Trying to quit drinking? It can be tough to avoid temptation and triggers when they are all around, every day. Arm-yourself with some tactics and strategies to help you win the fight.
Ten tips for curbing craving and avoiding relapse are:
1. Focus on something new. It can help to throw yourself into something and distract yourself from the fact that you are not drinking. Pick up an old hobby, start a new one, or join a group to focus on something other than booze.
2. Eat well. When your diet is deficient, you may feel off and not have optimal motivation toward recovery. The solution to this is to eat well every day.
3. Get out and socialize. Don't isolate yourself just because you are trying not to drink; get out and socialize! This is the best way to build healthy relationships that are supportive of your sobriety.
4. Write stuff down. When you are having a tough time, it can help to write stuff down in a journal. It also helps to write down notes when things are going well; later on you can re-read these entries and potentially learn to recognize triggers and coping mechanisms.
5. Supplement your diet. Another way to reduce cravings is to take supplements, if your doctor endorses this tactic. Supplements such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium, can replace nutrients lost when drinking. Some detox facilities utilize niacin and Vitamin C to curb cravings with some success.
6. Stay away from temptation. Avoid high-risk environments and activities, especially during early-sobriety. Parties, old drinking buddies, and local watering-holes may not be conducive to your recovery at first.
7. Get better sleep. Pay attention to your sleep hygiene to make sure you are getting plenty of rest. Fatigue can bring-on cravings and lead to relapse.
8. Make a plan. Create a relapse prevention plan; write this down and keep it someplace that you can pull it out as needed. Identify strengths, supports, goals, and things that you appreciate about your sobriety. Reviewing this and knowing who to contact when experiencing cravings can be crucial to recovery.
9. Keep something sweet nearby. When detoxing from alcohol, it is not uncommon to crave sugar. To satisfy your sweet tooth, keep some sugar close-by.
10. Get some exercise. One of the most effective ways to combat cravings is with exercise and physical activity. Sweat-out the toxins and start feeling like a new person!
Use these tips to reduce cravings and avoid situations that could cause relapse. Talk to providers, practitioners, and substance abuse professionals for other approaches and therapeutic interventions if you are struggling with dependency or addiction and if you feel the need, don't hesitate to check yourself into a treatment center.