When you were using drugs and alcohol, you probably didn’t think about why you were using. It might surprise you that most people only use for a few reasons – typically to escape, relax or reward themselves. In other words, people use drugs and alcohol to “let go” and unwind.
So when you first get clean, and throughout recovery, you’ll need to find new ways to meet the need to relax.
Try On Some New Coping Skills
So how do you “let go” in recovery? There are a lot of tools at your disposal. Many people will tell you to “let go and let God” but this statement is easy to say and harder to do. Learning to relax and let go is an important part of life.
It’s time to learn how to do so without the use of substances. Here are a few suggestions.
- Have a “letting go” box. Buy something special or unique at a thrift store or department store. Write down your worries and problems every night, and put them in the box. Imagine your problems being locked away until you choose to work with them again.
- Learn to meditate. Meditation is the ultimate form of relaxation, but it can take some practice. Try Youtube for free meditations you can use any time, even on your phone.
- Learn mindfulness. Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps you focus on the “here and now” and enjoy the moment. Again, there are Youtube videos that can help you as well as phone apps to try.
- Try exercise for stress relief. Activity is shown to reduce anxiety, improve symptoms of depression, and improve your overall health. Going for a walk for just 10-15 minutes can help you relax.
- Listen to music and chill out. Thumb through a magazine, read your favorite book, or just think about how your day went.
- Try an adult coloring book. Use colored pencils or ink pens. If you’d prefer, you can also get a sketchbook and make your own drawings and doodles.
Relaxation is an important part of recovery. When you bottle up your stress, it can cause physical as well as mental health problems.
If you have anxiety or depression, learning to relax and enjoy yourself may seem difficult at first. As is often said, “fake it till you make it!”
Go through the motions of one of the above activities even if you don’t believe it will relax you. If it doesn’t work, try something different tomorrow. Don’t give up on relaxation. Learning to relax can help you cope with life on a daily basis. You’ll also find yourself enjoying life a lot more often
Getting Help for Addiction
Do you or somebody you love have a problem with alcohol or drugs? (Or something else, like work, video games or food?) Addiction is a disease that can happen to anyone, from any walk of life. The good news is that recovery is possible! Give us a call at 1-866-227-1437.