Making the decision to get sober is the first step, but staying sober is something you will have to work towards throughout your life. It is easy to go back to old habits, especially with alcohol always at your disposal. With long-term success, it is inevitable to have setbacks. However, how you overcome these setbacks will determine your success in staying sober.
When it comes to sobriety, and staying on your sober journey, it is important to create a strategy for your success. Sobriety is not one size fits all. Find what triggers you and make a plan to avoid these triggers. It could be a place, situation, or things, whatever the case may be, it is important to identify what can take you back to the dark place you worked so hard to get out of.
There are a few key strategies that will help you stay sober and focused on your journey. Continue reading to learn more about each strategy and how to best implement them into your life.
1. Stay Away From Triggers
Like we touched on above when on your sober journey you must first identify what triggers you. If you are trying to stay alcohol-free, hanging out at bars or nightclubs may not be the best way to stay focused on your goal. Specific people may be a trigger for some, and it may be healthier to leave those people in your past. Keep alcohol and other substances that may trigger you out of your house and anywhere you see fit.
Starting fresh and bringing healthier habits into your life can help you tremendously with your sober lifestyle. Surrounding yourself with motivating and positive people who want to see you succeed is important. These lead us to our next steps.
2. Create Healthy Habits
Creating healthy habits and transitioning into a healthy lifestyle is important to keep you focused on the positive things in your life. Most people before sobriety are not choosing healthy habits that are benefiting their mind and body. Misusing alcohol and drugs on an extensive level can take a large negative toll on someone’s physical, emotional and mental health.
Here is a list of things you can begin to incorporate into your healthy and sober lifestyle:
- Exercise regularly
- Healthy eating habits
- Yoga/ meditation
- Getting enough rest
- Pick up a new hobby
- Find a job you love
Fueling your body and mind, while picking up a new hobby are all things that will keep you positive and focused on your long-term goals.
3. Build Your Support Network
Because people from our past can be triggers for some, surround yourself with people who want you to succeed. This doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with people who are not sober. Although, the people you choose as your friends should be supportive of your choices and new lifestyle. Find the friends and family members you can trust, and lean on them when you begin to slip into a dark place. These are the people who are going to help to keep you focused and keep your mindset in the right direction.
There are also so many different outlets to meet people who are on a similar journey. Finding a support group can be easier when you are on your sober journey. This is because they can relate on a physical and emotional level. If you are in the South Florida area, visit Harm Reduction Center to find people just like you who are also working towards the same goals.
4. Create a Schedule
Before sobriety, your lifestyle might have looked chaotic and disorganized. You may have felt as if you were no longer in control of yourself or your life. Running late to meetings or parties, or not showing up all together probably happened much too frequently. When you are alcohol dependent, sleep does not come naturally or at healthy times.
Developing a structured daily and weekly schedule can help get you and your life back on track. Even if you want to start slow, making sure you have a solid sleeping schedule is a great place to begin. We all need proper sleep to function, and if you can get this under control first, everything else will come naturally. After, begin creating a healthy work schedule and adding in exercise and leisure activities. This will bring structure and stability back into your life, which is vital for someone on a sober journey.
5. Celebrate Your Sober Victories
If you went through the traditional 12-step program, you know about each milestone victory and how it all works. When you are living your new sober lifestyle, and you get caught up in your schedule and your routines, it is easy to let these small victories pass with no recognition. These small victories should not go unnoticed, because this is what keeps you motivated.
Celebrate your milestones with your loved ones and remember why you chose this journey in the first place. Just as important as it is for others to be supportive of your journey, you should be so proud of how far you have come.
To Sum it Up
Everyone has their own reasons why they decided to get the help they needed to begin their sober lifestyle. As tough as that may have been, the hardest part is sticking with this lifestyle change. Most people can’t do it alone and should create a plan to help guide them through this journey. Every day may be a struggle, but implementing some of these strategies into your life can help you stay on track and reach your goals.