feelings and emotions
  • Celebrate your personal accomplishments

Self-Care Every Day

It’s not enough to practice self-care only once in a while. In fact, you should practice it every day. In order to get in this habit, it’s important that you don’t think of self-care as selfish, self-indulgence, or self-pity, but rather as a normal and healthy thing that everyone does to achieve mental and emotional health. Think of self-care as self-love, self-preservation, and a human right. How can you practice self-care on a daily basis? Take a look at these tips:

  • Do something every day that you enjoy
  • Allow yourself time every day to do nothing at all
  • Don’t put yourself at someone else’s disposal all day
  • Make a list of things you’re grateful for
Love Addiction Quiz

Gratitude List

Another way to practice daily self-care is to make a list of things that you’re grateful for. Make this a daily habit for self-care. Your list can include small things, mundane things, and intangible things as well as big things and tangible things. For example, you might be grateful for getting a night of good sleep or being in a good mood. Or, you might be grateful for a promotion at work. The important thing is that a list of gratitude helps you stay positive as you focus on recovery.

Doctor Howard Samuels is a licensed therapist with over 30 years of experience in the addiction field. He specializes in the treatment of substance addiction as well as process and behavioral addictions like love addiction. Check out his Love Addiction Workbook for more information on self-care and recovery.

Contact Dr. Howard Samuels Today

July 22, 2021
Addiction Treatment | Psychotherapy

Dr. Howard C. Samuels works directly one on one with his clients who come to him struggling with addiction. Dr. Samuels has extensive experience in treating addiction having directed some of the nations top programs to working with celebrities and appearing on national media to provide expert advice. Don’t miss the chance to work with the leading expert in addiction treatment.

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