If you’re in recovery from any type of addictive substance, it can be challenging to stay sober. It takes months and years of hard work, discipline, and renewed commitment just to achieve complete sobriety. As a matter of fact, about 80% of the patients that recovered from an addictive substance have had at least one relapse before they achieved full recovery.
That’s because it takes more than discipline and willpower to overcome an addiction. The best treatment is to target it at its root cause and to ensure that you are nowhere near the addictive substances. To help you out, here are ten actionable tips on how to stay sober this year.
- Determine Your Personal Triggers
Different people have different reasons for their addictions. The most common trigger for recovering patients is being in close proximity to the substances. For example, being in parties or social gatherings with drugs and alcohol can elicit cravings. These can also trigger feelings or emotions that were associated with these addictive substances.
Other people have internal triggers like emotional distress, stress, relationship problems, financial problems, and more.
- Be Aware Of The Signs Of Relapse
Another way to prevent a relapse is to know the warning signs that they are about to happen. A relapse can be broken down into three phases: emotional, mental, and then physical relapse.
Other warning signs include returning to addictive trains of thought, participating in self-sabotaging behaviors, hanging out with people who drink or use drugs, behaving irresponsibly, and catching yourself thinking that being drunk or high is the solution to your current dilemma.
- Prepare For Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
Post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS can last for six months up to two years after you decide to become sober. This usually materializes in the form of sleep problems, irritability, anxiety, and depression.
PAWS can become a hindrance towards full recovery which is why it’s important to medicate them as soon as possible. It helps to seek a professional medical aide so that you can overcome these.
- Avoid Toxic Routines Or Habits
Personal and group therapy sessions will help enlighten what routines caused you to succumb to the addiction in the first place. These could be hanging out with the wrong crowd, being subjected to stressful situations, and promoting destructive behavior.
The moment you go back to these old routines and habits, it’s important to take a step back and just steer clear of these as the presence of such will enable you to relapse. Make the conscious choices to avoid certain places or groups of people that you know will allow you to relapse.
- Form Healthier Relationships
Successful recoveries are marked by a good support system. You can also form that because the security of knowing that there are people for you and you aren’t alone will greatly boost your confidence in attaining full recovery. These individuals can also become your accountability system in the sense that they can keep tabs on your actions and make sure that you stay on track.
Start by spending more time with family, friends, and loved ones. Foster meaningful relationships rooted in love.
- Have A Schedule
Make sure that all of your days are accounted for. Form a productive, clean, and attainable daily schedule that you can abide with. This ensures that you will be kept busy which will eliminate your dependence on drugs or alcohol.
The people with chaotic and unorganized days are more likely to relapse because boredom will drive them to the edge. You may also try outlining personal goals and ensuring that you get a step closer to them each day.
- Practice A Healthy Lifestyle
Becoming a drug addict or alcoholic can take a serious toll on your mental and physical health. That’s why it is time to practice a healthy lifestyle that can repair those. Additionally, a healthy body and a sound mind is your first line of defense against a relapse.
Practice healthy habits like regular exercise, forming meaningful hobbies, eating clean and well-balanced meals, getting enough sleep, and learning relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga.
- Get Your Finances In Order
Research shows that the people with poor financial situations or management are the ones that succumb to an addiction. Financial stress truly takes a toll on anyone’s mental health and other people use drugs or alcohol to escape this problem.
Additionally, recovering patients may have problems with work-related commitments and financial troubles. This section is truly easier said than done, but taking small steps toward the right direction can make all the difference.
A recovering patient may reach out to a vocational counselor to seek help with resume revision, job interview practices, and money management.
- Stay Calm And Do Not Panic
One major issue among recovering patients is their capability to manage extreme emotions. Most feel a lot of anger due to the pent-up frustrations they are going through.
If you are like this, it helps to form mental tools that can help you manage your extreme emotions. Try basic breathing exercises whenever you feel frustrated or stuck. Seek help from stress and anger management counselors. No matter what happens, do not use the people around you as an emotional outlet or recipient of these negative feelings. This can damage your relationship with your support system and backtrack everything you’ve worked hard for.
- Acknowledge Your Past Mistakes
It is impactful to have enough humility to see where you went wrong. This is crucial for forming the necessary course of action to make things right this time around. Patients who feel guilty or harbor a lot of anger for themselves are very likely to relapse.
It’s important for you to acknowledge that you made a grave mistake, but you should also know that there are countless opportunities for recovery. The best you can do is to learn from these mistakes and make sure that you won’t repeat them as doing so can damage yourself and your relationship with the people around you.