The Melbourne Cup: staying sober avoiding triggers and overcoming cravings
(written by our Community Builder chenille )
The Melbourne Cup has become synonymous with parties and drinking all across Australia. While this year might not have all the regular pomp and glamour, Cup Day can still present some challenges for anyone trying to stay sober. Here are some tips on making it through the Spring Carnival unscathed.
Surf the wave
Urges and cravings will come and go throughout this period. A useful technique to try is Urge Surfing. Urges are like waves, they peak and then crash and fade. As an urge presents itself, rather than fight it, ride with it, notice how it makes you feel and recognise as it passes. (https://www.mindfulness.org.au/urge-surfing)
The Three D’s
Another useful way to manage cravings is to remember the Three D’s. Delay, Distract and Decide. The feeling will pass, remind yourself that you can handle it. Set your mind onto something else, call a friend, watch a show or head out for a walk around the block. Once it has passed, revisit your goals and remind yourself why you have decided to stay stopped. Each time you challenge your cravings they will get easier.
Plan out your time
Cravings can occur at any time, but when you’re keeping yourself busy it is easier to let them pass and stay focused on other activities. If you have friends or family members around you who you know will support you in staying sober, organise a small catch up, like a BBQ or a road trip somewhere. Maybe schedule in a movie marathon, read a new book or a go for walk. Knowing that you have fun things to do will help keep temptation at bay. Keeping busy will also help you avoid any media coverage of the races, which may trigger any cravings.
Pick the right people
Even during restrictions there will still be Cup Day parties. Pick wisely and consider who you can spend time with who will support you and allow you to get through the week drink free. No one should be pressuring you to drink, and if you think someone might not understand why you’re saying no, best to steer clear.
Remember your goals
Focus on why you’re doing this. Is it for your health, friends and family or for work and financial reasons? Keep your goals and reasons for staying sober in mind, this will help you keep you motivated and focused.
A lapse or relapse is not failure
At times like this it is so important to be kind to yourself. Keep in mind that lapses and relapses are common, that they are not a sign of failure, and that you can always pick yourself up the next day. For some techniques on how to move through a lapse or relapse check here.
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