Relapse prevention is an incredibly important part of alcohol and drug rehab. After all, you do not want to put in a bunch of effort to get clean and sober, only to relapse the moment you stop working with your treatment program, right? There are many different options you have when it comes to preventing relapses. Here at Alcohol Screening Scottsdale, we put a lot of focus on how to prevent relapses in the future. One of the more effective things we have found to help is to have healthy hobbies. They can be individualized to each person, and help you keep both your mind and your hands busy!
Top Causes of Relapses
There are several things that can cause a drug or alcohol relapse. Stress is a common culprit. Getting overly stressed out can cause a person to want to escape, and sometimes, that means turning to old, unhealthy habits. The best way to prevent a relapse if stress is one of your triggers is to plan for it. That way, when it hits, you can turn to your plan and manage it better.
Another common cause of relapse is boredom. Very few people think about downtime prior to when their rehabilitation program ends. They look forward to those quiet moments, not thinking about any danger that might be associated with them. In reality, when those quiet moments hit, you aren’t quite sure what to do. This can lead to problems if you do not have any activity to turn to. That is where a hobby may come in handy.
How Can Hobbies Help with Relapse Prevention?
Depending on which hobbies you prefer, there are many of them that can help when it comes to relapse prevention. Hobbies can be something that simply draw you in. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or bored, you feel engaged. They keep your mind focused on something positive, plus, they give you a way to productively stay busy. There are plenty of different options out there when it comes to hobbies you may like. It is up to you to give a few of them a try, and stick with the ones you like most. Here are a few hobbies that may be the perfect solution for relapse prevention.
Some Healthy Hobbies to Consider
Your health took a hit when you struggled with your alcohol and drug addiction. Whether you struggled for a short time, or over many years, your health is not as good as it could be. Take the time now to try and regain some of that lost health. This can be through a wide range of hobbies. How about starting to cook healthy meals for yourself? This is a great way of staying engaged, plus keeping yourself busy. You can learn how to boost your own nutrition through the foods you choose to eat. Plus, it also gives you something to do for an hour or more each day.
Getting fitter is another option when your goal is relapse prevention. Exercise is a great way of keeping yourself busy. Plus, it also offers the sideline benefit of being a great way to manage stress – two birds, one stone! Just make sure you take it easy when you first start exercising. Your body, as previously mentioned, is not as healthy as it could be. It may not be up for a ten-mile run or super high intensity training to start. Try starting with a bike ride, a 30-minute walk each day with the dog, or even going for a gentle swim. As your body gets stronger, then you can up the intensity of the workouts you do to keep yourself busy.
Giving Back is a Great Way to Promote Relapse Prevention
There is nothing better for you when it comes to relapse prevention than giving back. Others need help, probably much like you once did. Be there to help them. Someone helped you, or perhaps you helped yourself. Either way, you are overly qualified when it comes to helping right now. You see the benefits of being sober, so share them. Allow others to see what life can be like when you leave drugs and alcohol behind. This is not to say you need to preach those you go in to help. Instead, be a shining example of how to live a positive and productive life. They will see all they need to see without you ever having to say a word.
If you do not want to give back to people because you simply aren’t a people-person, then why not volunteer to help animals? Here in the Phoenix area, there are plenty of animal shelters that would love an extra pair of hands. Go in, help care for or tend to the animals, and get a bond that is sure to last. The animals simply want to be loved, unconditionally. Right now, this is something that would not only help them, but also help you, too. All they want is a bit of your time. That gives you an activity to show those animals love, plus helps you see the improvements in your own life at the same time.
Sometimes Relapse Prevention Can Come Through Creative Means
Another option for you to consider as an outlet following an addiction is finding a creative hobby. There are tons of ways to get your creative juices flowing. Depending on what type of activity inspires you most, you can pick from things like the following:
- Woodworking – it is a great way to keep your mind and hands focused on an activity. Plus, if you are good with your hands, you could wind up making this hobby into a career that you make a living from!
- Painting – this is a great way for you to get the stuff going through your mind, out. One thing that is difficult for many following an addiction is expressing themselves. If you find a creative outlet that lets you express your thoughts and emotions, like painting, it stops those emotions and thoughts from controlling your life.
- Writing – this is a great way to keep yourself busy after alcohol rehab. If you want to simply journal what is going on in your life, you can. Some may want to write out letters to people to make amends. Others want to blog about what life is like right now. All of these are great options. If you get really good at writing, it can also become a hobby that could turn into a career.
- Arts and Crafts – when you want to be totally creative, you can take things that you love to do and spam them out. Think about the types of crafts that make you smile, and that you like to make. Then, get the supplies to make them. Whenever you get bored, make another batch. You can sell them at local craft shows, give them to people when you volunteer, or sell them online from digital retailers.
Relapse Prevention Is All About Getting Your Mind Away from Your Substance of Choice
If you let your mind take over, it is going to play tricks on you. One of the things you learn while going through a rehab program is how to think. If you think about the days where you were using as a good part of your life, then relapse is much more likely. Romanticizing what addiction did to you and your life is never a good thing. It was difficult, and it hurt you. It should not be an option for the future. When you have activities to keep you busy when your mind wanders to these thoughts, you can keep relapse away more effectively.
No single thing is going to be the perfect answer when it comes to relapse prevention. You need to have a plan, and stick to it. You want to have options of things to do. Somedays you may love going outside to garden to keep you from getting bored. However, what are you going to do on days where it is raining outside? You need to have options. Your life does not need to be controlled by your addiction anymore. You broke free for a reason. Now, take the time to plan out what your future is going to look like. If you want a future that does not involve a relapse, then you need to take action to keep yourself drug and alcohol-free.
Relapse is not a given. If you take the time to plan out your future, you can progress through your recovery journey without a relapse roadblock. Take back the control your addiction once took from you. Plan ways of getting and staying sober, and make sure you have the tools you need to make those plans a reality, within arms’ reach.
We Can Help You Get Your Life Back and Keep Relapse Away
If you, or someone you care about, struggles with an addiction, or is struggling with their recovery, reach out to us here at Alcohol Screening Scottsdale. Call us today at 602-682-7017. Let us help you or your loved one with relapse prevention today!