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Preventing Relapse through Self-Care

By: Rufus Carter of Recovering Works

If you are recovering from opiate addiction, you have already gotten through the most difficult part of the process. You have admitted you had a problem and sought help for it. Now you need to do everything in your power to prevent a relapse so that you don’t find yourself back at square one again. Creating a new life for yourself full of healthy habits that nourish your mind, body and soul can help tremendously. It’s important to continue to see a therapist if you want to stay on track, even if it’s just for check-ups four times a year. Here, WNY Life Coaching Center shares some tips for preventing a relapse through the practice of self-care therapy.


You may not think of exercise as something that makes you feel good, but, when done regularly, it makes you feel great and can significantly bolster your recovery efforts. When you’re just getting started, it may feel uncomfortable or just difficult, but after several workouts, you’ll notice a difference. And once you’ve made exercise a habit, you’ll want to be physically active all the time. Since many people in recovery rely on exercise to maintain sobriety, be mindful of swapping unhealthy behaviors. Don’t allow your new routine to become an unsafe obsession.

Eating Right

Treat your body well by eating regularly and eating nutritiously.  Eating healthy foods can not only help ward off a relapse by making you feel great, but it can also help undo the damage that your addiction had on your body. Eat a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean protein and healthy fats, and avoid caffeine and foods that are high in sugar. Looking and feeling healthy will help you stay on track.


While you may find that you have difficulty sleeping during the beginning stages of recovery, Health Care Resource Centers notes that it’s important to eventually get adequate quality sleep. Studies show that getting proper sleep actually makes recovery easier by reducing cravings. If you experience insomnia, try establishing a relaxing nighttime routine. Before bed, try reading a book. Save screen time during the day. You can also take a warm bath before bed. If you still can’t sleep, your therapist can help you find more relaxation techniques.


Psychology Today explains that incorporating meditation into your daily routine is another self-care practice that can help you to stay on track. It lowers anxiety and can actually rewire your brain for increased optimism, well-being and creativity. Aim for ten minutes of meditation every morning. Sit somewhere comfortable, pay attention to your breath and your feelings, and try to clear your mind. If you feel you need some help, in the beginning, try guided meditation.

Reduce Stress

Since stress is such a major player in addiction, it makes sense that decreasing stress in recovery is crucial. For many of us, work is the main source of our stress. While some stress is optimal, too much stress will start to cause a decline in performance. While it’s impossible to eliminate all stress, having a plan to manage stress puts you in the driver’s seat. Try using relaxation techniques, taking more time in your day just for yourself and even talking to friends or family.

One of the most common and easiest to deal with stressors at home is clutter. Getting rid of clutter can help you think more clearly. Identify stressors in your life, and think of ways to counteract or balance the stress.

Keep a Journal

Writing down your thoughts and feelings in a journal every night can also help you to prevent a relapse. It’s just another way for you to practice introspection and to stay tuned in to yourself. Take note of any moments of weakness, negativity, strength or positivity you experienced during the day. It will keep you accountable, and it will feel good to write it all down. Share your journal with your therapist if you feel it might help.

Add Body Work

Whether you choose Reiki, massage, reflexology or any other sort of body work, this type of healing can make a significant difference in how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually. All of which translates to major progress in your recovery. So make a point to add a session or two a month (or more) to help you keep your healing on track.

When recovering from opiate addiction, avoid a relapse by taking care of your mind, body and soul. Exercising and eating right makes you feel great, both physically and mentally, and, when you feel great, you’re much less likely to have a craving. Getting enough sleep is also extremely important for the recovery process because it reduces cravings.

As a supplement to check-ins with a mental health professional, practice meditation and journaling for increased introspection and mindfulness. Cultivating a healthy mind and body through these self-care practices will help you stay in this clean, new chapter of your life. visitors.

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