Day 6: How to handle a slip up

It's common. And it's not the end of the world.
Alcohol Reset Challenge

DAY 6 OF 7

How to Handle a Slip Up

What if you do end up having a drink? What next?

First, know that slip ups are common when trying to change any habit, and there's nothing to feel guilty about.

"The moment of a slip does not undo everything. A child falls when learning to walk, but that doesn't mean they haven't learned anything about walking," says Christina Hanks LeBourgeois, senior recovery coach and care team manager at Tempest.

"If you slip, it does not undo the many ways you are showing up," she goes on to say. "If you are reading this right now, it means you are showing up. If you want something different, then you are showing up."

In short, a drink doesn't render your efforts void. It doesn't mean you have to quit the challenge, either.

According to the work of leading self-compassion researcher Kristin Neff, offering yourself kindness and compassion, not judgment or criticism, can make far more of a difference when it comes to creating lasting change.

For today's challenge: Come up with a few strategies you can fall back on if you end up having a drink.

Preparing yourself for the possibility of a slip up doesn't mean you will, in fact, slip up. It just means you'll be able to get back on track more quickly if you do, not to mention help head off feelings of guilt or self-blame.

These steps can offer a starting place:

  • Reframe the slip up. Instead of looking at your drink as a failure, remind yourself of how long you went without one. Maybe you had a drink, but you still went days or weeks without one.
  • Use it as a learning opportunity. The how and why of the slip-up can help you recognize key triggers, like family conflict or problems at work.
  • Revisit your boundaries. Don't forget you can always shift boundaries as needed. Maybe hanging out with friends while they're drinking doesn't work for you after all — and that's absolutely OK.
  • Forgive yourself. No one is perfect, but everyone has the chance to learn, grow, and try again. Take heart by reminding yourself of the ways you are trying and the ways you do show up for yourself.

Your alcohol break officially starts tomorrow, and we'll be back then to cheer you on. You've got this!

Until tomorrow,
The Healthline Team

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