Prioritizing Self-Care: The Multi-Angle Approach

Addiction Recovery Publishing Addiction Recovery February 6, 2024

Prioritizing Self-Care: The Multi-Angle Approach

The iconic British playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” This is the essence of self-care, which is one of the first things that tends to go when someone is struggling with issues of addiction and/or mental health. However, self-care, and prioritizing that self-care, is crucial, which is why it must be recovered if one is to fully heal at the cellular level. One of the best ways to do this is by taking the multi-angle approach.

What Does Prioritizing Self-Care Mean?

While prioritizing self-care may sound rather simple, there is a reason why many people don’t do it. It takes action and effort. Of course, someone struggling with active addiction or mental illness does not have the “bandwidth” for those necessary actions.

Quite frankly, prioritizing self-care has to do with being a little selfish. Of course, this selfishness does not come at the expense of others, in fact, it means that, ultimately, the individual is going to have more time and energy to give other people because they will be well enough to do so. 

Also, self-care does not just live in one area of one’s life. Self-care must transcend all aspects of the individual. This includes their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual selves. Now, this is also partly what it means to take a multi-angle approach; multiple means and modalities are used to address multiple aspects of self-care.

What Exactly Is the Multi-Angle Approach to Self-Care?

The multi-angle approach to self-care has to do with prioritizing self-care in a multifaceted way. This means utilizing a whole-mind-body approach to recovery.

For example, if one is feeling physically “run down,” one is not going to merely start an exercise routine as a means of recovery. Yes, they are going to add some form of physical activity, but that physical activity is also going to be done in tandem with mindfulness practices, wellness therapies, and psychotherapies (if it makes sense). Doing this will ensure that the individual doesn’t just exercise, but they find the deeper importance of that exercise, and they cultivate techniques to get the most out of that exercise: mind, body, and soul.

It is important to remember that everything is connected. This includes the self. So when self-care is lacking in one arena, it too will be lacking in others. If one’s emotional state is hurting, then there is a good chance that they are not taking care of themselves physically, and their negative emotional state may come from a lack of “spiritual” inspiration. Of course, this “interconnectedness” acts differently for each individual, which is why individualized care is so important.

The Importance of Individualized Mental Health and Addiction Care in Recovery

No two people have the same journey in life. This includes their journey regarding addiction and/or mental illness. So, why, then, would their recovery plan be the same? The answer is that they should not.

Individualized care is crucial if one is to heal at the cellular level. This is because overarching “one-note” addiction and mental health care cannot address everyone’s specific issues. Even if two people have the exact same diagnosis, they are not going to have the same details in their backstory. 

For example, two people may struggle with an anxiety disorder. On the surface, it might seem like both of these people should be treated with the same modalities. However, one person’s disorder may stem from the work stress they feel as a CEO of a company, and the other person’s may stem from trauma they experienced as a child. Two wholly different origins. Yes, some of their treatment will look similar, but other parts will greatly vary. 

For example, the high-powered CEO may need to focus on more mindfulness practices as a way to manage their stress. On the flip side, the individual with trauma may need to utilize something a bit more cerebral, like ketamine therapy, to get to the root/core causes of that trauma. Now, the need for these various means, methods, and modalities is also why connecting with a recovery center that focuses on comprehensive care is so important.

The Importance of Comprehensive Mental Health and Addiction Care in Recovery

Just as mental health and addiction care must be individualized, it must be comprehensive as well. Comprehensive treatment plans will ensure that recovery is achieved at the cellular level by any means necessary.

You also cannot utilize a multi-angle approach to self-care without comprehensive care. The two go hand in hand. You cannot address every angle with one tool. It takes many, which is the idea of comprehensive care. In recovery, that comprehensive care utilizes all areas of the treatment realm. These areas include experiential therapies like nature immersion therapy and surf therapy, wellness techniques like yoga and meditation, and traditional mental health modalities like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).

The Multi-Angle Approach: Traditional Mental Health Modalities

There is a reason why traditional mental health modalities tend to be the foundation of treatment plans. Not only do they often work, but they have been studied extensively enough to show that they work.

This is why “traditional” mental health therapies are also often referred to as “evidence-based” mental health therapies, and no place has this evidence been utilized than in the realm of psychotherapy. Psychotherapies have long been shown to help people recover from their cognitive and emotional issues, and, as previously discussed, addressing those issues also helps the physical and spiritual aspects of the self and self-care.

Self-Care and Psychotherapy

Now, many people have an antiquated view of what psychotherapy actually is. They still picture that sleeping couch with the passive psychoanalyst simply sitting back and taking notes as the individual divulges their deepest secrets.

No, psychotherapy is much more about action. It is about getting the root/core causes of one’s issues so they can be brought to the surface and addressed. Perhaps the most known and utilized psychotherapy to do this is CBT.

According to the peer-reviewed write-up, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, by Doctors Chand, Kuckel, and Huecker, “Today CBT is the most extensively researched of all psychotherapies with several evidence-based treatment protocols. CBT is based on a straightforward, common-sense model of the relationships among cognition, emotion, and behavior. Three aspects of cognition are emphasized: automatic thoughts, cognitive distortions, and underlying beliefs or schemas.” These “three aspects of cognition” are what must be addressed if one is going to move beyond their behavior issues.

Essentially, CBT is a way of addressing how one thinks about oneself and the world around them. For individuals struggling with issues of mental health and/or addiction, these thoughts are often greatly skewed. However, when these skewed thoughts are shown to be unfounded, they can be altered, and by altering these thoughts, one can alter the behaviors associated with them. Regarding healthy self-care, this can eliminate the behaviors that interrupt it. Another therapy that can help and can especially be a good supplement to CBT is ketamine therapy.

