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Living without alcohol or drugs

When you have made a change, it will still take work to keep the change going.

Sometimes it can feel like there’s a battle in your head. This can be between wanting to use alcohol or drugs again and wanting to keep the change.

If this happens, think about the benefits you have achieved and remember how:

  • good it feels to have control back
  • alcohol or drug use made you feel and any damage it caused
  • much effort it took to break the habit

Enjoy your successes

Every day that you stick to your plan is a success. Don’t underestimate what you have achieved.

Take time to enjoy your success

  • Look back over how things were before you decided to stop and where you are now.
  • Share little achievements with other people and tell them you’re proud of yourself.
  • Reward yourself and take pleasure in your new life.

Ways to look after yourself

  • Get plenty of fresh air.
  • Get some exercise every day, this can boost your sense of wellbeing and improve your mood.
  • Handle your emotions and stress.
  • Eat regularly and try to eat well.
  • Give yourself time to adjust to a new way of living.
  • Take time to relax and get plenty of sleep.

It’s normal to have some mood swings or feel a bit down if you have made a big change.

You may also need a bit of time to adjust to sleeping without having had a drink or used drugs.

Talk to your GP if you are finding it hard to cope with these changes.

Related topic

Relaxation tips

Looking after our mental health

Build a life away from alcohol or drugs

If you used to spend a lot of time drinking or taking drugs, changing the pattern can leave a void.

Building up a healthy life away from alcohol or drugs can reduce the temptation to go back to the old ways.

Related topics

Improve your mood by doing something creative

Activities with other people to improve mental health

page last reviewed: 08/11/2019
next review due: 08/11/2022

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