Top Tips for Staying Sober
Going sober and staying sober is a journey, and one that is not always easy! But with the right tools in your Sober Toolbox you can learn ways to stay on track, build confidence and grow as a person. As you get further into your sobriety you will find that you reach for the right tool at the right time automatically and will often not even realise you are using them. In the early days though, it takes a bit of practice. Here are our Top Tips for Staying Sober that you can use to keep your sobriety in check and stay on the right path.
1. know your why
When embarking on a journey of sobriety, it is vital that you know your why. If you haven’t already, write your reasons for wanting to go, and stay sober. List them out in the first few pages. You may find you only have only listed a few reasons at the beginning but remember you can always add to it. Take this out and read over them in the morning and evening as affirmations in the early days. If you are further into your sobriety but feel yourself starting to wobble, go back to your affirmations and maybe add some of the benefits you are experiencing now you are sober. This is a powerful tool to keep you on track.
The benefits of meditation are numerous, with many doctors and medical professionals recommending meditation to their patients. Some of the benefits of meditation include:
- Reduced depression and anxiety (including social anxiety)
- Significantly reduced stress
- Increased concentration
- Improved mood
- Reduced ADHD and PTDS symptoms
- Increased creativity
- Improved attention
- Reduced brain activity
- Emotional stability
- Increased focus
- Decreased insomnia
There are so many benefits to incorporating meditation into your everyday life and not just in recovery. We have made meditation and mindfulness part of our programme due to it being such a powerful tool to have in your Sober Toolbox.
3. buILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
Building a support network is vital for long term sobriety. Talk to family and friends about your sobriety, tell them why it is important to you and ask that they support you. It is worth noting that friends and family may not necessarily be there to give you the support you need. This can be upsetting and frustrating but should in no way stop you sticking to a path of sober living. Find support groups and networks of people on the same journey as you. Facebook and Instagram are great places to meet new sober friends and sober events are starting to pop up everywhere. If you join Totiuss you will have a readymade women only support group full ladies on the same journey as you. You are never alone.
Journaling is another powerful tool to have in your sober toolbox. Using journaling as a form of therapy and a tool that our psychiatrist Zoe Owl promotes. Journaling has numerous benefits for promoting good mental health and as a recovery tool. Some of the benefits of journaling include:
- Stress relief
- Lessens feelings of anxiety
- Brings about a feeling of accomplishment
- Provides a way to focus on goals
- Promotes inner peace
- Encourages emotional awareness
- Allows you to see things from a different perspective
Journaling your thoughts and feelings is a great release and helps you make sense of your emotions and come to terms with the past. There are many forms of journaling to explore so it’s always great to research and find a method that feels right for you. If you don’t know where to start, try gratitude journaling. The Six Minute Diary is a firm favorite of ours if you want guidance and is a quick and easy way to get started.
5. GET ACTIVE
Exercise is one of the healthiest things you can do for your body and mind and is a must in any sober tool kit! When you exercise your brain releases endorphins which make you feel good. Some of the benefits of incorporating exercise into your routine include:
- Reduction in stress
- Improved sleep
- Increased energy
- Improved mood
- Reduced cravings
- Stronger immune system
- Reduced anxiety
If you join the Totiuss you will also benefit from access to guided workouts and yoga classes. Make exercise part of your sobriety toolbox. Hit the gym, jump in the pool, take a exercise class or get outside for a hike – go get those endorphins flowing!
6. Celebrate your milestones
Whether you are 7 days, 1 month or 1 year sober, celebrating your milestones is a great way to stay on track. There are many apps available to help you keep track of your sober milestones or you can keep track of your sober days in your journal. Treat yourself to something when you hit big milestones such as the bag you had your eye on or an experience to remember. Rewarding yourself when you hit milestones reinforces that you are doing well and keeps you on track.
7. check in with your emotions
Emotions can creep up on us, and if left unchecked can lead to cravings and relapse. If you feel yourself craving alcohol, stop and think about your emotions. How are you feeling? Bored, upset, angry? How does your body feel? Are your shoulders tense? Are you struggling to sit still? Knowing which emotions lead to your cravings means you can recognise them and have a tool from your sober tool kit ready when you need it.
8. consider therapy
Therapy is a safe way to discuss your struggles, thoughts, and feelings honestly with a trained professional. Seeking the help of a can help you identify the root causes of your alcohol use, repair your relationships, and learn healthier coping skills and how to deal with triggers that could cause you to relapse.
9. RESEARCH ALCOHOL
Arming yourself with knowledge around alcohol and it’s affects is key to staying sober. When you truly understand alcohols affects on your health and why its so addictive it helps you understand why your drinking became a problem in the first place. This knowledge helps re affirm why you have set yourself on a path of sobriety and the many benefits you will receive from removing it from your life. Reading real person accounts is another way of feeling less alone. So make sure you add reading to your sober tool box, there are many incredible books on alcohol and sobriety available. Try This Naked Mind by Annie Grace or The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray. Both are fantastic books to get you started.
You hear the phrase ‘one day at a time’ allot on sober circles, and for good reason. It means that despite what stressful circumstances you may be facing in life, and regardless of what happened yesterday, you are making the conscious choice to carry on in your commitment to sobriety. Looking too far into the future can also be daunting. It may trigger feelings of ‘missing out’ and you may start to think of the “good” times when you drank (which let’s face it, more often than not were bad times your just recalling it with rose tinted glasses!) which will in turn trigger cravings. Instead focus on today and pledge to remain sober today, whatever it takes. Often when you wake up the following day, all the things that made today hard will no longer be there.