People have different reasons for wanting to get sober from substance abuse. Some begin having health problems and decide it’s a good time to quit. Other people are tired of waking up hungover or on a comedown – something that does not get easier as you get older.
On the more extreme end of the spectrum, some people ruin their lives through substance abuse, want to get sober but can’t, and struggle for a long time before finally reaching their goal.
Whatever your reason for wanting to adopt a sober lifestyle, there are things that you can do to make it easier for yourself. Start by reading our 12 tips for getting sober.
Tips for Getting Sober
1. Create a New Routine and Avoid Old Habits
One of the hardest things to do when trying to stay sober is changing your routine. For many people, drinking is a big part of their social lives. It can be hard to give up something that has been such a big part of your life for so long.
However, if you want to succeed in getting sober, you need to find new things to do and people to hang out with. This doesn’t mean that you have to change your life completely, but it does mean that you need to find new activities and hobbies that don’t revolve around drinking.
2. Identify Your Triggers
One of the first things you need to do when trying to stay sober is identify your triggers. Triggers are anything that make you want to drink. For some people, it might be certain places or situations, like being at a bar or a party. For others, it might be certain emotions, like feeling angry or stressed out. Remember, anger is a normal and natural emotion, but if you find yourself constantly angry, you should consider why, as it may lead to relapse.
3. Learn to Recognise Signs of Relapse
Relapse is when you start drinking again after being sober for a while. It can be hard to avoid relapse, but it’s important to try. There are usually warning signs before someone relapses. These warning signs can include changes in mood or behavior, like feeling more depressed or anxious than usual. If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to reach out for help from a friend or therapist.
While some people consider having at least one relapse to be a normal part of recovery from drugs and alcohol, having any relapses can be dangerous.
4. Stay Physically Active
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body when trying to stay sober. Exercise releases endorphins you may be lacking in following a period of substance abuse. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety and gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
5. Build a Network of Healthy Friends
When you’re trying to remain sober, it’s essential to have a support network. This could include friends, family members, or a therapist. These people can offer you emotional support and help you stay on track with your sobriety goals.
6. Sever Toxic Relationships and Create Healthy Relationships
One of the most important things you can do for your sobriety is to sever any toxic relationships in your life. These relationships, for example, with using and drinking buddies, can be a big trigger for relapse. It’s also important to create new friends and build supportive and positive relationships.
7. Structure Your Life
Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle is not conducive to staying sober. One of the best things you can do to stay sober is structure your life. This means having a set schedule and the same routine. It can be helpful to create a daily or weekly plan. This plan should include things like meals, exercise, activities, and work. Having a set schedule can help you stay on track and avoid triggers.
8. Practice Healthy Living
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people in recovery. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated are all important for staying sober.
Healthy living also means good mental health. If you find yourself struggling mentally, reach out to a friend or consider getting professional help. Without having good mental health, recovery from addiction is challenging.
9. Fix Your Finances
Financial problems are one of the most common triggers for relapse. If you’re having trouble with money, getting help is essential. Many organisations can help you with budgeting and financial planning.
10. Make Sure You Address HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired)
One of the most important things you can do for your sobriety is to ensure you’re taking care of yourself. This includes meeting your basic needs, like food, shelter, and sleep. It also includes staying connected to your support network and staying active. If you’re feeling lonely or angry, it’s important to reach out for help. And if you’re feeling tired, make sure you get some rest.
11. Take Part in Family Therapy
Having therapy with your family can be an important part of staying sober. This type of therapy can help you repair relationships with your family members. It can also help you learn to communicate and resolve conflict in a healthy way. Family therapy can be a great way to build a support system and stay on track with your sobriety goals.
12. Manage Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms are one of the most difficult things to deal with when you’re trying to get sober. These symptoms can include anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. It’s important to find healthy ways to cope with these symptoms. Exercise, relaxation techniques, and healthy eating can all help.
Mutual Support Groups for Staying Sober
Many people find that support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) help them address their substance use disorder. They do this by providing a program that helps clear the wreckage and the past. 12-step members also regularly go to meetings. This allows them to make sober friends and share their experiences, strength and hope.
When to Go for Addiction Treatment
While these tips may help some people get sober, if you have a severe alcohol or drug addiction, it may be time to seek professional help for substance abuse treatment.
When getting addiction treatment, you will have time to address the root cause of your substance abuse. You will also receive tips that will allow you to maintain robust mental health.
Going for treatment is considered by most people to be the best way to start your alcohol and drug recovery.
You Can Stay Sober
We hope you gained some benefit from these tips for staying sober. Overcoming substance addiction can be incredibly challenging, but it is absolutely worth it. Living a sober life is infinitely better than the life that you live when you are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
If you want to stop using substances and would like to address your behavioural and mental health issues, look no further than The Revoke Programme. This intensive outpatient program is fifteen hours a week, meaning that you can participate and still maintain your daily activities.