Embracing ChangeJul 21, 2023
Embarking on the journey of recovery and reducing substance use or unhelpful behaviours is a courageous step towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. However, change can be challenging and uncomfortable. To ensure you have the best chance of making long-lasting change, it is crucial to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, and practically. This blog aims to provide guidance on how to prepare yourself for change, specifically in the context of recovery.
- Educate Yourself:
Knowledge is power. Begin by educating yourself about addiction, the recovery process, and the potential challenges you may encounter along the way. Our previous post provided an outline of how addiction may present itself and the 3 different levels of "use" so be sure to read that to gain a better understanding and insight into what addiction really is. By understanding the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction you can gain greater insights into your own experiences and triggers. By learning about addiction, you can make informed decisions and set realistic expectations for your recovery journey.
- Set Clear Goals:
Establishing clear and achievable goals is essential for guiding your path toward change. Identify specific objectives related to reducing substance use or unhelpful behaviours. Whether it is setting a target for substance use reduction, implementing healthy coping mechanisms, or building a support network, having concrete goals provides focus and motivation.
- Build a Support Network:
Surrounding yourself with a supportive and understanding network can greatly enhance your experience of recovery. Connecting with people can provide invaluable guidance, encouragement, and a sense of belonging.
- Develop Coping Strategies:
Change can be accompanied by emotional and psychological challenges. It is crucial to develop healthy coping strategies to manage stress, triggers, and cravings. Explore mindfulness techniques, engage in physical activity, practice relaxation exercises, or pursue creative outlets to channel your energy positively. Having a toolbox of coping mechanisms will help you navigate difficult moments and prevent relapse. These strategies can be developed with your therapist or support group as well.
- Make Lifestyle Adjustments:
Evaluate your lifestyle and make necessary adjustments to support your recovery. Identify and remove triggers from your environment. Surround yourself with positive influences and engage in activities that promote wellness and self-care. Establish a routine that supports your recovery goals, including regular sleep patterns, nutritious eating habits, therapy and exercise.
- Embrace a Growth Mindset:
Change requires a growth mindset, which involves accepting that setbacks and challenges are part of the process. Embrace the concept of progress rather than perfection. Understand that lapses or slip-ups are not failures but opportunities for learning and growth. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion throughout your recovery journey.
- Seek Professional Help:
Recognise the value of professional support in your journey of change. Seek out professional support groups or individual support to learn the evidence-based tools and strategies to manage substance use and addiction. Professional help can provide you with the resources necessary for recovery and help you navigate the complexities of change.
Preparing yourself for change, particularly in the context of recovery requires a proactive and multifaceted approach. By educating yourself, setting clear goals, building a support network, developing coping strategies, making lifestyle adjustments, embracing a growth mindset, and seeking professional help, you can equip yourself with the necessary tools and support to navigate the challenges of change. Remember, change is a process, and with patience, determination, and support, you can embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier and more fulfilling life.