Everyone reacts differently to triggers and can have different solutions to help. Here are a few tips that can help guide you or a loved one through the urge to abuse substances.
- Plan your day out. This helps to prevent any surprises that would put you into a situation you are trying to avoid. Schedule and routines can go a long way in giving someone a feeling of calm and control over their own wellbeing.
- Leave if you are uncomfortable. If you are having trouble avoiding anything at an event, leave. Don’t worry about what others think; they are not you. Plan to have a ride home lined up if you leave early and make sure you have options of getting home if you didn't drive.
- Prepare your responses. When you are around people who don’t know what you are going through, it can be difficult to explain to them why you don’t want to have a drink or may want to leave early. It is best to go ahead and plan whether or not you want to tell them if you are in recovery or are struggling with substance abuse. You can always tell them a short and simple “I have to go to work early tomorrow."
- Be healthy. Making your meals ahead of time, getting an adequate amount of sleep, and exercising will make you feel better and help give you the energy you need to handle any situation that comes your way. Feeling good about yourself is a critical part of your self-care routine.
- Use your support system. Your family and friends understand what you are going through and will be there for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help or lean on them for support/guidance.
- Attend meetings. Do not stop your routine if you regularly attend any alcohol or drug addiction meetings. If you are struggling a little more during this time, get extra help or attend additional meetings.
- Take care of your mental health. Heal your mind. You can do this by talking with a trusted person or therapist, practicing meditation or yoga, or a number of other means. Find what works for you and be sure to incorporate it into your schedule and routine.
These are just some basic and broad tips that can help you to think about how a situation could make you feel and how you can better be prepared. If you or a loved one is having difficulties through these times, please reach out to a doctor to find the help that you need.