Learn how to prevent vulnerabilities and relapse triggers (HALT) and explore the impact of the mind-body connection (sleep, nutrition) for mental health and addiction recovery in this quickstart guide

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Why I Care
 Vulnerabilities are situations or things that
 Make it more difficult to deal with life on life’s terms leading to depression, anxiety or “stress”
 Make it easier for you to over-react or get stuck
 Depression occurs if you feel helpless or hopeless
 Anxiety occurs if you feel powerless or out of control
 Addictive behaviors increase when you feel a need to escape because of stress, anxiety, depression or pain
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
 Pain
 Sleep problems
 Difficulty concentrating
 Irritable mood
 Medications are depressants and can worsen all of the above
 Interventions
 Talk with your doctor
 Explore nonpharmacological interventions
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
 Poor nutrition
 Your body needs the building blocks to
 Recover from injury
 Keep you from getting sick
 Make happy chemicals
 Water…. 60 ounces per day
 Have three colors on your plate at each meal (condiments don’t count)
 Try to eat smaller meals every few hours
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
 Lack of sufficient, quality sleep
 Drug/alcohol induced sleep is rarely good quality
 Lack of Sleep Effects
 Fogginess
 Difficulty concentrating
 Irritability
 Overeating
 Interventions
 Develop a sleep routine
 Cut back on caffeine and other stimulants 6-12 hours before bed
Individual Vulnerabilities: Physical
 Brain changes
 Brain changes can be
 Hereditary
 From an accident
 As a result of addictive behaviors
 Changes in the structure of the brain have all kinds of effects including memory, concentration, and mood.
 Eat a good diet to give the body the necessary building blocks
 Get adequate quality rest
 Medication

Individual Vulnerabilities: Emotional
 When you are feeling negative emotions
 It causes the brain to keep the fight-or-flight reaction going (which takes energy)
 It lacks or prevents the happy, calming neurotransmitters from being excreted
 Interventions
 Develop coping skills to deal with them
 Insert positive/rewarding experiences
 Get plenty of rest
 Eat a healthy diet
 Exercise
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
 Global, internal, stable attributional style
 When everything is always it adds extra stress
 When anything that happens reflects on you as a person, it adds extra stress
 Focus on things being specific and alterable
 Identify what is good about you as a person
 Explore the difference between what makes you a good person vs your skills
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
 Extremely external or internal locus of control
 Both situations add stress
 External locus of control means you feel you have no control over anything
 Internal locus of control means you feel like you should be able to control everything.
 Identify what things you can control and use your energy for them
 Figure out how you are going to cope with things you cannot control
 Look for exceptions
Individual Vulnerabilities: Mental/Cognitive
 Poor organization/time management
 Poor time management effects
 It can lead to being over committed
 It cause people to feel rushed/harried
 It can cause people to forget to do things leading to conflict
 Make a list of must-dos at the beginning of every week
 Stop saying yes right away
 Identify and address time sucks

Individual Vulnerabilities: Social
 Poor communication skills
 Impedes you from stating your needs
 May cause misunderstandings
 Can hurt your relationships
 Learn about effective verbal and nonverbal communication
 Don’t assume you understand what the other person is talking about

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