When we’re just beginning to recover from an addiction we may be having difficulty caring for ourselves. But we must groom our living spaces, and we must groom our bodies. Doing both is essential to the process of pursuing good mental and physical health.
If a person recovering from an addiction struggles to keep their body groomed, it's likely because of bad habits and setbacks in their mind related to their (former) addiction. Recovering addicts must do positive things for themselves, and good grooming is one such crucial positive action.
Two showers per day are recommended. One at the end of the day should be to both clean off dirt and serve as a ceremonial way to transition to rest and sleep.
It's important that we cut back our fingernails and toenails, keep our hands clean, and brush our teeth after meals, when waking up, and before going to sleep. It’s important to keep our hair clean and styled in a way that we like. It's very important that we do not offend others by how we smell. And it's important that we frequently wash all of our clothing, as well as our jackets, backpacks, bedsheets, pillowcases, and blankets.
Doing these things and others can be considered a meditation. Doing them requires a certain amount of energy and a degree of self-esteem. But even if we don't have either of those things, we should practice cleanliness and self-care as a discipline. Our self-esteem and energy levels will improve over time as we persist in recovery.
A person might struggle with self-care for a number of reasons. It could be that they're simply depressed and low on energy. It could be that their parents didn't teach them about such things. It could be that they just don't care about themselves at all.
Sometimes when we are really depressed and really stuck then we might only have enough courage to work on cleaning our homes and cleaning our bodies. But that's a great starting point, and we can move past that to more substantive self-help actions if we really try.