Self-Care Tips to include in a prevention plan to avoid a substance abuse relapse

Revolutionary ways to avoid a substance abuse relapse by the creation of a unique prevention plan

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  Battling a drug or alcohol addiction and coming out on the other side to lead a clean and sober life can take a toll on you mentally, physically, and emotionally. It can also be very damaging to your self-esteem as well as your relationships. You may get through a painful treatment period only to realize that the same problems are waiting for you at home, so having a plan for preventing a relapse is very important in fighting this battle.

  That’s why it’s important to practice self-care and make sure your home environment is as safe and comfortable as possible. Coming through treatment and going into recovery is a difficult thing to maneuver, and if you don’t have the support you need from friends and family it may be even harder for you to be successful.

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  Here are a few tips on what can be incorporated into a prevention plan which will help you to prevent a substance abuse relapse.


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  Social media and email can be great ways to keep in touch with your friends and family, but they can also bring stress into your life. Take some time each week to disconnect2 for a bit, put down the phone or tablet, and enjoy something that’s good for your body or mind. Read a good book, take a hike, try something new. Take a solo trip to a place you’ve never been to. While it’s a good idea to let your loved ones know if you’re going out of town, you can still unplug and do something that’s important to you.

Make your home a haven

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  For someone who is in recovery, reducing or eliminating stress is a necessity. Find ways to make your home stress-free3; a haven that you’ll want to come home to at the end of the day. Get organized to make things easier on yourself, buy new soft sheets, set up a library or media room. Think about the things that make you happy and relaxed and make sure your home can help you get there.

Take care

  Taking care of yourself is so important, not only for your body, but for your mental health as well. Your emotional state will have likely been through the wringer during treatment, and now that you’re in recovery, it’s time to focus on your needs. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, and exercise daily4; this will help you take care of the physical. For the mental, consider practicing yoga and/or meditation, which will allow you to focus on the present and channel your energy into something positive.

Give back

  Many individuals in recovery feel that their self-esteem has taken a big hit, and while there are many ways to feel better about yourself, one of the best is to give back5. Whether it’s by volunteering in your community or donating to your favorite cause, there are many ways you can help others that will make you feel good.

Learn how to cope

  While it’s certainly a wonderful thought to get rid of stress, unfortunately it’s not always possible to remove it from your life completely. When things happen that are outside of your control, you’ll need to know how to cope with them. Learning how to handle different situations–such as how to say “no” when you really can’t take on any more work–can help you face the issue in the moment and take care of it before it becomes a problem6.

  All these tips can be put into a plan that will aid you in preventing a substance abuse relapse. This is never an easy job, and for many individuals who have battled substance abuse, it’s a lifelong challenge. That doesn’t mean it has to be stressful, however. Knowing how to handle stress and finding ways to enjoy yourself can make a big difference.

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Article written by Pat McGraw








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