There are many good tips for getting and staying sober from both professionals and people who have already made the journey from addiction to sobriety. Staying focused on the goal and incorporating good tips and strategies into your life will help assist you in achieving sobriety. Here is a list of tips to help you begin and stay the course:
- Make the commitment to remain sober for the rest of your life. Rid yourself of anything that had to do with using drugs or alcohol in the past. As you make the transition into sobriety, you may have to re-commit each day to align yourself with your goal. Eventually this commitment will become easier to accomplish.
- Set your sights on one day at a time and don’t try to do more than is realistically possible. Set a goal for each day and do it. It will give you a sense of self-control and advancement in reaching your ultimate goal of sobriety. The goal can be anything like going through your mail, paying bills, cleaning out a drawer, shopping for something you need, etc. Setting goals will re-establish purpose and structure in your life.
- Stay connected to all your support systems. Attend support group meetings consistently and make time to see your therapist or counselor to discuss concerns and problems with him or her. Also spend time with supportive family and friends who are interested in your recovery. Do not become disconnected and isolate yourself and become vulnerable to loneliness and depression.
- Listen to your true-self and not your addict-self. You were a different person when you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The addict-self will still want to use drugs or alcohol and it is up to you to determine whom you will listen to. Don’t be sabotaged by the addict-self but recognize his voice and refuse to listen to him.
- Being sober means starting to feel good again physically and mentally. Start to take care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating nutritious meals, drinking enough water and exercising. Addiction wears down the body and causes malnutrition and dehydration. Get a check-up and let your doctor determine if you are deficient in any nutrients that require supplementation. As your body strengthens and rebuilds itself your mind will also become clearer. Taking care of yourself will give you an extra boost in enjoying good health.
- Learn how to de-stress by using different techniques. Physical activity will strengthen and build up your body and also trigger the release of dopamine in the brain causing feelings of peace and well-being. Music therapy also causes you to relax and release dopamine into the brain. Meditation and yoga are relaxation techniques that stretch the body and soothe the mind. Prayer and praise will bring you to a higher state of consciousness and connection to God. Other methods of relaxing include reading a good book, playing an instrument, singing, dancing, writing, playing with children and animals, etc. Find what techniques work best for you.
- Don’t play the name, blame, shame game. Your addiction was not anyone’s fault and you should not be pointing a finger at other people. You should also not be blaming yourself either; it is counter-productive to do so. Don’t allow shame and guilt to make you feel sad and depressed. Whatever happened in the past should remain in the past. You have changed from the person you were then and this is a new beginning for you. Begin to celebrate the person you are becoming and learn to forgive and let go of the past.
- Develop healthy relationships with people who are sober and productive. Networking, interacting and partnering with others who are achieving their goals will make you more determined to achieve your own. Seek out friendships based on trust, love and support and always remember to stay true to yourself.
- Stay busy and try new things. Maybe you would like to go back to school or travel. Begin to enjoy life again and try to fulfill some of your dreams.
- Learn to be grateful for what you have and to be given a second chance at life.
Sobriety can begin at any age; it is never too late to start. Make your plans now to begin a new, sober and rewarding life.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.