In the moments leading up to a relapse, you have opportunities to block yourself from giving into the desire that will ultimately end in the countless consequences you are probably so familiar with already. Relapse prevention is all about taking notice of the things that are throwing you off balance, and addressing those things immediately. I have compiled a list of things to do to prevent relapse, whether they are things you practice daily for prevention, or things that you can practice in the moments closer to what could be a relapse. The point is, practice them. Practice them often.
You can prevent relapse by checking in with yourself, making sure you are doing all that you can to protect that inner peace you worked so hard to obtain. Here are ways to protect that peace and nurture it.
How to Avoid Relapse
- Get plenty of sleep, get at least 7 hours
- Spend time with friends and family
- Listen to music
- Eat healthy
- Stay away from the bar
- Take a relaxing hot bath or shower
- Support groups
- Make some new friends
- Arts and Crafts
- Go to a comedy show or a play or see a band
- Play an instrument
- Get a pet
- Do random acts of kindness
- Get out into the great outdoors
- DO SOMETHING THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR RECOVERY
Try something positive instead of the normal sex-drugs-guns-money-death music you’ve been listening to.
Take a walk or go to the gym, ride a bike. Exercise is supposed to get you out and about and healthy. This might be the most overlooked tip.
When’s the last time you had a salad or a piece of fruit instead of fast food or microwaving something from 7-11? You don’t have to go full organic vegan, but start making some common-sense dietary changes.
Believe me, you will not be missed. Everyone there will be just fine without your witty quips.
Calgon take me away! It’s a great way to relax.
The great thing about reading is that you have to focus on it, and you might even enjoy it or learn something
Hit some meetings and share, participate, get in the middle, really get involved.
Reach out and invite someone for coffee or lunch, get a new point of view or just take a chance
Make something, build something, paint something, draw something. You need a creative outlet, some of the finest artists in the world are addicts. Give it a shot.
Try a new hobby, there’s lots of new things out there from building robots or apps to drones and extreme sports. For me, it’s cooking. I bake bread, try new foods, try new recipes, I try to do fusion recipes like Italian dishes with Moroccan spices.
You don’t have to get barefoot in a yoga position and light incense to do it. Just find a quiet space and learn how to quiet your mind.
Get some positive mood-altering breaks where all you have to do is laugh and enjoy. Just make it in a live venue, there’s nothing like a great comedian or live music or seeing a play on Broadway.
If you know how to play one or if you don’t, why not learn a new talent? When in doubt, playing the drums is the easiest, and it’s really loud and a workout to boot.
At the very least, play with an animal. Animals have a special ability to be the greatest therapist you’ve ever met (and the cutest). Animals provide therapy to heal your heart and mind. There are thousands of shelter pets that need a home and they’re the best friends you’ll ever have.
This always works, it doesn’t matter what it is; helping someone else will always make you feel good even without a thank you. And keep it a secret.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the backyard patio or a remote mountain trail. Get outside, enjoy nature.
Go to your favorite vacation spot or try a new adventure. It’ll be the first time in a long time you won’t have to worry about TSA finding your stash.
It’s great that you’re all gung-ho about your recovery and focused on it, but you really need something totally unrelated to recovery in your life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, please reach out to us at 877-RECOVER or 877-732-6837. Our team of addiction specialists are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions about treatment or recovery. Because We Care.