Congratulations on completing the holidays sober! It's an amazing accomplishment and a significant step towards a healthier and happier life. However, staying sober can be difficult, especially in the early stages of recovery. No one promised it would be easy - but it's worth it!
Here are some tips to help you continue your sobriety:
Find a support system: It's crucial to have a support system in place to help you stay sober. This can include friends, family members, a sponsor, a therapist, or a support group. It's important to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support your sobriety. I've called out my "army" at times - therapist, family, sober friends, friends, 12-Step meetings and favorite priest/friend. We're in this together and believe me - we can't do this alone. Don't be afraid to reach out.
Develop healthy habits: One of the best ways to maintain sobriety is to develop healthy habits. This can include exercise, healthy eating, meditation, or any other activity that promotes your physical and mental well-being. These habits can really help you cope with stress and anxiety without turning to alcohol or drugs. Move a muscle - change a thought!
Avoid triggers: Triggers are situations, places, or people that can lead to a relapse. It's essential to identify your triggers and avoid them as much as possible. This can mean avoiding certain social situations or places where alcohol is present. I stayed away from our local convenience market for my first year because my go-to liquor store was located in the back of the store. Why tempt yourself? It was easier (and healthier) to send my husband or go somewhere else.
Stay busy: Boredom can be a trigger for relapse, so it's important to stay busy and engaged in activities that you enjoy. This can include hobbies, volunteering, or pursuing a new career or educational opportunity. You're going to find you have a lot more time on your hands, but also you'll feel less muddled and have more energy. These are good things! This is a great time to reconnect with your inner-self (or child) and have fun exploring and creating!
Take it one day at a time: Recovery is a lifelong journey, and it's important to take it one day at a time. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small, and don't be too hard on yourself if you experience setbacks. Remember that recovery is possible, and you are not alone in your journey.
Remember, staying sober is a challenging but rewarding journey. I remember someone saying to me early in sobriety, "You can have one thing (Iiquor) and lose it all. Or you can lose one thing (liquor) and have it all! And, with the right support, healthy habits, and mindset, you can continue to live a fulfilling and sober life. Enjoy and Happy New Year!