If you’ve overcome a problem with addiction, you may find it difficult to avoid triggers and stay the course. You’re not alone. Staying sober is not an easy thing to accomplish, but it is possible.
In this article, we’re sharing several tips for staying sober.
Tips For Staying Sober
Sobriety is a good thing, but good things aren’t easy to come by or keep. Maintaining your sobriety can at first feel like a full-time job, so when life seeps in and hits you with an actual full-time job and other responsibilities, letting your sobriety slip can sometimes feel like an acceptable compromise.
Don’t let a relapse set in – with these simple tips, you can be in control of your recovery and you can get the most out of being sober, in order to stay sober.
Here are 6 tips for staying sober and stay focused on the road to addiction recovery.
1. Get Out There
This is meant both in a physical sense and in a social one – being connected to life and to others is one of the best ways to avoid the emotional pull of drug use. While addiction is hard to break away from physically, specifically neurologically, being around people and around nature can drastically improve your mood and bring positivity to your thoughts. This doesn’t mean you should start every morning with a yoga routine and an hour of tree-hugging – instead, consider doing more outdoor activities such as hiking, or just a little stroll through the park.
Fresh air, a regular change of scenery and time spent in nature – these simple rituals have a marked effect on a person’s psyche, making them feel calmer and genuinely happy. Use these facts to your advantage and tackle your addiction with the help of mother nature, giving your sobriety a massive leg up.
2. Take The Time To Stimulate
Stimulation can be achieved through more than just drugs and basic vices. To stimulate your mind and figure out new ways of feeling happy, try and find out exactly what it is that interests you the most and find a way to spend time with it. Most people are passionate about something and feel strongly about a related creative outlet. Do you like to write? Paint? Make music? Learning how to improve yourself or even just creating art for the sake of creating it can be an immensely helpful tool for relieving stress in general, and improving your road to recovery.
Research shows that it can be difficult to feel pleasure after spending too much time on drugs. Drug use has its long-term consequences, but many of them can be reverted with time and commitment. Tapping into your own creativity, no matter what shape or form it may take can help you heal your brain.
It’s about more than just making your mind work better, or about remembering what it feels like to care about certain things. Pursuing something creative can also fill you with joy. The key is to find a way to do it sustainably: some people find a way to make money through their passion, turning a hobby into a side hustle. Others make it their full-time career, sometimes even at the spur of a moment and at the cost of an entirely different path in life. Addiction recovery is the kind of struggle that can redefine a person, and help them start anew – if you need to make changes to your life in order to be a happier person, then now is your chance.
3. Make It Easy On Yourself
There’s no need to challenge your will when you’re dealing with a brain disease like addiction. That means taking it easy, in more ways than one. Don’t tempt yourself unnecessarily, and avoid unneeded amounts of stress. If you’re in an aggressive situation in your life with a toxic individual – family or not – cut them out. It is one thing to face a problem you bear responsibility for and deal with life’s challenges, and it’s another to find yourself harassed by someone because of their own issues.
If work is a mental health hazard more than anything else, then strongly consider your alternatives and find other work. And if you have any contact with people or places with drugs – including any stray bottles of alcohol in the house, if you’re an alcoholic – get rid of them. Cut off your “friends” if they can’t support your sobriety, and stay away from the remnants of your past that most strongly remind you of your drug usage. In time, you’ll heal enough to not have to censor your life – but for the meantime, there’s no need to take on more than you have to right now. Maintaining sobriety is hard enough as it is.
4. Create A Strong Schedule
Schedules are important in the early days of recovery. Having a solid sleeping schedule and consistent times for work and other activities can help you maintain a proper balance in your early recovery life. This is especially true if you’re trying to introduce new hobbies and habits into your life in order to improve the quality of your recovery.
Not only does a good night’s sleep do wonders to someone’s psyche in the long-term, but when coupled with a healthy diet, proper exercise and time took for yourself and your interests, you’ll be able to stave off depressive feelings, stem anxiety, and devote more time to creative interests and the company of others – all in all, you’ll be able to take better measures to eliminate the effects of drugs in your life.
A schedule can also help you organize yourself, and get things done. This is important especially in recovery communities, where having a schedule gives you a sense of structure in your daily life, a constant that helps deal with the emotional fluctuations of early recovery.
5. Develop New Friendships
The social aspect of drug recovery isn’t always emphasized, but it is important. Everyone experiences it and utilizes it in a different way, but as long as you find out for yourself how you can best integrate the love and support of others into your journey, you’ll be fine.
It’s alright to enjoy having a smaller circle of friends than most people – as long as you have friends at all. If you find yourself surrounded by acquaintances you can’t really bring yourself to like or care about, then you need to get out there and make new friends.
Meet people online. Go the gym. Ask strangers questions in coffee shops and at the mall. Expose yourself to new and interesting ways to meet new people, and you may find yourself surprised at just how different we all are.
6. Worry Less
Finally, don’t worry too much about relapses. The thing about recovery is that it isn’t automatically over when you relapse – a relapse is not a failure. Rather, it’s a setback. Recovery fails when you stop trying to get better. When you’ve given up, that’s when all hope is lost. Give it your best, and you’ll find a way that works for you. It’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when.
Overcoming addiction is a challenging thing to accomplish and requires attention and energy. By exploring some of the tips for staying sober we’ve mentioned above, you may find it a little easier when things become difficult.
And, remember, you’re not alone in this.