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Recovering from substance abuse or addictive behaviours might have taken you a long time and several attempts before achieving sobriety. Getting to this place may be a laudable achievement for you, and you wouldn't want to relapse and lose your progress.
As a senior trying to keep sober, certain things could tempt you to return to addictive behaviours and substance abuse. These may be emotional triggers, boredom, or friends who still engage in substances or activities you're trying to avoid.
The truth is, recovery from addiction is a journey that doesn't end after rehab. You may refer to this full article to help you understand this further.
You have to stay committed to your sobriety each day. Here are a few things that could help you ensure this:
1. Find activities to keep you busy
As a senior, you might not have many activities in your everyday routine as you once did. This could make you feel isolated and disconnected. As a result, it might lead to boredom, which may cause you to develop destructive habits such as returning to substance abuse or addictive behaviours.
Finding activities to keep you busy can help keep your mind engaged. You may try to occupy yourself with an engaging hobby or physical activity. Adopting a pet and learning a new language or skill could also help.
2. Know your triggers
A trigger is something external or internal that could cause you to desire to return to addictive habits or use alcohol and drugs again. Stress, relationship problems, and financial issues are triggers that might cause relapse in seniors.
Being around individuals who still abuse the substances you once did or engage in the destructive behaviours you're trying to avoid might also promote relapsing.
People in recovery may have unique triggers. Knowing yours will help you develop a plan to avoid and overcome them.
There are things you can do to remain sober in tempting situations. For example, create an effective exit strategy if someone asks you to engage in something you're avoiding.
Additionally, consider healthy management tactics like meditating, journalling, exercising, deep breathing, and talking to a counsellor when you're stressed or facing life challenges.
3. Surround yourself with supportive people
Spending more time with people who love and support you unconditionally might help you stay sober. These could be family members or trusted friends.
If your relationship with them was negatively affected by substance abuse or addictive habits, family therapy or counselling could help mend your bond.
People who genuinely care about you wouldn't want you to relapse. Therefore, they might do their best to ensure you stay sober. For instance, they could help you overcome the urge to drink or engage in destructive habits when you're uncomfortable or anxious during a family event.
4. Join a recovery group
Joining a recovery group can also be helpful. This way, you engage with people who've been through the same experiences.
In such a gathering, you can freely share your feeling and thoughts without the fear of being judged. You may also learn effective tactics that others utilised to cope with tempting or challenging situations you might be facing.
In most cases, rehabs know support groups that can benefit patients. Ask your treatment centre to connect you with one. Once you join one, you can find new and genuine sober friends you could walk with as you continue your recovery journey.
You might help each other avoid situations that might cause relapsing and engage in healthy fun activities. Generally, you and your newly found sober friends could help each other stay committed to recovery.
5. Consider relaxation techniques
Relaxation is said to be a vital part of recovery from addiction. This is because it's thought to help reduce anxiety and stress, which might trigger a relapse.
You could try techniques like meditation, massage, or practising yoga. Repetitive prayers, aromatherapy, deep breathing, soothing music, and chanting personal mantras may also help.
The mentioned techniques may keep your mind off substance abuse and addictive behaviours. With these, you'll spend time outdoors and have more positive thoughts.
Relaxation could also enhance your well-being by promoting quality sleep, bettering your mood, and improving your physical health.
The journey doesn't end after your addiction treatment in a rehabilitation centre. Thus, you have to remain focused and committed to recovery. This article has provided you with tips that may enable you to stay sober.
As advised, it would be helpful to find activities to keep you busy and recognise and know how to overcome your triggers. Moreover, surround yourself with supportive people, join a recovery group, and practise relaxation techniques.