Whether you’re on your day 1 or 100000, congratulations on staying sober! We all know that staying sober can be quite difficult and challenging. Studies reflect that up to 80% of those who find sobriety have had at least one relapse along the way. So if you’re experiencing some setbacks, do not worry too much. Your intentions may be good, but avoiding a relapse requires more than willpower.
How To Stay Sober?
Sadly, staying sober does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. What works for one person might not work for another. Staying clean and sober is never easy, even with the help of family and friends. Recovery from alcoholism or addiction is a lifelong process and can be really tough. But fear not! Thankfully, there are a lot of effective ways that you can use to prevent relapse and enjoy your life of sobriety. This article will provide you 5 ways to stay sober while in recovery:
1. Know Yourself and Avoid Your Triggers.
By knowing and anticipating triggers, you will be able to come up with an effective action plan way ahead of time. This is the best thing you can do to avoid experiencing a relapse. Common triggers are:
- Stress and emotional distress
- People around you and your relationship with them
- Problematic environment or situation
- Financial, mental, emotional, or spiritual problems
So sit down and reflect. Try to figure out what your personal trigger is. By knowing and recognizing your triggers, you will be able to come up with a game plan that will help you prepare for them, manage them, or avoid them.
2. Restart. Reorganize. Reschedule.
Try your best to eliminate reminders of your old life. Delete phone numbers, pictures, and unfriend people that you know have a bad influence on you. Change your environment and move on with your brand new life. A disorganized lifestyle can hinder your recovery. It is critical that you break your old behaviors and bad habits. Set a short-term or long-term goal for yourself and create a fixed schedule or routine that you can stick to. Having a structured schedule can assist you in effectively managing your time and achieving your goals. Pursuing these goals can help you maintain your sobriety.
3. Start Healthy Living
By starting a healthy lifestyle and practicing healthy living, you can avoid relapse and find balance in your life. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved by:
- Exercising regularly
- Eating healthy and well-balanced meals
- Avoiding junk food and too much sweet and salty food
- Sleeping early, around 9 am, and at least 8 hours a day
- Meditating and doing some grounding exercises such as mindfulness and yoga
Being healthy and physically active can cause chemical changes (serotonin, hormones, and endorphins) in your brain and increase energy levels. Regular exercise can help you sleep better and improve your mood. It can improve your sense of control, discipline, coping ability, and self-esteem. It can also distract you from having negative thoughts and can be a good outlet for your frustrations. Good quality sleep and regular exercise can boost your mood and can even help give you a positive outlook in life.
But be careful, although physical activities are healthy and productive, they can also be a stumbling block to lasting recovery if this becomes a transfer addiction to fill the void left by the original addiction. So try your best to find a healthy balance and gain control over everything in your life and all of your choices. Remember, you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.
4. Have Healthy Relationships and Get Support
Now that you are finally sober, you may have realized that some of your previous relationships were not only unhealthy but also very toxic. Oftentimes, your closest friends and family members are the cause of your relapse. Lack of social support is the number one predictive factor of relapse. It is important to stay close and connected to people who genuinely care and love you. Also, keep in mind that not having any sober companions is something that many individuals face early in their recovery. If this is an issue for you, make an effort to meet new people who are devoted to living a healthy and sober lifestyle.
If you’re struggling to make new sober friends, consider joining a support group. Spending more time supporting loved ones and organizing family activities can also help you establish a better lifestyle and avoid situations where you might drink alcohol or use drugs.
It is strongly advised that you seek professional help from psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors because these mental health experts can assist you in dealing with your personal difficulties and provide you with different coping strategies and techniques you can use for your recovery.
5. Forgive and Forget
We, as humans, have a tendency to give forgiveness to others, but we rarely forgive ourselves.
Always remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. Let go of the feelings of guilt, humiliation, and self-doubt and learn to forgive yourself. It is critical to learn to forgive yourself during recovery.
Giving yourself grace is OK. Being kind and understanding to yourself is an important step for you to fully recover and stay sober.
Staying sober can be hard, but as long as you keep yourself busy, you will be okay and happy. Try taking up a new hobby, starting a new craft or project, or learning to play a sport or a musical instrument. Being busy with these new interests will give you no time to think about anything except your new, happy and healthy life.
Sobriety can be a difficult and painful process, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth it! Stay positive and continue to surround yourself with loving, caring, and supportive people. Use these 5 ways to stay sober while in recovery to reach your new goals and create a new meaningful life. Always remember that it is never too late to begin again.