Recovery does move in not a straight line. It is a process by which a person develops the skills and strength needed to facilitate a life of sobriety. If you are interested in discovering how you can improve your chances of remaining sober, here are some best practices you may want to consider. Take a look at the top 10 tips to get sober to help you through this journey.
Tip #1 Recognize the Warning Signs of Relapse Before it Occurs
Chances are you didn’t wake up one day and decide to get a substance abuse disorder. It probably developed slowly overtime. At a more innocent time,you may have shrugged it off and convinced yourself that you were in control. After a while, your addiction become so apparent you knew something was wrong.
Now that you are in recovery, being able to recognize how certain environmental triggers, or dangerous behaviors are your best defense for preventing a relapse.
Here are some tell-tale signs you should take note of:
- Recurrence of addictive thoughts
- Engaging in compulsive behaviors (such as compulsive eating and spending)
- Making lots of plans and being unable to follow through
- Spending time with people are actively using drugs
- Returning to unhealthy or even abusive relationships
- Feelings of wanting an escape to your current situation or environment
- Illusions of being able to manage your drug use
Tip #2 Enroll into Treatment
If you are dealing with drug or alcohol dependency and have tried several times to quit on your own but have not been successful, you are doing things the hard way. Detoxification, or cleansing the body of harmful substances is at best difficult to do alone and at worst deadly.
A rehabilitation center is a safe– drug-free environment. You will haveaccess to medication and24/7 support frommedical staff.
Once detox has been completed, the second phase of treatment begins. Individuals will find themselves spending several hours a day attending recovery-oriented programs and staying in a sober living home or facility.
In an outpatient program, the person attends treatment for a few hours each week. They work with addiction counselors and other medical staffto continue their treatment while managing their sobriety at home.
The primary advantages of this treatment type are its support and accountability. While a part of the program, the person is given the control back however, they are still expected test clean and attend their appointments regularly.
Tip #3 Stay Involved in Your Recovery Program
Recovery is a journey that lasts a lifetime. That’s why the general attitude of being committed to your sobriety should begin in treatment.
Show Up and Be Present
Regularly attending counseling promotes a recovery mindset. But in order to improve, it’s important to show up and participate. If you are drifting out of consciousness during a workshop or holding back during group meetings–you are missing out on the opportunity to gain a new skill or perspective
Take Responsibility for Your Progress
When times are bad, there is a tendency to look for problems outside ourselves. In a defensive move, individuals may begin to blame counselors, family, or members of their recovery group for their difficult time with sobriety. It is important to recognize that staying sober requires a personal commitment. It is not something anyone else is responsible for.
Tip #4 Learn to Identify and Manage Stressors in Your Life
Sometimes we bring our work stress home; other times we bring our family problems to work. Unfortunately stress compounds and after a while it can feel like it’s coming from all directions. Sometimes it’s best to just stop what you are doing, pull yourself out of the moment and figure out what the stressor is and how to deal with it.
It is true that some things we will never control. You may not be able to fix every aspect of your life that is causing you anxiety, but by identifying the triggers and setting healthyboundaries you should begin to see an improvement.
Tip #5 Have an Air-Tight Routine
Managing Stress Levels
Adhering to daily routines can have many benefits for your mental health. One study from Tel Aviv University found that healthy amounts repetitive behaviors can help to lower stress levels (Eliam Et al., 2011).
Promoting Healthy Habits
Often bad habits develop as a means of avoidance to life’s challenges. At their worst they break down an individual’s resistance–leading back into lifestyle choices which threaten sobriety. Keeping daily routines help us to better manage our lives which teaching us impulse control.
Tip #6 Have Creative Outlets
Whether you are angry, sad, anxious, or even happy, having just one creative outlet can help to channel those feelings in a more productive arena. According to an article from Psychology today, creative outlets can reduce feelings of shame, create pathways for processing traumatic experiences, help with emotional regulation and provide relief for those who are dealing with loss (Sack, 2017).
Tip #7 Build a solid support network
If you are a part ofa recovery community, you have no doubt experienced how a social support network works. As part of a sober living program, your counselors, sponsors, and peersare part of your social support network.
As you expand your support network out, you find people that are willing your personal boundaries, encourage you to stay sober, can provide emotional support and are invested in your success.
Online Social Support Networks
Sober grid, I Am Sober and Loosid are just a few sober community apps that have vibrant online recovery networks. This can be great for people looking to share their experiences, expand their sphere of support or are moving or traveling and want to connect to other sober individuals.
Sober grid: https://www.sobergrid.com/
Tip #8 Get involved in Your Community
The hyper vigilance that comes with maintaining sober living can make it hard to consider other people and their problems. The good news is that there are plenty of opportunities to make an impact by volunteering where you live such as: your local church, community center or food pantry.
Tip #9 Practice Mindfulness
A great slacker once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” (Hughes & Jacobson, 1986).
Practicing mindfulness means reflecting on one’s own actions, thoughts, and feelings in the present moment. It means stepping back from the knee-jerk reactions that get us into trouble and disrupt our recovery.
Tip #10 Celebrate Your Progress
If you are a part of a 12-step or an AA program you are probably familiar with sobriety chips. These totems are more than just simple trifles.They have great significant to the people who earned them.
Sometimes while at our low points, it can be easy to forget how far we’ve come. But being negative is exhausting. Wouldn’t you rather be spending that energy somewhere else ?Spending time to commemorate your recovery milestones will give you the energy to keep working towards your goals and stay sober
Track Your Progress Through Your Phone
- Nomo is an app that helps you track and share your sobriety clock with others. The “accountability partners” feature will connect you to trusted contacts if you feel at risk of using.
- WE connect sends daily reminders to your phone or smart device to help you track your recovery plan. You can also contact your counselor or sponsor and keep track of recovery related appointments.
- Strides tracks your recovery progress and as a unique feature empowers you to create and customize four different recovery tracker types and receive milestone alerts based on your progress.
Nobody should have to go through addiction alone. Contact us now at 887-468-0857 to learn about a variety of recovery resources available to you.
Eilam, D., Izhar, R., Mort, J., (2011)Threat detection: Behavioral practices in animals and humans, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Volume 35, Pages 999-1006, ISSN 0149-7634, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2010.08.002
Hughes, J. (1986). Ferris Bueller’s day off. Hollywood, CA; Paramount Pictures. Sack, D. (2017, October 24). 7 ways creativity Supports addiction recovery. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201710/7-ways-creativity-supports-addiction-recovery.