It can be difficult to cope with a relapse, especially if you’ve been working hard towards your recovery goals. A relapse is a setback, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of your progress. By taking the right steps after a relapse, you can get back on track and continue to make strides in your recovery journey.
Here are nine things to do after a relapse:
1. Talk to Someone
Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you work through your feelings and gain perspective on the situation. Avoid talking to people who will judge or blame you for the relapse, and instead, find someone who can provide emotional support. According to Gatehouse Drug Rehab, communicating your feelings or expressing your regret is one of the most important first steps to take after a relapse.
2. Acknowledge What Happened
It’s important to acknowledge that a mistake was made and take responsibility for it. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but don’t ignore what happened either.
Reflect on why the relapse occurred and develop strategies for avoiding similar mistakes in the future.
3. Re-evaluate Your Recovery Plan
Look at your current recovery plan and consider making any modifications necessary to ensure success in the future. This could include changes to your diet, exercise routine, sleep schedule, or other aspects of your lifestyle.
4. Get Back on Track
Don’t be discouraged by the relapse and get back in the saddle as soon as possible. Refocus on your goals and take steps towards achieving them. Take it one day at a time and celebrate small successes along the way.
5. Set Realistic Expectations
Be aware that recovery is rarely a linear process and there may be bumps in the road along the way.
Set realistic expectations for yourself and don’t expect perfection right away. It’s ok if you don’t reach your goals right away, just keep pushing forward one step at a time.
6. Take Some Time For Yourself
It’s important to take some time away from stressful or triggering situations during and after a relapse. Many people find that spending some quiet time alone helps them process their emotions and work through their thoughts without any outside pressure or expectations.
Do something calming such as reading, watching movies, listening to music or going for a walk. (1)
7. Find New Coping Strategies
Replacing negative coping strategies with more positive ones can help prevent future relapses. Find activities that reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation, or exercise. Try experimenting with different activities to find what works best for you.
8. Learn From Your Mistakes
The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes and make sure they don’t happen again. Reflect on the circumstances and triggers surrounding the relapse and be aware of any similar situations in the future.
9. Don’t Give Up
It’s normal to feel discouraged after a relapse, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your journey. Stay focused on your recovery goals and don’t let temporary setbacks stop you from achieving success in the long run.
Recovery isn’t easy, but it is possible. With the right approach, you can overcome a relapse and continue working towards your goals one step at a time. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that mistakes are part of the journey. The key is to move forward with determination and resilience despite any setbacks along the way. (2)
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