Becoming sober is a feat that requires dedication, support, and education. Once a person is sober, their journey continues as the person sustains their sobriety.
Therefore, it is important to develop the skill sets required to become sober and to maintain that state.
If you’re in the process of maintaining your sobriety, there are some practical tips you can use to maintain your lifestyle. In this article, we will cover:
- What sobriety means
- Practical tips for maintaining sobriety
- What you can do to help yourself in your recovery
- The first stages of recovery.
Let’s get into it.
What Is Sobriety?
Sober is a term used to describe a state of sobriety or abstinence from drugs, including alcohol.
While being sober may mean different things for different people, most people regard sobriety as complete freedom from the use of alcohol, for instance.
If you’re considering sobriety for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to understand the meaning of the term and the benefits it can bring to your life.
How To Stay Sober
There is no doubt that becoming sober is one of the biggest accomplishments someone can achieve in their life.
However, staying sober is almost equally as challenging as becoming sober in the first place, and requires substantial long-term hard work and dedication.
Educate yourself about addiction and recovery
Educating yourself about how addiction and recovery work are both crucial elements to staying sober. Addiction is a complex disease that requires more than just willpower to overcome.
By educating yourself about addiction, you can better understand its causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
You’ll learn how drugs or alcohol affect your brain chemistry and why it’s so difficult to quit using them once you’ve become addicted, which can then help you change behaviors and develop coping skills for stressors in life without relying on substances.
Identify and avoid triggers: people, places, or things associated with substance use
For most people who have dealt with addiction, their drug and alcohol use is closely associated with certain friends, places, or events.
This means that these places or people can be triggering for those who have dealt with addiction in the past.
Avoiding these triggers can be challenging, but serves as one of the best safety blankets to maintain sobriety.
Engage in regular physical activity
Engaging in regular physical activity is beneficial for your body and mind. It also has been shown by numerous scientific studies to help increase abstinence, decrease withdrawal symptoms, and reduce anxiety.
Exercise also helps to increase endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in our brains. This helps to elevate mood and prevents relapse during challenging times.
Integrating physical activity into your life may be as simple as walking around the block. Once you get more confident, you can try more challenging exercises such as joining a gym or starting to run.
Keep a journal to track progress and feelings
Keeping a journal to track your progress and feelings as you work to stay sober is a valuable tool for maintaining your sobriety.
Keeping a journal can help you honestly reflect on emotions and thoughts related to your journey. This helps you deeply explore the reasons that led you to want to stay sober and how sobriety is impacting your life.
Additionally, taking note of situations, places, or people that trigger your cravings for substances can help you understand these triggers to avoid them or develop coping strategies.
Learn to manage stress and emotions effectively
One of the main triggers for drug use is negative emotions and stress.
During recovery, it is important to honestly reflect on these emotions and identify them early on. This will help you implement healthy coping strategies to deal with them.
Developing mechanisms to cope with negative emotions is one of the most important things you can do during recovery.
For many people, talking about our emotions with a loved one can help, whereas for others exercise or meditation can be effective.
Use positive affirmations and visualization techniques
Both positive affirmations and visualization techniques can be effective tools to help you remain sober.
They help to reinforce your commitment to sobriety and promote a positive mindset to motivate you to achieve your goals.
Visualizing your goals can also be a powerful tool to use. Simply imagining yourself in the future living a sober and fulfilling life can be a strong motivator.
Attend therapy or counseling sessions
Therapy and counseling sessions can help you identify negative emotions and triggers that can prevent you from maintaining your sober life.
They can also help you manage the underlying emotions or trauma that drove your addiction in the first place.
Many therapists specialize in addiction treatment and can help you develop positive skills to maintain sobriety.
Develop a daily routine and stick to it
Unpredictability and instability can negatively impact sobriety. Consistency and structure can help you avoid triggers and stay focused on your recovery goals.
Try to set yourself positive tasks to achieve each day, such as eating a good meal, or engaging in socializing and exercising. This consistency is key to maintaining sobriety.
Normalizing positive behaviors is important early in recovery to make them a habit.
Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing
Learning to implement relaxation techniques into your daily routine can help reduce negative feelings of stress and anxiety that can trigger relapse.
It is important to identify what relaxation techniques work for you best before you experience these triggering emotions.
Relaxation techniques may be as simple as deep breathing or could involve listening to calming music or spending time outside.
Find new hobbies and interests
Boredom is one of the driving factors for relapse. Finding new hobbies is a great way to keep your mind busy, and positively expend your energy.
If you have had hobbies in the past such as a sport or an instrument, then this is a great time to reignite that flame.
On the other hand, trying a brand new activity is a great way to meet new people and to keep your mind occupied.
Stay accountable to a sponsor or mentor in recovery
Sometimes a commitment to ourselves is not quite enough. A mentor can help provide guidance, support, and a structured framework to help you stay on track and keep you accountable.
Your sponsor or mentor can also provide guidance and support during times of crisis or when you’re struggling with cravings or triggers.
It is important to choose someone who you trust and respect, and who you can work alongside without becoming fully dependent on.
Celebrate milestones and achievements in your sobriety journey
Sobriety is an incredible achievement that comes with many ups and downs. It can be easy to lose track of how far we’ve come during this journey and to forget how hard we have worked.
Celebrating milestones, no matter how big or small, is a great way to remind us of this.
It also helps us to look at the big picture and keeps us motivated during this journey. Keeping a journal is a great way to look back and see just how far we’ve come.
Staying sober is a commitment that takes dedication, work, and sufficient support.
Although there are some things you can do to help you stay sober, you must learn what works best for you!
Most people will find that negative emotions and triggering environments are harmful to their sobriety journey, and learning to manage these is a key skill.
Some helpful tools include focusing on new hobbies, engaging in exercise, reflecting on your journey, and focusing on your strengths. It is always important to remember how far you have come and set yourself goals you can stick to.
What is a person of sober habits?
A person with sober habits is someone who abstains from the use of alcohol or drugs.
These people achieve sobriety by creating habits that free them of the influence of substances that can lead to addiction.
Being sober typically involves a commitment to sobriety and may be associated with various principles and practices to maintain a healthy and balanced life.
These may include exercise, meditation, and hobbies that help someone to remain sober.
What is a sober lifestyle?
A sober lifestyle refers to a way of living that prioritizes and allows for abstinence from the use of alcohol and drugs.
A sober lifestyle includes abstinence along with avoidance of the environment and people associated with addiction, to help them maintain sobriety.
People living a sober lifestyle involve a high level of commitment to recovery and self-care.
What is the first stage of recovery?
There are many stages to recovery. For most people, the first stage of recovery in sobriety involves both acknowledgment and acceptance.
In these initial phases, the person needs to acknowledge that there is a problem with substance use or addiction.
They then must accept the need for change. Both of these phases are crucial to start the process of recovery and is a challenging first step for most people.