Positive support – Live Well Centre

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Positive support

Be open with friends and loved ones 

Let people know why you want to make these changes, and how you’re feeling. It might take them some time to accept your new goals, but having that conversation will help you see who you can turn to in times of need. It’s important when you’re doing this to explore how the behaviour you’re trying to change really makes you feel. For example “every time I go out on a weekend, I feel really low for the next week. Feeling like that really hurts me, and I don’t want to feel like that any more.”

Look for new positive role models

Be willing to expand your social network to include new, positive people, maybe those who share similar goals to you. If your goal is to not drink on an evening and you want to find others with a similar goal, think about where people might go on a evening which doesn’t involve alcohol. For example the gym, or a fitness class. This can help you to make new friends and you’ll know there’s a strong possibility they’ll have similar routines or goals to you.

Don’t get frustrated if loved ones don’t come round straight away 

Some of your friends and family might expect you to go back to your old ways eventually. In fact, they might even encourage you to. Try not to get frustrated by this. Most of the time, they’re just hoping to enjoy ‘the good old times’ with you, and they don’t mean you any harm. Remind them of your goals and why you want to achieve them, and ask them again to be supportive of what you’re doing.

Work it out

You can do a simple exercise to help you understand your social network. Start by making a list of the family and friends you have around you. Then draw a box called ‘who can I rely on?’ and put their names into that box if you think you can rely on them to support you.

Download the worksheet to help you

Unfortunately the worksheet is not fully accessible, but it can be printed out and filled in by hand, or you can do the exercise with a pen and paper or on your phone’s notes app.

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