Sober Strategies Playbook: Tips for Staying Sober

For someone struggling with their sobriety and learning a new way of life, this is one of the best exercises you can do. Having specific things you intend to achieve can motivate you to keep going. Your goals could be new milestones or old ones derailed by your addiction. It could be returning to school, starting a new career, or writing a book. Your goals give you something exciting to look forward to daily and serve as motivation in times of distress.

People in recovery can experience a lot of shame simply for having become addicted in the first place. Most people who make their way into recovery have left a lot of pain and suffering in their wake. Feeling guilty or ashamed of past behavior or actions during active addiction is natural and healthy. Financial troubles and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. Just keep in mind that your improvements won’t happen overnight. Depending on the type of dependency, PAWS can last from six months to two years after you stop using drugs or alcohol.

Ways Gratitude Can Help You Stay Sober

Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. Once you do return to work, it’s important to create a budget and take steps to safeguard yourself as work stress can be a relapse trigger. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. It is also important to seek help from a therapist.

  • Once you are happy and satisfied, it becomes easier to eliminate alcohol cravings.
  • To prevent a relapse, one of the best things you can do is manage your time wisely.
  • For today’s article, we’ll look at sobriety as a term to refer to the process of getting clean and staying clean, thus being able to navigate life healthily.

Eventually, a person often recognizes that they are losing control of their sobriety, which only drives them toward substance use. Some individuals start to exhibit compulsive behaviors, performing the same actions over and over, seemingly without reason. Impulsive behaviors may also develop, especially in moments of high stress. Remember, this is far from a complete list of triggers, so you may have to dive a bit deeper to recognize yours.

Make sure to get some exercise.

Staying substance-free is not an all-or-nothing scenario. One of the most important tips to staying sober is to focus on getting better and learning to push forward despite the difficult days. A relapse is not a moral failing or a sign that you’ll never be able to get sober. Though staying free, clean, and sober long-term is the main goal, your immediate focus should be developing healthy coping mechanisms and habits. These mechanisms and habits will be different for each person, so it’s important to figure out what works for you.

When you feel the pull to drink again, you can stay sober by reading up on what’s happening in your head that’s making you think you want to drink. Have an open mind, but for a few of us in recovery, this does work. When you catch yourself thinking of drinking, of wanting nothing more than to have one glass of whiskey, then stop and close your eyes. Take that thought and imagine it as a fish and let it float out of your vision.

Identify Your Personal Triggers

Not only does this put you in a safe space to keep your mind off cravings, but it’s a reserved space that forces you to be proactive. Lift weights, run the treadmill, or utilize the pool to swim laps. A large network of support is necessary to stay sober, but your biggest supporter needs to be you. Often times, when we start to feel the pull of liquor, calling us to a relapse, it’s because we start thinking of the “good” times (which were bad times but with rose-tinted, tunnel vision). Instead, be present, look at the things around you and identify only facts.

staying free staying clean sober

Triggers can also be family members, weekends, paydays, or anything that creates a physical, emotional or physiological craving. If you must be in the presence of alcohol, bring your sponsor or another person of support with you. Develop the skillset to ‘tell on yourself.’ Whatever you’re doing, thinking and feeling, must be reported. Feelings that aren’t shared or debriefed become unhealthy behaviors, ending in relapse. Enlarge your support network by inviting safe, experienced people into your circle. At first, your emotions will seem big and overwhelming.

However, these meetings may not fulfil the needs of everyone. Some people find it hard to rely on a fellowship program. Below are ways you can quit drinking without this mutual fellowship.

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