Often our Tina use has been helpful to us in some way, or has an important function in our life. By the time we get to the place of needing help in cutting back our Tina use, or quitting altogether, the negative aspects have become more intense or important, so we seek change. However, thinking back to understanding the positive, short-term aspects of our use, or how our Tina use is rewarding to us, can help us better understand what need, or void, our substance use has been trying fill, cover up or medicate.
When we make a decision to change our substance use, to reduce, re-gain control, or eliminate, it is vital we find new, healthier ways to get our needs met. This dramatically increases the chances of falling back into old, problem patterns.
It is vital to substitute new activities, or return to old, formerly rewarding activities, when you begin to cut down your Tina use. Substituting healthier behaviours and activities and building up new habits makes the transition easier. Start by thinking about as many activities as possible that you could use to broaden your list of health options.
To be successful at creating a healthy life, we need different activities for different situations, and strong relationships with people who are also committed to our health and well-being, who will participate in these activities with us.
Further, we need a balance of activities we can do alone, and those we do with other people. Some activities are pre-scheduled and we need to plan for. Some, we need to be able to have available to do spontaneously when the need arises.
Brainstorm on a piece of paper as many recreational and social activities as possible. Here’s a list to get you going. See if you can add to it. Once you are done, highlight any and all activities that you can imagine doing.