Did you know that almost 30 million people in the US have an alcohol use disorder? Of these, few seek out the treatment they need, and even fewer start living a sober life.
In other words, if you’re dedicated to staying alcohol-free and reaping the sobriety benefits, congratulations! This choice can be difficult, but it comes with plentiful rewards.
There are many ways to live a sober life, but it always starts with a few key principles. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Create a Good Support System
One of the most important parts of a sober lifestyle is a good support system. As you move through recovery, find family members and friends you can lean on for support when you need it. Note that this may mean avoiding people who enable old habits or who don’t understand your wish to remain sober.
You may also want to consider joining a support group. A local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous can help you connect with people who have been where you are. Support from peers as well as a sponsor can be a good way to get through days when it’s hard to talk to friends and family.
Know the Warning Signs of Relapse
When you have a problem with alcohol, moving past it can be a journey that includes both hills and valleys. In moments of stress, it can be hard not to return to old habits, especially if you’re not aware of the warning signs.
Initial signs of a relapse might include added stress, especially due to situations outside your control. From there, it might get harder to stick to the plans and schedules you’ve made for yourself. You might even start to isolate yourself from friends and family members who support you.
If you’re worried about a relapse, make sure to get in touch with your support network. If needed, you can also seek help, including professional treatment from this link.
Avoid Risky Situations
It’s important to avoid triggering environments when you’re recovering from an alcohol use disorder. This may include places with triggering cues, from neighborhood bars to the homes of your old drinking buddies.
If you choose to attend social gatherings, find ways to minimize your risk. Try mocktails if you’d feel more comfortable looking like you’re drinking, for example, or offer to be the designated driver for the group.
Find New Habits
When you’re learning how to stay sober, new habits can help keep you busy and distracted. Meaningful hobbies, exciting exercise routines, and volunteering in your community can broaden your network and lead to fun new experiences. This, in turn, can help you replace old and unwanted habits.
You’ll also want to find new habits when it comes to stress. Coping strategies like phoning a loved one, doing breathing exercises, and trying meditation can help you move beyond rough patches in your day.
Start Living a Sober Life
Once you’ve started on your journey to get sober, it’s crucial to plan how you’ll start living a sober life. Though you’ll need to figure out how to implement them in your daily life, the tips above can help you with your recovery and manage your sobriety for years to come.
Need more essential guides like this one? Be sure to take a look at our other posts for additional insights.