Tag Archives: recovery

Preventing A Relapse


We made it to the last few days of July! Did a particular topic resonate with you? Do you know someone who could benefit from the advice shared one the past several weeks? All the hard work can go to naught, if we don’t know how to prevent a relapse. 

Relapse is a term usually referring to alcohol and drugs. However, it can be applied to any habit. Maybe you stuck to your diet for weeks, and then overindulged at an office birthday party. Maybe you went 10 years without a cigarette, and then bought a pack when you broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Remember that your ultimate success in developing healthy habits is more important than any backsliding. Think of relapses as part of a process, rather than unpredictable events. If you pay attention to what you’re feeling and thinking, you may be able to avoid a setback.

Try these techniques:
  1. Deal with emotions. Your feelings may be the first sign that you’re headed for a fall. Accepting your anger and sadness will help you find new and more constructive ways of managing them.
  2. Build support. Surround yourself with family and friends who will encourage you and give you useful feedback. Let them know how they can help you. You might want to search for support groups in your community or participate in forums online.
  3. Know your triggers. You sometimes need to limit contact with old friends who engage in the habit you’re trying to break. Certain places or situations could also make you vulnerable to relapsing.
  4. Wait it out. What if you have an urge to go on a shopping spree or bite your nails? Try waiting 5 or 10 minutes to see if it passes. It’s a quick solution that often works.
  5. Seek moderation. Being too strict with yourself can backfire. A restrictive diet makes junk food look more tempting. Allowing yourself a low-calorie dessert like fruit could help you avoid binging on donuts and cheesecake.
  6. Focus on consequences. Before you take a step backwards, think through what will happen. Is wasting time on social media causing you trouble at work?
  7. Practice self-care. Protecting your physical and mental wellbeing is essential for reaching your goals. Eat sensible amounts of whole foods, exercise regularly, and make sleep a top priority.
Recovering From a Relapse

If it’s too late to prevent a relapse, you can still turn things around. Put your mistakes behind you and keep building on the progress you’ve already made. Some or all of these strategies will help you get back on track.

  1. Face the truth. It can be difficult to admit that you’ve relapsed. Be honest with yourself and take accountability for your decisions.
  2. Remember your purpose. It may help to think about your original reasons for making changes in your life. They may be so compelling that you’ll be ready to try again, or you may need to find another source of motivation.
  3. Forgive yourself. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself, especially while you’re struggling. Use your self-talk to boost your confidence. Let go of the past and concentrate on what you can do today.
  4. Break it down. Trying to make lifelong commitments may seem overwhelming. Pick a time frame that’s realistic for you. You might aim to sustain your new habits for a single day or even an hour at a time.
  5. Take action. Regain momentum by taking a positive step forward immediately. If you’re trying to stop overspending, leave your credit cards at home unless you’re planning to make a specific purchase. If you want to cut down on complaining, start a gratitude journal.

Think of relapses as a learning opportunity that helps you to find out more about yourself. Each time you temporarily lose a little ground, you gain more insight into what you need to do to make positive changes in your life.

Use these free worksheets to help you sty focused.

To Your Success,
Juan

What Is Depression?


March babies, how are you?!

Wishing you a year filled with happiness, contentment, and more joy than you could ever hope for.

Let’s continue the mental health series, this month the focus is on  Depression.

Shortly after Mss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst’s death, her mom April Simpkins, released a statement which reads in part “While it may be hard to believe, it’s true. Cheslie led both a public and a private life. In her private life, she was dealing with high-functioning depression which she hid from everyone — including me, her closest confidant — until very shortly before her death.” Are you, or someone you know suffering from high functioning Depression? Given all that’s happening in the world, now is not the time to sweep things under the rug. Cheslie’s suicide is a wake up call. Should be.

If you ask a group of people who suffer from clinical depression to define the illness, you’ll get a variety of answers. Depression is a very personal experience, faced by millions. Different people manifest different symptoms. One thing remains clear: depression is a difficult illness, that can destroy your life if left unresolved.

Many people with depression, describe it as a sense of despair, that engulfs everything they do and feel. If you think being depressed is akin to feeling sad, because your favorite team just lost the championship game, you really have no idea, what suffering from this debilitating mental illness truly is. Depression is much deeper, more invasive than sadness or frustration.

Depression takes everything away from you; saps your energy, focus, concentration, and especially your joy. You don’t care about anything; nothing matters, and even people you love can become unimportant. If you’ve felt  depressed for a long time, you become accustomed to the feeling, and any other emotion becomes unfamiliar, and frightening. 

Physical Concerns of Depression
Depression doesn’t only take its toll on your emotions, and mental state; it can cause serious physical problems. You can lose your appetite or eat incessantly. It zaps your energy and motivation. When you’re depressed, you tend to become inactive. This alone can lead to a number of problems, but when added to other physical side effects, it’s easy to see why depression should always be given the care and concern it deserves

In addition, depression can lead to:

  1. 1. Lack of sleep. Insomnia strips the body of the necessary sleep, needed to function properly.
  2. 2. Poor nutrition. When depressed, many people fail to take in proper nutrients. It takes too much effort to plan and prepare a meal. 
  3. 3. Aches and pains. If anyone tells you that your mental state has no effect on your physical state, they are wrong. When you’re depressed, the chemicals in the brain that signal pain, and happiness, are affected in the same way. Physical aches and pains increase, sad feelings kick in, repeating the cycle.
  4. 4. Hygiene issues. Someone suffering from depression doesn’t have the energy or the motivation to be concerned with self-care.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

  •  Constant and severe sadness about everything
  •  Hopelessness
  •  Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  •  Irritability
  •  Trouble concentrating
  •  Loss of interest in things that once interested them
  •  Feeling worthless, useless and strangely guilty for no reason at all
  •  Serious change in weight, one way or the other
  •  Lack of energy and fatigue

Depression is a serious condition and should be treated as such.
As depression progresses, it feeds on itself like a rolling snowball. The longer someone is depressed, the worse it gets, until they see no way out.  It is not uncommon to resign yourself  to being miserable all the time. Depression can be caused by a certain event, change of seasons, loss of someone close, or even a chemical imbalance in the brain. Treatment usually involves counseling or medication that helps alter brain chemistry. 

If you know someone who is depressed, one of the most important things you can do, is to be his or her friend. Talk to them and help them through this period. Help them seek medical care to treat their illness. If you think you may be depressed, talk to a health care provider. Depression doesn’t have to ruin your life! With support, you can move past it, and go on to live a joyful life. 

Download this  FREE copy of a Depression Checklist. Take it with you when you visit your medical provider, especially if the feelings have laster more than two weeks

You Your Success
Juan