So you’re sober. Now how do you stay sober? I’ve got loads of practical advice and tips to add to your sobriety toolbox which, will help you deal with the craziness of life, without reaching for the bottle.
It’s too easy to lose focus on what’s important. You have to remember to prioritise your own wellbeing to achieve a happy sober you and here’s how.
Getting sober is one thing but staying sober is a journey or a change in mindset which requires compassion and self-love. Many people come to sobriety with low self worth, anxiety and/or depression and believe staying sober is all about will power but it’s not.
It is actually vital that you treat yourself compassionately and reward yourself for this difficult thing you are doing.
Whether that’s a daily, weekly or monthly treat or a special treat for hitting a major (or minor) milestone. Just think how much money you are saving by not drinking. Here’s some ideas for a sober treat.
- Cake (my favourite)
- Buying a sober keepsake
- Clean sheets
- Fresh flowers
- Nice mocktail ingredients
- Meeting friends for coffee
- Buying a new scarf or stationery
Make Some ‘You’ Time.
It’s important to take some ‘you’ time. And before you start, I don’t believe for a minute you don’t have time for this. How many hours did you waste getting drunk or dealing with a hangover? Make sure you find a small amount of time, for just you. It will help you stay sober and everyone; friends and family, will benefit from a less stressed version of you.
- Take a relaxing bath
- Reading a good book
- Go for a walk
- Have an early night
- Book a spa
- Play video games
- Join a yoga class
- Delegate some chores
- Listen to some sober podcasts
To Stay Sober Avoid Overwhelm
Remember, your goal is to be sober. Don’t try to do too much in early sobriety. Prioritise your sobriety above everything else. This is not the time to start a diet and lose weight or commit to a new exercise regime or join the school PTA. You can always add more things in time but for now, keep things as simple as possible.
If you think things are getting on top of you, I recommend doing less for a while.
- Go outside, fresh air helps
- Don’t cook, get a take away
- Take a nap
- Leave the house work
- Say ‘no’ to new commitments
- Ask for help from a friend or love one
- Don’t think too far ahead. Just deal with today
- Cancel that party. There will be others
Reach Out to Stay Sober
If you can, lean on loved ones and your friends. Tell them how you are feeling, even if it seems trivial. Getting out of your own head is vital to staying sober. Talking to someone really helps reduce the noise in your head. Especially the noise that tells you to drink.
In the beginning I had no sober friends. Over my drinking career I had managed to surround myself with drinking friends only. However, there is still a whole load of support out there. There are people who get it, you just have to reach out.
- Go for coffee with a sympathetic friend
- Join an online sober group or post to an alcohol-free Facebook page. Anonymously, if needs be.
- Read some sober blogs on WordPress or Blogger. Reach out and contact someone you can relate to
- Go to an AA meeting, SMART Recovery Meeting or join a sober meet up group
- Talk to your doctor
- Write your own anonymous sober blog
If you are struggling or start to think drinking might be a good idea, try adding more support to your toolbox. Have a read of my Fading Affect Bias article. It explains why we forget how bad our drinking was and how we cannot trust our memories when we only see our drinking days through rose tinted glasses.
If your brain is saying joining an online sober group is dumb and won’t work for you. Tell yourself you are going to join anyway, then make your mind up after 3 months.
Remember, it’s not just one thing that will help, it’s a culmination of lots of things, big and small. There is no right or wrong tool here . If you are not sure which ones are working, keep doing them all for now. x
Photo Credit: Photo by Maxim Selyuk on Unsplash