4 Ways to Avoid Relapse
22 July, 2022
Recovery is not easy. When you encounter cravings and burnout, it is important to remember that engaging in substance abuse will inevitably impair your ability to chase your dreams and live the life you want.
By making the following four adjustments to your lifestyle, you can make it easier to resist relapse and maintain your recovery progress.
#1. Redefine Your Relationships
During the height of your addiction, you may have broken the trust of loved ones and damaged otherwise healthy and supportive relationships. At the same time, you may have relied more on friends with whom you used drugs or alcohol and who are not supportive of your recovery.
To prevent relapse, you must rebuild healthy relationships and disengage from those that are not supportive of your sobriety.
Making amends with friends and family members can be difficult, and sometimes they may not even want to hear what you have to say. However, when you have let go of your addiction and begun holding yourself accountable to your goals of health and happiness, friends and family will start to see the genuine changes you are making.
Healthy relationships can give you valuable support through recovery. It can be very motivating to have people cheer you on as you continue to build a life free of drugs and alcohol.
If you continue to foster relationships with people with whom you used substances in the past, especially if they are still using, it will make it much harder to avoid relapse. If you know your substance of choice is easily accessible, it will make it easier for you to choose to use it again.
Saying goodbye to unhealthy relationships can be challenging, but it is often necessary. It is also not just for your benefit. If your friends see you making healthier life changes and the positive effects of those changes, they may be influenced to seek recovery too.
#2. Practice Self-Care
While you were in rehab, your therapists and case managers have likely helped you develop a schedule, along with better sleeping, eating, and exercising habits. Continuing these practices once you have left rehab will help you feel good about yourself and keep you physically and mentally healthy.
Failing to take care of yourself will ultimately lead to a decline in mental health, making it easier for someone to relapse. Maintaining these practices can be demanding as you go back to work, school, and other daily activities. Setting boundaries for yourself and others will be essential to ensure you continue eating right, sleeping well, and exercising enough.
Here are some things you can do to maintain self-care once you have left treatment:
Prepare your food in advance. Taking an hour or two out of your weekend to ensure you have healthy ready-to-go meals throughout the week will ensure that your body and brain are getting what they need to function well. If you do not have time to cook, consider investing in a crockpot or pressure cooker. These tools allow you to make mass quantities of food, and the recipes usually take 20-30 minutes to complete.
Set aside time every day to relax before bed. Whether it is 30 minutes or an hour, take time for yourself to shut out the outside world so that you can unwind for bed and get the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Exercise in a sustainable way. Remember that you do not have to become a health nut or have a gym membership to exercise weekly. Try to take 30 minutes to an hour at least three times a week to go for a walk in the park, practice yoga, hike, swim, or walk through a quick exercise video online. Try to find something you enjoy so that you will look forward to it and keep it part of your routine.
#3. Enjoy Life
During addiction treatment, you will likely have developed dreams of who you want to be without drugs or alcohol. You may have decided you want to learn guitar, start a blog, or go back to school. There are thousands of hobbies and lifestyles that you may be dreaming of achieving, and now that you have left rehab, it is time for you to start chasing those goals.
Taking time every day to put your energy into the things you love will help you continue to be excited about your new life. As you achieve each step to reaching your dream, you will feel more accomplished, boosting your self-esteem and self-confidence.
Meaningful engagement with life will also keep you from getting bored. Research has shown that boredom is a significant contributing factor to substance use. If you are by yourself all day and have nothing to occupy your time, it will be easier to focus on cravings and harder to resist giving into them.
#4. Continue Outpatient Treatment
After you leave rehab, you will likely need support while integrating into a mainstream lifestyle. Engaging in long-term addiction care will increase your chances of staying sober. There are dozens of options available that will allow you to continue receiving support and care for your SUD while you return to your everyday life.
Sober living homes will allow you to remain in an environment free of drugs and alcohol while exploring new lifestyles. Outpatient treatment programs offer various options both in person and through telehealth to continue receiving any necessary medications or therapies that are crucial for your sobriety. Even if you only go to therapy once a week, having continued support while you deal with the challenges of recovery will help you avoid relapse.
The Forge Recovery Center Will Help You Avoid Relapse
At The Forge Recovery Center, we know that recovery isn’t always easy. When you leave rehab, you still face daily struggles that will make staying sober hard, but we are here to support you through those challenges.
Our expertly trained staff are well-versed in caring for people with a variety of addictions before and after they have left rehab. Our goal is to ensure you develop the tools and resources you need to stay sober. More importantly, we want to help you develop lasting relationships in your life to cheer you on through recovery and give you the continued support you need while you are getting back to your day-to-day life.
We are here to remind you that you do not have to beat addiction on your own, and you will always have our support through your recovery. If you have questions about treatment options at The Forge Recovery Center, contact us now.