Thanks for coming back to the “pornfreepooldude” blog. I had a reader ask what kind of healthy self-care I practice, so I’m going to share what I personally do. I’m always looking for new positive activities to add to my list, but this is what I currently do. For a reminder, self-care involves taking care of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. For years, I ate terribly, didn’t really exercise, needed a lot of work on my spirituality, and did not express myself or communicate/connect with others very well. I personally started to learn and practice healthy self-care by agreeing (my wife suggested after yet again another relapse) to see a marriage and family therapist. I started out going to him once every 2 weeks to start and then down to once a month when he and I both agreed I was doing better in my recovery and mental and emotional health was improving. I highly recommend getting professional help if you are struggling to break free from porn addiction or any addiction for that matter. There is no shame in getting professional help and a lot of health insurances cover it (at least part of it). Remember: We can’t beat addiction on our own! In therapy, I was able to open up to him with feeling no judgment about my porn struggles, talk about past traumas, how to communicate with my wife better, learn about how terrible the porn industry really is, and also place some strategies into place that would help me break free of porn addiction. It was very helpful and my first tool into serious proactive recovery.
The second form of self-care I set up was daily Bible reading, prayer and meditation. I started waking up 30 minutes earlier than I was and setting aside this quiet time to work on improving my spirituality. I feel closer to God now and this is a great way for me to start the day off on a positive spiritual note.
Another form of self-care I do is connecting with others and trying not to isolate myself (even though I work alone at my job I try to connect with other humans). I make at least 3 phone calls/text messages daily to others in recovery and talk about recovery, how it’s going today, how I’m feeling, any triggers, what recovery tools I used today, etc. I also check in with my sponsor several times a week and I’m able to be open and honest with him about how everything has been going so far. I also am becoming more open with my wife and its becoming less awkward to talk about my struggles and communicate my feelings and needs. Improving communication also makes me feel more confident about myself so it’s very helpful to continue to work on.
For improving my mental and emotional health, I enjoy listening to recovery podcasts on a daily basis (pornfreeradio, the mindful habit, brickhousepodcast to name a few) and also self-improvement podcasts which are highly motivating to me and make me want to keep getting better in my role as a husband and also improving my family’s quality of life.
In improving my physical health I try my best to exercise daily for 20-30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just try to do something on a regular basis. Start small if you have to and work your way up to increasing the time and intensity of your workout. I personally do free weights at home, pull-ups and push-ups and stretching. I also try to go for walks at local parks 2-3 times per week with my wife and this is not only good exercise, but it also helps us connect with each other and with nature. I also try my best to eat healthy (more fruits and veggies, less carbs and sugar) and I notice that my health and energy seems to be improving.
More healthy mental and emotional self-care I practice is I also have come to enjoy daily journaling. By writing my plans, goals and thoughts out on paper and what has been going on in my day feels therapeutic in itself and helps me to express what’s really going on inside my crazy head!
I also enjoy reading. I read spiritual publications, recovery materials (AA big book, SA white book, SAA Green book, etc) as well as appropriate recreational materials. (Currently reading “The Maze Runner” series). There’s something satisfying about reading a book, unlike vegging out in front of the tv which makes me feel sleepy and disconnected.
Finally, a few more things I wanted to add. I like to pamper myself from time to time lol. I like aromatherapy with my collection of essential oils, getting “appropriate” massages, facial masks, taking vitamins and supplements, playing with the dogs on our property, playing bass guitar, riding dirt-bikes, enjoying a sunset and spending quality time with friends and family.
I’ve noticed the more I involve myself in healthy self-care activities, the less the desire is to act out or watch porn! Maybe you’ll find the same positive effects will happen to you too! That’s all I can think of at the moment, feel free to share what healthy self-care activities you enjoy! Thanks for reading, catch ya next time!