Getting sober is an incredible achievement. The road to sobriety requires tough choices and deciding to take yourself seriously.
After becoming sober, the next goal is to remain that way. Read on to discover how to live a sober life.
1. Stay with the Right Friends
The right friends make all of the difference. These friends support your goals and accept you for who you are.
We have a few close friends who make us better individuals. They celebrate our successes instead of envying us. Close friends don’t enjoy your misery.
Be honest with them about your road to sobriety. Ask your friends for help and accountability as you transition to addiction recovery.
2. End Toxic Relationships
Close friends will help you on the road to sobriety. However, toxic friends can revert you to your old ways. You may have met a few drinking buddies during your addiction. Surrounding yourself with drunks makes it more challenging to live a sober life.
When you become sober, you cannot risk losing control. A single day of drinking can reawaken the addiction.
Toxic relationships extend beyond drinking buddies. If someone causes you stress or makes you feel bad about yourself, cut them from your life. Negative emotions and stress play significant roles in fueling addictions.
Some people are more challenging to let go of than others. Ending minor relationships first makes it easier to end more significant relationships.
Some relationships take years to end. In these cases, only spend time with these friends outside of the bar and other tempting venues.
If the temptation is not present, you cannot break your sobriety at that moment. If talking with an addicted friend hurts your progress, end that relationship. There are plenty of great people in the world, and your life is too important to return to drinking.
3. Change Your Habits
Habits lead addicts down to the wrong path. Removing and replacing habits in your life will help you recover and live a sober life. Manipulating one of the three stages of a habit will set you on the road to sobriety.
The three stages of a habit are the cue, routine, and reward. A cue triggers a routine. If you see the TV remote, that may act as a cue to turn on the TV.
The routine is what happens after the cue. In this example, you grab the remote, sit on the couch, and turn on the TV.
The reward is what happens after fulfilling the routine. The reward, in this case, is watching the current program.
“Reward” in this case describes the result of your routine. Some results are good while others are bad.
If you want to stop watching TV, you can make the remote more difficult to reach. This change eliminates the cue.
If you want to stop the routine, make it more difficult to sit on your coaches. Put the pillows in a different room, so it is less enjoyable to sit down. Changing how you feel about the routine makes you less likely to follow through.
Canceling your TV subscriptions minimizes the reward. Selecting from fewer channels makes watching TV less enjoyable.
You can apply these same strategies to remove an addiction from your life. Identify cues, routines, and rewards, and change your thinking around each one. Changing your habits is vital for long-term sobriety.
4. Forgive Yourself
On the road to sobriety, former addicts often think of their past behavior. They relive the mistakes and think in misery about the years they spent drinking.
Some addicts become sober because of a life-changing event such as a death in the family. Especially gruesome events can fill a recovering addict with guilt. This same guilt can lead people back to abusive substances.
A sober life acknowledges the past while understanding the person you have become. It’s natural to wish you made better decisions in the past.
However, you must also forgive yourself. Accept who you are in this very moment.
Understand that you are not perfect and never will be. The goal isn’t to become perfect but to become a better person.
5. Help Others
Many people plunge into addictions because they become self-centered. An addict’s problems become so overwhelming that addictions seem like the only escape.
When you help others, you take a selfless approach. You care for others and actively support people in your community.
Volunteering at local non-profits puts you in a position to help others. Search for local non-profits that align with your objectives. Volunteering for these causes is a worthwhile activity for anyone.
6. Pursue Your Passions
Before embracing sobriety, many addicts see drinking as a way to cope and have a fun time. If a recovering addict stops enjoying life, they will return to their addictions.
Pursuing your passions will help you live a more enjoyable and fulfilling life. If you can’t identify a passion, write a list of things you enjoy doing. Expand that list by including your childhood hobbies.
This activity can reignite forgotten dreams. The excitement of pursuing a passion will help with your sobriety.
7. Exercise Often
Staying happy is an essential part of staying sober. Exercise releases natural chemicals through your body that boost happiness.
You don’t have to exercise like an Olympian to receive the benefits. A few stretches or simple yoga go a long way towards boosting your happiness.
Exercising gives you goals and a measuring stick for self-improvement. If you run 10 miles this week, try to run 12 miles the following week. As you see improvements, you will become happy with your progress.
As you build up, set challenges to reinforce your exercising. Some people aspire to run a local 5k at some point in their lives. Some people who run the 5k then aspire to run a marathon in the future.
8. Write Your Thoughts in a Journal
Writing your thoughts in a journal helps get the trauma out of your head. Anything written on paper will take up less space in your mind.
You can use journal entries to reaffirm your road to sobriety. You can also catch yourself when you do something right. Too many people let the negative thoughts fester in their minds.
Journaling eliminates negative thoughts. It also gives you more space to acknowledge positive thoughts.
9. Take Some Time to Relax
Stress is a common cause of substance abuse. Life will throw stressful situations at us on the road to sobriety.
Giving yourself some time to relax each day gives you space to cast away the stress. Set a time where you will stop working for the rest of the day. Give yourself some alone time or spend time with friends depending on what you prefer.
A quick walk through nature can leave you feeling refreshed. Brief breaks like these leave you better prepared for life’s challenges.
Alleviating some of the stress won’t eliminate stress from your life. However, abusive substances will no longer be the default response.
10. Eat Healthy
A healthy body makes way for a healthy mind. Eating healthy strengthens your mind and makes you more conscious of your health.
Eating healthy requires staying away from abusive substances. These substances are unhealthy and contradict your healthy lifestyle.
Setting health goals will bolster your commitment to staying healthy. You can set goals such as only eating 24 grams of sugar per day. Track your progress in a spreadsheet. Challenge yourself to achieve a personal record each day.
If you ate 24 grams of sugar yesterday, challenge yourself only to eat 20 grams of sugar today. Reviewing food labels and reviewing your meals will promote a healthy lifestyle.
11. Find a Peer Support Group
The road to sobriety is a noble quest. Surrounding yourself with people on that same journey makes it easier to maintain.
You can find several peer support groups filled with people striving to remain sober. You can find groups tailored to specific groups such as parents, single men, and other groups.
A peer support group will add accountability to your sobriety goals. These groups are vital for people without close friends to keep them accountable.
Want a Fresh Start for Your Sobriety?
Finding an effective support group for sobriety will help you ditch the addictions. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will help you achieve your goals.
Taste Recovery provides a safe refuge for recovering addicts on the road to sobriety. We are eager to help you rediscover yourself, so you never touch a drink again. Contact us today to see how we can help.