Relapse is a major concern for people undergoing an addiction recovery phase. After all the effort and time spent in rehab, no one wants to start the same process again from scratch. The one thing you should always keep in mind is that sobriety is not a sprint; it is a marathon. You need to treat it as a slow process and make small changes to make sure you stick to the path.
If you are struggling, the good news is that you can avoid relapse and stay sober by relying on the following tried-and-tested coping skills.
- Lay Down An Organized Schedule
An unorganized or chaotic lifestyle can hinder the rehabilitation process big time. Having a well-structured daily and weekly routine is essential to staying on top of things. Now that you are on the road to recovery, it is time to get rid of old practices and adopt new ones. Among other things, you may complete pending tasks, acquire new skills, participate in a sport, travel, etc. Regardless of your choice, make sure you incorporate healthy activities in your routine that improve your mental well-being and stimulate your spirit.
- Prepare for PAWS
Whether you go through rehab at Delphi behavioral health group or any other place, post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) is common. PAWS implies the ongoing withdrawal symptoms after detox. These symptoms typically include irritation, depression, anxiety, exhaustion, and sleep problems. Depending on the type of addiction, PAWS can linger anywhere from six months to two years following the cession of substance use. If you do not take precautions, PAWS can be a big obstacle to recovery.
One way to fight PAWS is by repeating affirmations like “I’m worth it” or “I’m strong.” It will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day. In addition, analyze the circumstances that triggered your PAWS symptoms and how you reacted to them. That way, you can prepare yourself beforehand and avoid being caught off guard.
- Put Together An Emergency Contact List
In the early stages of recovery, it might be challenging to control one’s urges. It is important to get help from the people you can count on for support to prevent relapse. Having someone to lean on can help you overcome cravings and recall why you do not want to return to old habits. Your loved ones can help you stay on the path by distracting you, reminding you of your journey, or just simply by being there. It is important to have someone you can rely on by your side.
- Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is an effective technique that keeps you connected with your feelings and thoughts. A daily routine of mindful meditation can enable you to develop the ability to recognize and healthily deal with your negative emotions. To get started with your mindfulness practice, take a moment to close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing, and reflect on your goals, challenges, and accomplishments.
- Keep Calm
Anger is a natural phenomenon. However, many people with substance abuse issues struggle to control and express their anger. If you want to avoid relapse, you must learn to keep calm. To make your life easier, we have enlisted some of the best anger management tips below:
- Take deep breaths: As your anger rises, so does your heart rate. At the count of 5, take a deep inhale, and then exhale at another count of five. Your heart rate will eventually drop down, helping you to let go of your anger. This may not improve your mood right away. But you will surely keep yourself from doing or saying something that might make you regret it in the future.
- Think before responding: When you are caught up in a stressful situation, it is easier to lash out in fury than take a breather and collect your thoughts. But you have to understand that the more time you spend thinking before you speak, the more rational your replies will be.
- Distract yourself: A little diversion might be very handy if you have permeated that anger is about to hijack your emotions. It means doing something as simple as recollecting a pleasing occurrence for some people. Others might benefit from turning their attention to something tangible.
- Exercise Regularly
Exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins in our bodies. Apart from that, physical activity eliminates the poisons and toxins your body has absorbed through substance abuse. After a strenuous workout, you should reward yourself with a nutritious and satisfying meal. It bears worth mentioning that hitting the gym once in a while will barely do any good. If you want to get the best results, make it a point to exercise regularly. Nobody is asking you to do extensive workout sessions right from the get-go. Start with 10-20 minutes and gradually increase your threshold.
- Know Your Triggers
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your sobriety is to figure out the situations or circumstances that cause you to drink or use drugs. They are called triggers. Although identifying these triggers is a critical first step, it must be followed by taking concrete action. For instance, if you feel the temptation to relapse by visiting a specific place, you are better off bidding it a farewell for the time being.
- Do Not Let One Mistake Turn Into A Relapse
Complete sobriety is the ultimate objective of the rehabilitation process. Having said that, this is not an easy task. There is always the possibility that you might have a terrible day and make a mistake despite your best efforts. When you have a fallback moment, instead of blaming yourself and possibly taking additional drugs or alcohol, you must recommit to your recovery. Use your slipups as a cautionary lesson about the state of affairs you would rather avoid.
To avoid a relapse, you will want to do everything in your power to remember how hard it was to get sober in the first place. It may seem like relapses are a thing of the past, but they are actually surprisingly prevalent. Make sure you stay committed to your journey and let go of the thoughts that cloud your judgment. You are stronger than our addiction, and you can beat it! Good luck.