If you’ve made it through substance use recovery and are now living a life free from drug and alcohol habits, you’ve thought hard about avoiding relapse. After all, you made it a point to address self-destructive behaviors in your own daily life. Now that you’re on the other side, the last thing you want for yourself is to hand over control of your freedom to the same substance use tendencies you’re currently managing.
Staying the course in your sobriety is important to you and your entire support group. If you’re serious about staying sober and avoiding relapse, consider adopting one or more of the following daily habits. Even small, recurring daily actions can help you avoid relapse long-term.
1. Healthy eating
So much of avoiding relapse is putting yourself in a healthy state of mind, to help you continually manage life’s challenges. Healthy eating habits can help you set the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. By following a few simple healthy eating tips and tricks, you can optimize your eating habits to help you avoid relapse:
- Incorporate 3 or more servings of dark-colored vegetables each day
- Eat slowly, and stop eating when you feel full
- Opt for whole grain ingredients where possible
- Go shopping with a list, to make sure that you stay on target
- Stay continuously hydrated throughout the day
- Stay away from artificial sugars
In the same way that quality gasoline can increase a car’s performance, these healthy eating tips, and others, improve your chance of staying sober and avoiding relapse.
2. Reach out to a friend or family member
One of the main reasons why substance use habits are so prevalent during this time of pandemic is the fact that social isolation prevents so many of us from the social activity that contributes to self-confidence, self-worth and our sense of belonging. Take time during your day to reach out to a friend or family member, without an agenda, just to see how they’re doing.
Perhaps more than ever before, we need social connection. Social activity is necessary for mental health and general wellness, and yet during this time of quarantine, socialization is more difficult than ever to come by. Here’s the good news: spending time with family members and friends doesn’t need to be an in-person activity. Even in a world where masks, social distancing and virtual communication make socialization more difficult, there are steps we can take to make sure we stay close with the people we love. Set aside time for a video call with a sibling, schedule a virtual after-work hangout with coworkers, give parents a call unexpectedly to say hello, or start a new movie at the same time as your friends and discuss.
Social interaction with others, even virtually, strengthens how you feel about yourself. And self-confidence is one of the main factors in helping you avoid relapse, since you’re sufficiently confident in who you are without looking for meaning or an escape in substance use habits.
3. Daily meditation or prayer
Even 5-10 minutes of daily meditation or prayer can help you achieve peace of mind and solidarity. Daily meditation or prayer is especially powerful if you begin and end your day with periods of mindful reflection. Take time soon after you wake up – before you start your day – to put yourself in the right frame of mind and identify a productive strategy for the day. And at the end of the day, before you go to sleep, put your phone down and take a few minutes for the same meditation or prayer.
Allowing yourself to practice self-awareness, mindfulness, gratitude and hope through daily meditation or prayer helps foster a deep sense of peace, helping you to avoid the self-doubt and anxiety that can become relapse.
4. Spend 5 minutes honestly assessing victories and setbacks
In addition to the time you spend in daily meditation or prayer, take an additional few minutes to honestly gauge how the day went. It’s time to be open with yourself about the ups and downs that the day brought. If you experienced a setback at any point, assess where you might be able to improve. In a similar manner, make sure that you take enough time to also properly recognize any victories of the day. And remember, another day of avoiding relapse is a victory in itself.
5. Easy exercise habits
Exercise can do wonders for your mental health. Even simple stretching, walking and conditioning can have transformative benefits on wellness. Essentially, when we exercise our bodies release endorphins, which give the body positive feelings and act similarly to morphine, heightening comfort. These endorphins can also decrease a drive to relapse, in reducing any pain that the body feels.
Here are a few basic workouts that you can do in the comfort of your own home:
Even the simplest exercise, as long as it helps to increase your heart rate, works to flood the brain in endorphins and offers pleasure that dissuades relapse.
Licensed help in avoiding relapse
We’ve outlined some great tips above, tips that should help you in avoiding relapse on a daily basis. If you feel like you need extra help in avoiding relapse, Real Recovery in Asheville, North Carolina can provide licensed, professional help in dealing with substance use habits. No matter where you’re at in your journey to recovery, Real Recovery has the IOP, PHP and Outpatient programs that can make recovery possible and help you avoid relapse. Call 1 (855) 363-7325, or reach out today for more information on how our services can help you avoid recovery and live life to its fullest.