The Kick Your HABIT challenge is part of the awareness that SANCA wants to rise about how difficult it is for people to let go of drugs for the rest of their lives. But the most important reason is for you to understand that addiction to a drug or food or behaviour is difficult to change and it will take a lot of effort, commitment and tenacity to give it up. After giving up that ONE HABIT FOR ONE WEEK, you will be able to identify and empathise with someone going through the process of recovery and provide the support and understanding they need to live a drug-free lifestyle. #KickYourHabit
LET THE COUNT DOWN BEGIN… 7,6,5,4,3,2,1,0
Realise that you have a problem and that you are addicted to certain substances or behaviours to help you cope with the stress and pressures of life. Realise and know what the underlying causes are for you using the substance or behaving in a certain way. By realising, defining and acknowledging the problem, you can #KickIt. The first step in seeking help is acknowledging that you have a problem. Then tackling and challenging it head-on!
Get yourself a journal and start writing...
A= Acknowledge what needs to change in your life.
B= Benefits of quitting a habit is explored and written down.
C= Cravings or urges to reward yourself must be controlled by taking your mind off it.
D= Dream what it would be like after 7 days when you have kicked this habit.
“I drink when I am...”; “I smoke when I'm...”; “I eat chocolate, ice-cream and junk food whenever I...”.
There are a lot of things going on between our emotions and thoughts in our brains that are linked to substance use and behavioural addictions. Many people eat, drink or engage in certain behaviours to escape their feelings and situations. Eating, drinking and engaging in behaviours can relieve us when we are tired, stressed or emotional. Doing what we do, either using substances or engaging in behaviours makes us feel good, but once it starts affecting our lives in more than 4 ways, it is a sign of addiction and the need to address the issue and behaviour/use.
Realise, know and understand which emotions and situations (also known as Triggers) make you use substances or engage in your addictive behavioural patterns. We are creatures of habit, so we do not have one particular behavioural pattern or addiction, we have many behavioural patterns and addictions. Have you noticed how people would watch a series; one is bound to excessively eat snacks or have you noticed how many smokers would also have a cup of coffee to go with the cigarette?
Journal your thoughts and emotions:
E= Emotions can trigger cravings and lead to relapses. Rather talk about these emotions than do what you did in the past.
F= Forgive yourself and others by writing letters to them and either burn it afterwards or give it to the person if you so choose.
G= Goals are set of what you would like to achieve by quitting this habit.
H= Healthy lifestyles are the key to changing any bad habit.
I= Identify your triggers that would make you fall back on your habit.
#KYHDAY5: TURNING POINT
Is this what YOU want? Do YOU want to go through this entire week without the one thing that makes your life a bit better and bearable? The third day is always the most difficult as this is when the headaches, aches and pains get to be at their peak. This is due to withdrawals that you might experience by giving up coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, sugar, etc. This is normal that you want to drop out of the KYH campaign but hang in there. This will pass and on the fourth day, you will start feeling good.
One might know the risks associated with certain addictions and behaviours but knowing facts such as smoking causes harm to the body, many people still continue to smoke nonetheless. Change is the desire for the better, so one must have the WANT, the DESIRE and the WILL to change and give up the one thing they love and can't live without.
Stay motivated by following the wisdom of the KYH ABC:
J= Journaling will help you keep a record of your progress and connect you to your inner world.
K= Knowledge about your habit will create a better understanding of it. Read up on it.
L= List 5 things that you are grateful for every day before starting your day.
M= Motivational statements and mottos must be written down and pasted all over your house, on the fridge and set as a reminder on your phone.
#KYHDAY4: CHANGE & REPLACE
Now it's time to put mind into matter, today is the day for change. TIPS: DO activities that you enjoy. DO what won't be a task, but what will and is a passion for you. DO activities that will keep your mind off your habit, addiction, cravings or withdrawals during this week. DO physical and more importantly do mentally stimulating activities. Find a new hobby, and find your passion and purpose to help keep you away from your addictions and behaviours. Exercise, and spend time with close people. Doing something else will keep your mind off your addictions and habits. Over-thinking and over-planning will not make you #KickYourHabit and addictions.
Remember, consistency is the key when changing and adopting new and healthy habits. A famous quote from Newton said, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." This is what we will do: replace our addictions and habits with something good, better and healthier, just the complete opposite of what we are accustomed to and addicted to. Replace your television series with a walk, replace drinking coffee with drinking water and some real fruit juice. Replace one (bad) habit of addiction with a GOOD and HEALTHY habit. Replace the habit or addiction with something that will keep you occupied and far away from your previous habits and addictions.
The KYH ABC for today:
N= Negotiate new and healthier rewards for yourself.
O= Openness and honesty are needed with yourself and others to overcome this habit.
P= Professional help is needed with some of the habits that are more severe such as substance use.
Q= Quit bad habits by replacing them with healthier and new routines.
R= Recreational and fun activities are needed to take your mind off the cravings and thoughts.
As it is well known and said that no man is an island; we are social beings. Get your friends, family members and co-workers to give up one habit for a week and do activities together. Choose and associate with people or groups that have the same goals as you so that you may motivate and empower each other, share your challenges and victories and even make new friends. Communication is important to and with those that are with and supporting you through this journey to give up your addictions and change your habits.
The KYH ABC guide:
S= Support systems are the key to helping you change. Identify a partner to whom you are accountable.
T= Tell your friends and family about this and get excited and energised about your decision to change.
U= Ubuntu-do something good for someone else without expecting something back in return.
Celebrate every success, every day, week and month that you stay clean from your addiction and habits. Praise yourself; this boosts your confidence and keeps you motivated to do and be better. Material rewards are not entirely important and should be the only thing you reward yourself with but you can reward yourself for example reward yourself with a night out, go watch a movie, save the money that you would have used towards your addictions or habits towards your dream vacation, spend some real quality time with people that are close to you.
The KYH ABC:
V= Value what is really important for you and appreciate every moment.
W= Write down your plan to quit and keep up with your journal every day.
X= X-ray yourself by analysing your thoughts and feelings and how it is linked to your behaviours. Change what you think and the rest will follow!
Relapsing is bound to happen for some or even at times for most individuals. Temptations are bound to come and one might stumble and seek comfort in habits and addictions. The most important thing after relapsing is to pick up our socks, keep our heads held high and keep going! Don't feel extremely bad and guilty when you have turned back to the comfort of your addictions and habits but REMEMBER that tomorrow is a new day filled with many possibilities and opportunities to change your life if you to change and become better. So, start afresh and continue with your journey. Learn from your mistakes and habits. Learning and unlearning are important; learn from your mistakes in order to unlearn your habits and addictions.
The KYH ABC guide:
Y= You are worth it and You can do this! Just believe in yourself!
Z= Zero tolerance for negative people, places and things that bring you down. Avoid these high-risk situations at all costs.
We want you to stay clean and may every day be #DayZero, (Zero dependence and zero unhealthy and high-risk habits.)