Recovery requires your full attention. If you get lazy or complacent, it puts you in a position where you could be more likely to relapse. Let’s take a look at 10 helpful tips for relapse prevention that have been suggested by recovering addicts.
1. Stay away from relationships that you found troubling in the past. These could be relationships with a boyfriend or girlfriend, friends who you used drugs or alcohol with or family members who enabled your addiction. You only want good influences in your life right now.
2. Keep away from the places where your drug or alcohol use took place. This could be bars, nightclubs or casinos. Or it could be friends’ houses and hangouts. Take different routes to work and invest in new activities to fill your time.
3. Start to learn about your body. When are you most likely to feel stressed or anxious? Are there times of the day when you feel lonely or afraid? The more you listen to your body, the better you can be proactive in decreasing the urge to use.
4. Find alternative ways of handling stress or anxiety. If you can pinpoint when you are most likely to feel the urge to use, you can use that time to do something relaxing such as meditating, listening to music, going for a run or doing some gardening. In other words, put your anxiety into something else.
5. Recognize the signs of a potential relapse. This way, if you feel that you are in danger of relapsing, you can get the help you need before anything happens. Examples include remembering the times that made you feel good or persuading yourself to do something “just once more.”
6. Don’t let yourself get bored. It’s okay to have some free time to yourself, but too much unaccounted time is dangerous. Find new activities to take part in, or pursue a new hobby. The park district or local library are great places to start.
7. Take care of your basic needs. If you continue to eat well-balanced meals and get adequate rest each night, you’ll find that your body will feel better and provide you with the energy and motivation to stay sober.
8. Get plenty of exercise. It doesn’t matter how you do it – just do it! Take a walk through the local forest preserve. Lift weights in your bedroom. Take a spinning class and bring your headphones. This fills up your time, helps you to release energy and encourages healthy habits.
9. Get a part-time job or volunteer your time. Working part-time can make a huge difference in your recovery. It gives you responsibility and teaches you how to follow a schedule. Working also helps build your confidence and self-esteem. If you’re not ready to work, consider volunteering your time for the same benefits.
10. Be active in your support groups. Give them a try, even if you’re hesitant at first. They are a good opportunity to connect with people and practice essential skills such as listening and empathy. Find a sponsor that you can count on as well.
Recovery has to start somewhere. If you are ready to start a treatment program for the first time or a subsequent time, The River Source is here for you. Give us a call today to learn more about our holistic programs.
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/JessHall