Staying Sober: 10 Tips to Help You From Relapsing
Realizing what sobriety feels like is kind of like finally being able to take a deep breath after being underwater too long. It’s refreshing, comforting, and also pretty inspiring.
However, getting sober and staying sober are two different things. The first is all about recovery, about overcoming your darkness and realizing there’s a better way to live. The second is about commitment; it asks you to be mindful of the dangers of alcohol now, tomorrow, and years down the line.
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how distinct recovery from alcoholism and true sobriety are until they relapse. If you’re worried a relapse may be in your future, do the following things to help you stay grounded and avoid self-sabotage.
1. Surround Yourself with Sober Friends
You can’t expect yourself to keep turning down drinks left and right if you’re always out with friends who like to have a drink or two (or ten). Sobriety is best supported by community.
You need to be around other people who understand how important this lifestyle is to you, and those are usually the ones who have chosen the same lifestyle for themselves. Some people are sober because they’re also recovered addicts, while others simply don’t have a need for alcohol in their lives.
Either way, try to identify these people in your life and keep them close.
2. Spend Time with People You Love
What if you don’t know that many people who are also sober? Or if you know good people who like to have a few drinks without getting out of control?
Make the effort to make more sober friends, but, keep in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to push other loved ones away. Ultimately, creating a balance between your temptations and your relationships is a matter of communication.
Spend time with your family members and close friends doing activities that don’t involve drinking. This could be anything from having a family-friendly beach day to taking a walk in the park to just sitting around the house playing games and watching movies.
Not everything needs alcohol to be fun, and your loved ones will understand this especially applies to you as a recovered alcoholic. They will be there to support you.
3. Say No to Booze-Themed Activities
While you can usually manage to make plans that are alcohol-free, you’re better off turning down some invitations altogether. You know, like that boozy Fourth of July party your friend throws every year or your sibling’s birthday party that happens to be at a bar.
Your loved ones will understand if you don’t show at these events. It’s better to take care of yourself first than to have to put yourself through such temptation just to please others.
Plus, sobriety becomes easier with time, which means you won’t always have to miss out on these things. You’ll be able to show up for your friends and still say no to the drinks.
4. Find Your Inner Peace
A big part of saying no to alcohol means saying yes to your true self. Sobriety is a fresh start. It helps you realize who you really are when you’re not drunk all the time or depending on some sort of escape.
This opens the door for you to find your inner peace. When you do so, it’s much easier to block out the rest of the world and focus on what’s is truly best for you.
5. Treat Yourself to Healthy Indulgences
When you realize what’s actually good for you, you start to find all kinds of new indulgences that are way more beneficial than drugs could ever be.
Maybe you find a huge passion for a new hobby or you pick up an old one that you’ve always loved. Maybe you start to try something new on a regular basis to keep yourself occupied.
This could include everything from cooking classes to learn new languages to volunteering for various causes or finding your voice as a recovered addict and speaking out about addiction misconceptions.
There is so much you can do to treat yourself without harming yourself. All you have to do is find what makes you feel the most alive.
6. Exercise More Often
Here’s something that’s sure to get your blood pumping: exercise! Exercise is part of many recovery programs. It gives the mind something to do and it helps the body get back to a healthier state.
But, there’s no reason to give it up once your recovery program is complete. If anything, keep going. Find the exercise routine that works best for you and stick to it.
This does a world of good for you. Exercise improves your mood, helps strengthen many functions of the body, and even helps you make new friends. It’s a win-win anyway you look at it.
7. Learn to Let Go
While much of how to stay sober means adding new, healthy habits into your life, it also means letting go. You need to realize that you are not your past, and you never have to go back to that place of darkness ever again.
This takes time. It’s a wound which can only be healed by understanding, forgiveness, and a little bit of grace. Recovery alone won’t show you how to let go, but it is the crucial first step in getting there.
8. Start Journaling
If letting go is what seems to be your biggest problem lately, try journaling. This is a great way to get all your thoughts out of your head. It allows you to think clearly, better understand the things you’ve been holding onto, and yes, finally let go.
9. Celebrate Your Successes
The more you learn how to let go of your past, say no to current temptations, and embrace your best self, the more you have to celebrate. It’s amazing to realize how much good can come from such simple actions when they turn into habits.
This is something to celebrate! Without alcohol, of course. Take yourself on a special trip, do something you’ve always wanted to do, or simply stay home and treat yourself to a full-on self-care day – movies, baths, delicious food and all. Just because you’re worth it.
10. Talk to Your Sponsor When Things Get Tough
As great as the successes of your recovery and sobriety are, they don’t come without a few challenges. Certain things in life will push you closer to the edge but the key is to not cross the line. That’s where your sponsor comes in.
This is someone you can call and lean on when things get tough. It’s your person to talk about temptations with and to just chat about other struggles in life about, too.
They are here for you in more ways than you might think, but you have to give them the chance to support you by recognizing when it’s time to call on them.
Overcoming Addiction and Staying Sober
Some people think recovery is the best choice they could ever make – until they realize the long-term joys of staying sober. It’s like learning how to breathe easy after you finally get that first breath of fresh air after struggling for so long.
If you’re still in the struggling phase, what are you waiting for? There’s a whole world of opportunity and fulfillment available to you on the other side of addiction.
Contact us today to ask about our recovery programs and find out when you can take the first step towards your better life.