Congratulations! You’ve completed detox and treatment for your addiction. Now you’re wondering how to stay sober. Life-long sobriety is not impossible. Yet, it can feel that way to those who are starting their life over after suffering through addiction. Don’t despair. Life after addiction can be wonderful. Your brain and body needs time to heal from the damage caused by addiction. It’s important to give yourself time to establish healthy life habits and new coping skills. Your work has just begun.
If you’re recovering from an addiction, there are a few things you can do that may help you stay sober and avoid falling back into the addiction trap. Carefully review the following tips to stay sober while in the early stages of recover. These tips should help you stay on track.
1. Create small goals for yourself
You know where you want to be, but you need to get there. Setting goals can help you see a clear path to where you want to be, but don’t forget to start small. Break down your big goals into a series of smaller goals you can work towards. Small goals are easier to achieve and you’ll achieve them faster, giving you a sense of accomplishment. Once you start achieving the small goals, you’ll be on your way to where you want to be and will be able to reach your bigger goals before you know it. Many find a Relapse Prevention Plan helpful.
2. Eat healthier
Eating healthy is important for your body. It not only makes sure you’re as healthy as possible but can help you look and feel your best. Eating healthy and getting the right nutrients can help you feel like getting up and going every day, not just sleeping until you feel better. You will have more energy and your body will heal faster if you feed yourself with healthy foods. It can also help you avoid some of the issues addicts face while they’re recovering, such as insomnia.
3. Be more active
Being more active also helps you get up and going during the day and can help your body recover faster. You may find it’s easier to stick with a proper sleep schedule when you exercise during the day and you’ll have a healthier way to release frustrations or get rid of the stress you might be facing. Being more active and eating healthier are more than just a way to be healthy; they can help you mentally and physically recover from your addiction.
4. Do something creative
Boredom can often lead to a relapse. If you’re bored, you might call old friends to hang out, visit places where you used to be, or take other actions that could lead to using drugs again. Instead, if you find you’re bored while you’re at home and recovering or when you have extra time during the day, try to do something creative. Painting, knitting, playing an instrument, woodworking, gardening, and lots of other hobbies give you a creative outlet to prevent boredom. You might even find you have a natural talent for the hobby and really enjoy doing it.
5. Ask for help
There are plenty of people who may be able to help you when you need it. Therapists, family, and more may be able to help you if you find yourself struggling to avoid returning to your addiction. When you’re stressed, feeling like it’s too hard to stay sober, or feeling like you just need someone to talk to, turn to someone you can trust and who is looking out for your interests. They’ll be there to talk with you and help you through any issues.
6. Stick with a daily schedule
Many people who are recovering from an addiction find it’s best to stick with a very detailed daily schedule, at least during the beginning. This can help you see exactly what you should be doing during the day and can help you make sure you stay on task. Schedule the time you wake up, the time you’ll exercise, time for work and time for your hobbies to make sure your schedule is packed throughout the day.
Sticking with a schedule provides a sense of accomplishment as you hit the small goals you’ve set for yourself in terms of sticking with your schedule. Congratulations, you’ve done your workout, planned a great lunch, and had dinner with friends. All are terrific, small goals.
7. Attend a meeting
Regular attendance at a 12-step meeting serves many valuable purposes that aid your recovery. 12-step groups offer a welcoming, non-judgmental place to share your feelings, experiences, and fears with others in recovery. It’s a great place to make new people who share your goal of living a sober life.
Support group participation helps you form a peer network for support and provides an opportunity to find a sponsor. A sponsor offers advice and guidance as you work your program to maintain sobriety. 12-step groups are usually free of charge and open to anyone. Research suggests that those who attend support group meetings regularly have better success with long-term sobriety.
8. Celebrate your milestones
When you’re learning how to stay sober from drugs, you’ll have lots of milestones to get to and appreciate. Make sure you’re celebrating your milestones so you can see just how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished.
Celebrate big and small milestones and celebrate whether you’re alone or you’re with your family or friends. Your first day alone at home without relapsing is a huge accomplishment, and definitely something to celebrate. From there, you might celebrate a week sober, a month sober, a year sober, and so on.
These tips are not all going to work for everyone, but some of them might work for you. Using these and other ways to stay sober, you have a much better chance of reaching any sobriety goals you set and of avoiding falling back to your addiction. Start trying at least a few of these tips today to see how they might work for you and to work on finding out what is going to help you have the life you want.
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