Hi there, thanks for joining me. This podcast is all about sharing positive advice and wisdom for daily life in recovery. In this episode, I’m going to provide 8 daily relapse prevention tips.
If you are in recovery, you’re most likely fully aware that every day can be a challenge. Although your days in detox and rehab are over and you’re not actively abusing drugs and alcohol anymore, day-to-day life can still be filled with triggers, stressful occurrences, and cravings.
You’re not alone in this struggle and many other people are also be facing similar challenges each day.
Relapse is a very real risk so implementing these daily relapse prevention tips and strategies is a great way to maintain your sobriety. Most people are often more successful at maintaining long-term sobriety with the help of a support system and ongoing recovery services. In addition to those services, here are eight relapse prevention tips. Keep these things in mind each day and use them to address any warning signs of relapse.
Tip #1. Know the signs of emotional and mental relapse.
Before you can implement any relapse prevention tips, you need to have a thorough understanding of what relapse is. Being able to recognize the signs of relapse will enable you to ask for help quickly when it’s needed most. Common signs of emotional relapse often include mood swings, isolating, being angry or defensive, and poor eating and sleeping habits. Signs of mental relapse can be fantasizing or thinking about using drugs or alcohol, glamorizing your past use, lying about your feelings or behaviors, and hanging out with old drug-abusing friends.
Tip #2. Be aware of how you’re feeling, emotionally and physically.
Feeling anxious, depressed, or angry is a normal part of life, but strong emotions like these can sometimes be detrimental to recovery. If you’re newly sober, it’s very important to be aware of your emotions and find healthy ways to cope with them, like going for a walk with your dog or talking to your counselor. Although you’ll have good days and bad days, maintaining a sense of self-awareness can help you tackle personal problems and issues before they morph into a full relapse.
Tip #3. Fill your free time.
Although boredom is a normal part of the journey to recovery, it can be a serious threat to your sobriety. Feeling bored and empty can make it very easy to relapse so it’s important to fill your free time each and every day. Although there’s nothing wrong with resting, hours of free time can be filled with healthy and productive activities like exercising, volunteering or experimenting with a new hobby.
Tip #4. Resist the urge to skip support group meetings.
Some days it may be extremely tempting to skip your support group meeting, but one skipped meeting can easily lead to two, and before you know it, you might be completely disconnected from your support group. Maybe you feel particularly discouraged or unmotivated. Or maybe you just don’t feel like sharing. Whatever the reason, push past it and go to your meeting anyway. Confiding in your sponsor or asking a sober friend to go to the meeting with you might help you resist the temptation to skip and help you stay accountable, even on a day when you’re struggling.
Tip #5. Carry your emergency contact list with you wherever you go.
A big part of relapse prevention in addiction recovery is being prepared. If you don’t already have one, you should create a list of people in your life who you can reach out to if you feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol. This list might include your sponsor, your sober living roommate(s), or your counselor. Take that list with you wherever you go. Keep it in your purse or your wallet and make sure it’s easily accessible so you can get to it when you need it most.
Tip #6. Always have a backup plan.
You may have completed rehab and feel great about your recovery, but that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Addiction recovery is something that requires consistent work and daily effort, and it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of over-confidence. Whether you’re attending a family function or you’re headed to an event for work, you should always have a backup plan and discuss it with your sponsor before heading out.
Tip #7. Take care of yourself first.
Of all the relapse prevention tips and strategies out there, this is one of the most important. Although it may feel selfish to focus so much time and energy on yourself, it’s important to take care of you whether you’re recovering from addiction or not. Plus, you can’t take care of the people you love if you’re not caring for yourself, so your spouse, children, and loved ones are all benefiting from the time and effort you’re putting into bettering yourself.
Tip #8. Invest your time in building healthy relationships instead of lingering on old, unhealthy ones.
In rehab, you probably spent some time making amends and working to repair relationships that were damaged as a result of your drug and alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, some relationships cannot be mended and others should not continue to go on for the sake of your sobriety. It may be tempting to go hang out with old friends, especially when you’re tempted to use, but it’s much more healthy and beneficial for your sobriety to confide in those who do support your goal of remaining sober.
If you’ve completed an addiction treatment program, these tips are nothing new, but they are definitely worth revisiting because they can help you reach your goal of lasting sobriety. If you have questions, comments, or want to suggest a topic for our next episode, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.