One of the ongoing challenges of addiction recovery is coping with drug and alcohol cravings. Individuals must resist the desire to give in to these temptations and instead find healthier ways of coping. It is important to remember that experiencing cravings is a normal part of recovery. The urges will diminish in strength and frequency over time. When a craving hits, remind yourself that it will pass, usually within about 15 minutes, and you do not have to give in. You will be okay.
Here are a few ideas for things you can do to keep cravings in check and wait it out until they pass:
- Keep busy to distract yourself from thinking about it. Work on a crossword puzzle, listen to music, knit, shoot hoops, go for a run, or play a computer or video game.
- Accept it. Journal about how you are feeling and face your craving head on. You’ll be able to better recognize the feeling and realize that you are in control. You may also choose to talk about it with someone close to you who can help you stay accountable.
- Incorporate foods in your diet that may help reduce cravings such as whole grains, salmon, peanut butter, bananas, and walnuts. Try to eat at regular intervals to stabilize your blood sugar and keep yourself feeling full.
- Change locations to somewhere free from triggers. Removing yourself from one environment and focusing on another can help you reassess and collect yourself. It can also be a healthy distraction.
- Practice meditating when cravings strike to clear your mind and feel more in control. Meditating can be very relaxing and soothing when dealing with the stress of cravings.
Above It All supports clients in developing personalized relapse prevention plans that fit their needs and lifestyle. Clients are equipped with the tools and strategies to make healthy decisions and cope with cravings so they can focus on making the most of their future. Take back control of your life at Above It All and start your journey to long-term recovery.
- Magee, Elaine. WebMD, The Facts About Food Cravings. Accessed April 4, 2016.
- Jaret, Peter. WebMD, Smoking Triggers: What Makes You Crave a Cigarette? Accessed April 9, 2016.
- Shaw, Gina. WebMD, Quit Smoking: How to Fight Nicotine Cravings. Accessed April 15, 2016.
- WebMD, What Are My Smoking Triggers? Emotions, Stress, Habit, and Social Situations. Accessed April 14, 2016.
- WebMD, Nicotine Withdrawal: Tips to Getting Through It. Accessed April 8, 2016.