When you first get sober, you feel you have a new lease on life. You’re finally free from the chains of alcohol addiction and can now focus on becoming the best possible version of yourself. However, as anyone in recovery will tell you, relapse is always possible. After you recover, these tips will help you stay sober.
How Can You Avoid Relapse After Alcohol Recovery?
Even when you’re kicking a bad habit, you may still have negative thoughts about yourself. You may feel you don’t deserve to be sober or feel ashamed that it was so hard for you to stop drinking. These negative thoughts lead to excess stress, which often leads to relapse.
Instead, try positive self-talk, replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmation statements. For example, instead of saying, “I’m a terrible person because I can’t stop drinking,” say, “I have done this before so I can handle it.”
2. Have a Support System
Temptations can be hard to resist when you are stressed or lonely. Therefore, you need a strong support system to cope with such feelings. Attending alcohol anonymous meetings is one of the best ways to find support after your alcohol recovery program. Here you will meet other people who are recovering from addiction.
Attend meetings regularly and call your sponsor whenever you feel tempted to drink or use other substances again.
3. Steer Clear Of Situations and People that Trigger You
If you were addicted to alcohol, the chances are that certain situations were triggers for your drinking — such as getting together with friends who drink heavily or going out to certain bars or restaurants. It will be much harder to resist drinking if you’re surrounded by people who are doing it and encouraging you to join them. If they can’t understand why you’re trying not to drink, then they might not be the kind of friends who have your best interests in mind.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness refers to being completely present at the moment. It means letting go of the past and not thinking about the future. To practice mindfulness, try meditating and doing breathing exercises throughout the day. Relaxation practices and meditation will help calm your mind to better concentrate on what’s going around you. They will also ease feelings of anxiety and stress that lead to relapse after alcohol recovery.
5. Eat Healthy
Many people who struggle with alcoholism also struggle with their diet. Alcoholism can make you eat unhealthy foods, but eating healthy foods can help you stay sober after alcohol recovery. Eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meats improves your health, reducing your drinking urges. Additionally, some vitamins and nutrients may help ease cravings when treatment is completed.
After undergoing an alcohol recovery program, it is crucial to avoid relapsing. Sticking to a healthy diet, practicing mindfulness, and avoiding situations and people that trigger you are key to preventing relapse after alcohol recovery. It is also important to have a strong support system and engage in positive self-talk.