Tips for the New Year to Help Those in Recovery Stay on Track
Having successfully made it through Christmas and New Year's Eve without drugs or alcohol is an achievement of its own for anyone in recovery However, the new year can have its own set of challenges. With Golden Peak Recovery's healthy tips for staying on track in the new year, you can bring about positive changes to your life to help you prevent relapse and to make the most out of your new lease on life.
Avoid Risky Situations
One of the most common triggers for relapse for people in early recovery is attempting to return to the same habits and routines one had before seeking treatment. This includes continuing relationships with people who are actively abusing drugs or alcohol, frequenting the same hangouts, and exposing one’s self to other triggering situations. It’s important to remember that recovery is an ongoing journey, not a fix-all cure. Relying on will alone may set you up for relapse. Instead, be mindful and avoid high-risk situations.
Creating boundaries in early recovery can help you avoid these risky situations altogether. Analyzing the people, places, and things that may be relapse triggers for you and taking action to no longer place yourself in those situations is key to your ongoing success. Your wellbeing is more important than maintaining friendships or appearances that no longer serve you.
Learn to Deal with Cravings
Cravings and sudden urges to use are part of the reality of addiction recovery. However, it’s important to remember these feelings only last, on average, about 15 to 30 minutes. While going through the experience, it can seem like it'll never end, but all you need to do is hold firm for a short period and the cravings will pass.
Distracting yourself with a book, exercise, or by calling a supportive friend, sponsor, or even just watching a short Youtube video can help you to deal with the 15 to 30 minutes that cravings tend to last for. Having a personal mantra such as "I will not let these urges control me; they will pass shortly" can also help.
Build a Supportive Network of People
One of the reasons why family therapy is important in addiction recovery is because the family can become a reliable support system, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Not only can your family give you support during recovery, but friends and support groups such as the 12-step program can provide a way to overcome sudden urges and cope with relapse triggers.
Speak to your friends and family about your need for positive support and how you would like to be able to contact them in times of need, or join a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to have access to the support you need.
Work on Your Relaxation and Coping Skills
There are many ways to manage stress. Learning how to manage your stress can help to prevent the stages of relapse from ever taking hold.
Through the Gold Peak Recovery outpatient programs, you will learn techniques for managing stress such as meditation, Yoga, and breathing exercises. Other things that might benefit you include just relaxing in a bath, taking a walk through the park, listening to music, or reading.
Incorporate Exercise into Your Routine
One of the best healthy tips for staying on track in the new year is to create and follow an exercise routine. Fitness has several benefits for people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, such as reducing stress, improving emotional wellbeing, managing cravings, and helping to repair the damage that months or years of heavy substance abuse caused.
Start your day with a quick jog around your block, or get a gym membership so that you can work on your fitness. A healthy dose of exercise can do wonders for your overall mental and physical health.