Preventing Relapse During Hard Times

Preventing Relapse During Hard Times

Challenging situations can provoke feelings of stress, anxiety, or uncertainty. Many of these emotions can act as triggers for individuals struggling with addictions. The current Covid-19 pandemic has been particularly trying for those in recovery. With the halt of in-person support meetings, isolating quarantine, and stress of the unknown, some individuals may feel drawn to the substances they once used to numb the pain. If you or a loved one struggles to maintain sobriety through the pandemic, you are not alone. Clear Life Recovery shares some valuable resources and tips to prevent relapse during this challenging period and throughout your lifelong recovery journey.

Preventing Relapse During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Among the top triggers for substance relapse, stress, depression, and isolation rank very high.  And there is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the world with all three. The pandemic has caused a historic increase in mental illness and spikes in drug overdoses. [1][2] Countless families have encountered hardships as a result of lost jobs. The stress of an uncertain future and isolating stay-at-home orders have put those in recovery at high risk for relapse.

Common Signs of Relapse

With stay-at-home orders and social distancing, it can be especially challenging to identify relapse signals during this time. Close friends and family members of individuals in recovery should be aware of the signs that a loved one may be struggling. Some common symptoms of relapse include:

  • Lying to or manipulating friends or family
  • Reconnecting with former friends who still engage in substance use
  • Poor hygiene or overall appearance
  • Unpredictable moods
  • Changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Mentions of despair or hopelessness

If someone you love is exhibiting any of these signs, they may need help. Compassion is the most important thing you can provide someone struggling to maintain sobriety. Consider directing them to professional resources or treatment to get them back on track after relapse.

Tools & Techniques to Aid in Preventing Relapse

Managing triggers and hard times throughout one’s recovery are inevitable. Use the following tools during the pandemic or anytime in the future to help prevent relapse:

Connect With A Support Network

Find a support group of others in recovery. Those in a local or virtual recovery group are likely experiencing challenges or feelings similar to yours. They can empathize with you and provide the necessary support. By surrounding yourself with people committed to their recovery, you remind yourself of the many benefits of sobriety.

Care for your physical and mental health

Be sure to care for yourself both physically and mentally. Movement and physical activity promote the brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters, which boost mood after just one workout session. Exercise reduces anxiety and stress while improving sleep—all of which can help those struggling during hard times. Mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, or breathing exercise can reduce stress and elevate one’s overall wellbeing. Adequate nutrition, sleep, and hydration is essential elements of wellness as well.

Engage in healthy hobbies

Discovering a new passion or hobby that does not involve substances can help fill the time in isolation or social distancing. If you have always dreamed of learning to play the guitar, why not start today? Creating small, achievable goals surrounding a new hobby can offer a healthy distraction from any cravings or triggers. A new hobby can also open you up to a new community of individuals with whom you share a mutual passion.

Seek professional help

If you worry that you may return to using or have already relapsed, enlisting skilled help can allow you to regain sobriety. Compassionate experts can help address any challenges that you may be facing and keep you accountable. Clear Life Recovery offers customized programs designed to prevent relapse so you can regain the healthy life you deserve.

Preventing Relapse with the Help of Clear Life Recovery

Whatever challenges life throws at you, you know that you are not alone during this trying time or in the future. With the support and life-long techniques in your toolbox, you can maintain your sobriety through difficult times. Contact Clear Life Recovery for assistance in preventing relapse or if you feel called to begin your journey to recovery today.

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/prescription-drug-overdose/index.html

[3] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

 

 

About Benjamin Hogan

Over the years, Benjamin has held positions in many different areas of alcohol and drug addiction services all over the country. He made a name for himself as an interventionist and has held certification as a Certified National Drug and Alcohol Interventionist (CNDAI-II). Benjamin specializes in helping support families of people struggling with addiction by focusing on education and instilling healthy boundaries to ensure lasting changes. Addiction is a progressive disease, but using an evidence-based approach, an intervention, when done correctly, can help to increase the willingness of a loved one to seek sobriety faster.

"In my experience, by helping families make necessary changes, they not only get their lives back, but they also help change the mind of their loved one more quickly. In an intervention, family and other loved ones take a proactive approach, instead of waiting and being stuck between fear and (false) hope. I realized in my own recovery, that when my family changed, I had to change in response. That is where I found sobriety. This is why I believe in what I do!"