We all fall off the wagon sometimes; Alcohol, partying too hard, smoking, binge eating, too much sugar and coffee, chasing that unrequited love… messaging or spending time with toxic people, other activities we know are no good for us can cause a relapse.
We know, we have all been there before.
Why does this happen? Things are going smoothly, then this urge takes over and we cannot help ourselves. Maybe it could be:
- we are hanging out with people who normalise destructive habits.
- something hurtful or stressful happened and it makes us reach for alcohol, a cigarette or chocolate.
- doing something that you know will trigger anxiety within you.
- it’s caving and texting that person you know you shouldn’t, for whatever reason…
- it’s giving up on those things that were helping you to overcome anxiety, depression and those demons that you thought you had banished, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, healthy eating, getting outdoors more.
Whatever vice you’re trying to quit, sometimes you relapse and this is ok.
You can steer yourself back onto the right track!
I have fallen off the wagon many times in the past (sure I will again) and got back on, but used to be very hard on myself. Now, I realise its the rollercoaster of life. Nothing is linear…
Here are some things to remember if you relapse…
Some things I often reflect on and put in to practice when I revert to doing certain habits, that others might find useful.
– Find a Reason –
Whether it be drugs, alcohol or toxic relationships, there’s a reason you gave up this vice, try to remember what made you want to change.
Find a reason that outweighs the reason to relapse further.
Make a list and keep it around so you can look at it when times get tough.
My reason to stay on the wagon and avoid relapsing is wanting to be dedicated to my yoga practice. I also don’t want to waste energy on things that are making me unhealthy anymore.
If you’ve over indulged, picked up a bad habit again, or contacted someone you know isn’t so good for your well-being think about:
- How did you feel after?
- How did it affect your mental and physical health?
- How did that affect you emotionally? How did you feel before, when you had quit or de-toxed from this habit?
These are some things to reflect on if you have relapsed.
– Avoid triggers –
What situations triggered you to relapse?
Know your triggers (what makes you want to relapse) and avoid them as much as possible.
For me this is certain bars, clubs, parties, social situations, daily habits, smells. For some people even coffee can trigger cravings!
Social media and the ability to check up on things/situations or people constantly also can be a trigger.
Friends smoking and drinking, or partaking in other things can also trigger cravings.
If you are aware of these, you can plan ways to avoid these situations whilst you focus on getting back on track.
Sometimes we might get caught off guard and find ourselves in a situation that triggers a want to relapse.
Other triggers can include a stressful situation, meeting a friend in a Bar where lots of people are indulging in certain habits, a message from someone you don’t want to hear from… there could be lots of reasons!
The best thing you can do is to take yourself out of this situation. Don’t allow yourself to relapse.
Plan social activities that don’t involve vices.
Focus on health and nutrition. Look after yourself and avoiding triggers will be much easier.
– Focus on Physical & Mental Wellbeing –
If you are exercising, it releases endorphins and other feel good hormones that help you relax meaning you’re less likely to continue to relapse. Also, eating healthy, avoiding coffee, alcohol and other triggers means you stand a better chance of not relapsing in the future.
We literally are what we eat.
Our bodies use vitamins, minerals , proteins, carbohydrates and other compounds from our food to literally re-build our bodies from a cellular level. What we eat is super important for our mental, emotional and physical health.
When we eat healthily, we have a tendency not to want to un-do the hard work. This is a great tool in avoiding relapses.
Sleep hypnosis and guided meditations really help to focus the mind and re-program the subconscious. I really recommend short guided meditations during the day and sleep hypnosis when going to bed. This can help calm the mind after feeling agitated from feelings of relapsing.
This channel by Michael Sealey is really useful when trying to reset from a relapse.
– Get outdoors –
The founder of Touching The Summit (Sarah) states in one of her blogs, there are many reasons why the outdoors can bring benefit to these types of situations.
I find connecting with nature, open spaces, fresh air and an abundance of trees help to bring peace, calm and tranquility. It allows us to create space, to pause, reflect and to re-evaluate to get back on track!
– Support Network –
We all go through challenges, but a problem shared is a problem halved.
Talking through emotions and feelings with a close friend or someone supportive can really help. I often talk to my yoga teachers or close friends when falling into destructive patterns.
Talking with your support network is also a crucial part of enhancing your resilience skills.
– Focus on What You LOVE –
When you focus on what you love and lead with your heart and not lead from a place of fear, everything is so much easier in life.
When you are gentle with yourself, everything becomes lighter and life flows better. If we are too hard on ourselves, negative, or allow ourselves to dwell and stay in the dark too long, life becomes heavy.
Lead with the heart, be easy and gentle on yourself…
Relapses happen. Its OK, you can reset tomorrow with more focus and clear intentions!
Don’t be too tough on yourself….
If you do relapse, it isn’t the end of the world. You can always start again!
It’s definitely a journey…
Whats your opinions? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace & Love
About The author:
Aimee is a Yoga, Meditation and Move It or Lose It! teacher in located in Middlesbrough, England, UK.
To find out more, visit www.amalateesside.com