Relapse is every clean addict’s nightmare. How can you turn this fear into action, to help avoid a setback?
Soak in Some Nature
- Taking yourself out of a tempting situation is the first step. Often, getting your body to engage in some sort of exercise can help focus the mind on something else. Going outside for a walk, run, bicycle ride, or any other physical activity is good. Get some fresh air and vitamin D. The repetitive movement of walking or running is said actually to help the brain process and work through problems, and exercise can help clean out toxins from your lungs. And the best part? It’s free.
Do Not Be Alone
- While it is not possible, nor healthy, to be constantly in another person’s company, it is important to seek out a confidant the moment you start to feel that “itch.” This person can be a friend, a co-worker, a family member, a spouse, or anyone else that you feel comfortable talking to. Do not try to talk to someone that you do not feel close with. You will not want to share some of the more difficult details of your story with them, and they probably will not be as familiar with your triggers. Choose someone who knows you, the whole you and ask them to listen. Simply by being in community with another person, you can find a sense of joy and relief. You can process through some of the impulses you are feeling at the moment, and maybe even find some helpful ways to deal with them.
Take Care of Your Body
- Different from exercise, it is important to remember that your body has other needs. Pamper yourself. Take a bath. Get a massage. Do something that releases stress and re-centers yourself in your body. This will not only help you relax, but it will remind you of how special your body really is. It needs to be cared for. It needs to be clean. Let this self-care motivate you to continue to respect what goes into your body and appreciate how it feels when it is healthy.
Address the Impulses Head-On
- Sometimes a simple distraction from your cravings is not enough. Sometimes the answer is meditation. By centering your mind, you can re-focus on the mantras and ideas that have helped make you sober. Refresh what it is that motivates you, re-affirm the strength of your spirit, and welcome the presence of your chosen higher power.
Make Some Art
- Addiction is the worst. It is sad and uncomfortable, it is scary and frustrating. Sometimes there are not enough words to express what you are feeling. This is where the arts come in. You do not have to be Picasso to express yourself through art. You could be the worst artist in the world. But by simply acknowledging how you feel and channeling it through painting, singing, poetry, dance, or anything else creative, you release the temptations and irritants that are holding you down. So, go ahead. Make something.