By: Adele Nel, Trauma Psychologist at SANCA Wedge Gardens treatment centre

There’s no doubt that our habits can make or break us.

Kick Your Habit is a national SANCA campaign that takes place from 21 to 27 June, to create awareness of the complexities surrounding addiction and dependence. 

The aim is to challenge everyone to give up something for seven days, whether it be coffee, chocolate or that morning rusk, to personally experience the decision-making process required when a substance abuser decides to go into recovery.

Habits are behaviours or attitudes we engage in regularly, routinely or repeatedly. Most of the time, we are hardly aware of them and the impact they have on us, our health, relationships or the way we live our lives.

Habits are not easy to change or ‘kick’ on your own, without support, but are definitely possible to break with the right conditions and support in place.

A change in habits can bring about positive changes, such as feeling more in control of life, improved relationships, smarter decision-making, increased self-confidence, balanced living, an increased appreciation of life and many more improved mental health rewards.

Our focus at SANCA Wedge Gardens treatment centre for the 2121 Kick Your Habit campaign is one of creating HOPE.

HOPE is powerful. It not only inspires us to do the impossible, it also helps us to carry on during difficult times.

For us, it is not just about kicking a bad habit, but about cultivating and encouraging a new positive habit we want to develop. Our therapists have focussed on habits of attitude to support patients to develop new positive habits, such as helping our patients to stop undermining themselves, face their fears, control their impulses, be patient with themselves and have faith in the process.

When we have HOPE that we can change, we are in a better position to be the best version of ourselves.

As Barbara Kingsolver said: “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”