Self-Care: Adding Ketamine Therapy

Adding ketamine therapy to a recovery plan can be ideal for those individuals struggling with underlying issues of trauma or negatively affected cognitions. Ketamine therapy has also seen a resurgence in recent years. This is for two reasons. One is that the stigma associated with it has dissipated drastically, and two is that more and more evidence is showing its efficacy.

According to the British Journal of Psychiatry, “In the past two decades, subanaesthetic doses of ketamine have been demonstrated to have rapid and sustained antidepressant effects, and accumulating research has demonstrated ketamine’s therapeutic effects for a range of psychiatric conditions… In numerous studies, ketamine was also demonstrated to have short-lived anti-suicidal properties, independently of improvements in depressive symptoms… There is also evidence that ketamine results in short-term increases in abstinence, reductions in use, cravings, and symptoms of withdrawal related to problematic substance use.” While it may not be one’s primary therapy, ketamine therapy can be a highly beneficial supplement, including as a supplement to experiential therapies.

The Multi-Angle Approach: Experiential Therapies

Now, since traditional mental health therapies work from the “inside out,” it is good to utilize therapies that work from the “outside in.” These therapies fall under the umbrella of experiential therapy.

As its namesake states, experiential therapies are all about having meaningful experiences or experiencing creative activities as a means of getting in touch with one’s innermost self. These experiences are also discussed with an experiential therapist. They can help the individual make sense of the emotions that the experience evoked and how they can be utilized to grow and better one’s life. One of the most powerful forms of these experiential therapies is nature immersion therapy.

Self-Care and Nature Immersion Therapy

Nature immersion therapy is all about getting in touch with the outside world as a way of getting in touch with what’s going on mentally and emotionally inside. This can be especially powerful in the 21st Century as many people find themselves surrounded more by steel and concrete than they are by nature. Due to this reality, the shift to nature often makes the benefits more pronounced than they would be if one had more access to the natural world.

The benefits of nature immersion therapy may vary by individual, but there are also so many that most people experience many of them. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, wellbeing, and liveliness.” Also, “Besides improvements to physical and psychological well-being, exposure to natural environments has been shown to bring about positive impacts on cognitive functioning… While cognitive restoration and physiological well-being are the prominent and renowned benefits of nature exposure, there is one important construct that is often overlooked in environmental psychology research studies – that is, the human-nature relationship; also known as connectedness to nature (CN).” 

On Hawaii’s Big Island, another way that one can get this connectedness to nature (CN) is via the Pacific Ocean. This is the self-care experiential practice of surfing (and boogie boarding).

Self-Care and Surf Therapy

There is perhaps no better way to find some self-care than surfing off of the Hamakua Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island. In fact, a mere 15-minute journey from Exclusive Hawaii Rehab’s luxury 30-acre recovery center is one of the best surf breaks in the world known as Honoli’i. Here, one can truly experience the benefits of surf therapy, of which there are many.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Carefully planned water activities tailored to the needs of the individual can contribute to correct psychosocial and cognitive development. The International Surf Therapy Organization [19] summarizes the benefits of adequately indicated surf therapy as follows: improved physical health and mobility; improved mental health, including reduction of specific symptoms, such as posttraumatic stress and depression; improved well-being (strengthening of trust and confidence, encouragement of independence, resilience and protective coping strategies) and improved social skills.” Also, surfing on Hawaii’s Big Island can help one connect to the spiritual and cultural benefits of the powerful land and the water that makes it up.

The Multi-Angle Approach: Cultural and Holistic Methods

Connecting to a spiritual culture can be a big part of healing at the cellular level. On Hawaii’s Big Island, that culture runs long, and it runs deep. 

One big part of that culture that people have been using to “heal wounds” on the Big Island is known as Ho’oponopono. Ho’oponopono is a way to resolve conflict both externally and, for self-care, internally.

Self-Care and Ho’oponopono

Ho’oponopono is a traditional Hawaiian practice that was originally used as a way for communities to resolve their issues in a calm and collected manner. It can now be used as a form of meditative practice to both resolve issues with others and any conflict that may be going on, but also for resolving conflicts that may be going on inside one’s head.

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, ho’oponopono is used among the recovery community as a way of resolving resentments and issues that one has with the world around them. Once these resentments are healed on the outside, they can then be let go of on the inside. Another practice that is utilized as a means of healing from the “outside-in” is yoga.

Self-Care and Yoga

Just as Ho’oponopono is an age-old practice that is now being used in the recovery realm, yoga now helps people heal at the cellular level every day. It is also a practice that is elevated when practiced in the beautiful surroundings of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Yoga has countless benefits. According to the International Journal of Yoga, “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions and involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional and spiritual pain, suffering or limitations.” Also, “yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.” When it comes to self-care, one can see why yoga has become the cornerstone of their multi-angle approach.

Taking a Multi-Angle Approach to Recovery at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Another renowned author, Ralph Waldo Emerson, once wrote, “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” This is what self-care is all about: prioritizing wellness at every moment. A multi-angle approach is one of the best ways to do this.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we know that recovery is about the journey, never the destination. For those who are ready to heal at the cellular level, there is no better place to start that journey than right here on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, where “Aloha” is the essence of life and the foundation of recovery.

Prioritizing self-care is essential for healing at the cellular level in recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to take the “multi-angle” approach, which means that one makes sure that one’s recovery is wholly unique and catered to one’s specific needs. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or both, we can help you get on the right road to recovery on Hawaii’s Big Island. For more information on why the “multi-angle” approach that Exclusive Hawaii Rehab offers is the best way to heal from the inside out, please reach out to us today at (808) 775-0200.