How to Avoid Relapse in the Early Stages of Recovery
Avoiding relapse and staying alcohol-free is your main objective and, although that can seem like a daunting task, these tips for the early stages of your recovery can make things easier.
1.Take One Day at a TimeSome experts refer to the first 90 days after treatment as the early stages, while others consider a year a more realistic period. In truth, there is no correct time frame. Each person is different, and what seems right for one may not be for another. That’s why it’s so important to take one day at a time. Treat every 24-hour period as a new start and you’ll learn to enjoy the various challenges that each day brings.
2. Make Some Basic ChangesIf you really want to stay sober, you need to make a conscious effort to establish new habits and routines. Many people find that even small changes can aid recovery. Obviously, it’s important to distance yourself from the people and places that you associate with drinking. Something as small as choosing an alternative route to work or to the supermarket, one that doesn’t take you past your old hangouts, can be helpful. The change itself isn’t as important as the fact that you are doing something different. It’s also important to recognise what needs changing. Perhaps you were in the habit of going for a drink after work or pouring a glass of wine as soon as you arrived home. Or maybe you always had an after-dinner drink that turned into more than one. It’s vital that you break the chain, otherwise, you will always be subconsciously reaching for that glass. Try to replace the trip to the pub with something else or do something different when you arrive home. Good alternatives include:
- Spending time with your family
- Sports like football, squash or swimming
- Going for a walk
- Cooking a meal
- Listening to music, watching a film or reading a book
- Going to live events like concerts, plays and exhibitions