You have taken the first big step and stopped using an intoxicating or harmful substance. But now what? You are suffering from a fear of a relapse, right? Don’t worry you are not alone. It’s very common to feel this and is one of the greatest fears of people who are going through a recovery stage.
Staying clean and sober is an enduring process and usually, cravings can hinder the recovery process for patients. If you learn how to break the addiction and recognize cravings, you can deal with and stay away from the urge to relapse. Remember, experiencing cravings is not a sign of weakness. But, it’s a natural part of the recovery process.
By putting the following tricks and tips into practice, you can minimize your risk of relapse and stay clean and sober.
- Break the Old Habits and Create a Healthy Routine
Break the old habits and replace them with the new positive one. It is a great way not to trap into substance addiction again. To understand how to break the addiction habits, first, you must accept that you are having a craving.
This way, you can recognize that feeling and deal it with properly. It’s normal and natural to feel cravings but you have to learn techniques to eliminate your fear and deal with them logically and calmly.
In order to create a substance-free lifestyle, you have to do some immediate changes such as don’t hang around the people that your old drinking or drug buddies. Make some new friends who are also sober. Always follow a structured schedule because your disorganized lifestyle can hinder your recovery.
- Get Physically Active and Achieve Inner Balance
If you were addicted to any substance for a long time then obviously you are not in the best physical shape. You have to work hard to achieve that toned body. So, make some healthy changes in your life such as joining a fitness centre or gym and improve your mental health with workouts.
Doing regular exercise will help you in fighting with fatigue, substance cravings, depression, and decrease your stress level. Keep yourself engaged in inspiring activities. You can go for yoga classes, take up swimming, an outdoor sport, or even learn karate or jiu-jitsu. They are incredible for achieving self-will and inner balance.
- Follow a Well-balanced Diet Plan
Staying sober and clean needs much dedication and commitment. If you feel physically weak then you can’t stick to it. So, you must take a nutritious diet and stay nourished and hydrated. Keep in mind, it’s not only important that what you eat but how much you eat that has equal importance.
If you are hungry and cranky then cravings can occur. So, to stay sober and clean, you must stick to a regular meal and snack schedule. Eat foods that fuel your body and keep you healthy instead of foods that weigh you down.
- Serve Others
Substance addiction is a lonely disease and recovering from it can make you feel isolated. Generally, we human beings get caught up in our struggles and forget that others too are going through the same challenge.
Stop focusing on only yourself. Make it a point to start helping others. It helps to feel connected and increases your feeling of self-worth. Such activity also stimulates the “feel good” chemistry in your brain.
So, give back your time or your skills volunteering. Concentrating less on ourselves, and more on others who need help with coping with their addiction can help in our journey towards complete sobriety.
- Build a Support Network
Friends and family members can be the greatest support systems during your recovery process. So, maintain healthy relationships with them. You can rely on their strength and support to help break the shackles of addiction to help you emerge as a better version of yourself.
You can even join a support group or self-help groups. Such groups can prove to be effective to live sober without feeling alone in your battles against addiction. By avoiding addicts and their harmful company, you can ensure a better environment that is conducive to the recovery process.
If you are going on a holiday then think of it as an opportunity to make new friends, instead of making the event all about merely drinking and eating. Make the event about people and building relationships. Go into every party looking forward to building genuine connections.
- Recognize Your Danger Zones
Always be careful and aware of your triggers. For example, if in a family party if alcohol is being served then try to be in an alcohol-free environment. A trigger can create a desire to engage you in mood-altering substances.
These triggers can be social gatherings, bars, family members, weekends or anything that creates physical, emotional, or physiological cravings.
- Clean Your Mental House and Set Goals for the Future
Always speak to yourself with positive and encouraging words. Get rid of the negative vibes and thoughts. Set well-defined goals for the future and make a list of things that you want to accomplish.
These can be small goals like watching a sunset or big goals like saving money or going to a university, and so on. Never be frightened to dream big.
- Be Prepared for the Questions
At some point in your life, you’ll be trapped in a situation where someone asks you about your temperance. Get yourself ready in advance by deciding what you’ll say if someone asks questions related to addiction struggles or your sobriety.
It’s excellent to have a reply ready. So you are not trapped unexpectedly. Remember, the person who is asking you questions may be struggling themselves. That’s why, be prepared to stay away from a situation that may lead to stress, anxiety, and ultimately to relapse.
In a nutshell, staying substance-free and adjusting your mindset after addiction is not easy. It is very tricky. You may find yourself in situations that can tempt you to make use of alcohol or drugs again. But, don’t get panic. Use the above-discussed strategies to deal with difficult situations and maintaining sobriety.