How to Live a Happy Sober Lifestyle After Recovery
Are you fresh out of recovery? Don’t miss out on these 11 tips to help you live happily in your substance free lifestyle. Read on for sober lifestyle advice.
Sobriety comes as a shock to most people. When you’ve lived in a fuzzy world, under the influence of drugs or alcohol for so long, the sharpness of reality can be stressful.
But there is a way past the initial shock and awe of sobriety. And there is a way to live a happy and awesome life while remaining sober.
And we’d like to show you exactly how it’s done. Here you’ll find a guide to keep you on track toward a happy and healthy sober lifestyle.
1. Maintain a Sober Lifestyle by Allowing Time for Transition
You just got out of treatment and you’re in recovery. It’s a time for transition. And if you make it through, you’re golden, right?
Not so fast. You aren’t in the treatment environment anymore. And recovery is a life long process.
The rate of relapse in drug addiction is a lot like other diseases like hypertension. Your risk of relapse will always remain. But you can mitigate that risk by transitioning in the rest of your life over time.
It takes time to heal after your treatment. You need a support system outside of the treatment facility and many people don’t have that.
A good counselor will make a plan you need to follow. They will build in “trigger” coping plans so that you can avoid relapse. And be prepared to recall what you learned in treatment at any time.
Have sayings and soothing thoughts written on cards and keep them in your pocket where they are easily accessible. Keep a friend on speed-dial. Do whatever you can to help yourself through tougher days in recovery transition.
2. Keep Friends on Speed-Dial
When you were on the other side, you might have had your drug dealer or your drinking buddy on speed-dial. Now that those people are gone, it’s time to replace them with people who can help you.
If you have friends or family who were by your side while addicted, reach out to them. Thank them. And see if they want to hang out.
Once you rebuild those relationships, you can begin to create a support network. A support network is necessary for maintaining a sober lifestyle.
Being alone is good. But being alone too often can lead to isolation and potentially, relapse. Surround yourself with supportive people who may have experience overcoming addiction.
12-step programs and treatment programs go hand-in-hand. And many treatment programs will actually encourage you to attend 12-step recovery meetings as an extra layer of support beyond the treatment therapy sessions.
Humans find comfort in shared troubles and success. When we know someone can truly empathize with our situation, we have hope that we too can make it through another day.
If you find a support group you like, stick to it. They will have events and help you stay connected to your community. The people around you make a huge difference in determining whether you will succeed in your new life of sobriety.
3. Never Test Your Boundaries
You will always fall if you jump. There will be no angels to keep you from striking your foot on those rocks at the bottom. So why even get near the edge?
The temptation is real. And you might be tempted when you least expect it. But why would you ever add to your troubles?
You might tell yourself, “I’ve gone through recovery. I can handle myself. Maybe I’ll call Frank (your old drinking buddy) and see if he wants to hang.”
Unless your old drinking buddy is on the wagon too, it’s best to avoid people from your past life while using. Another addict who hasn’t realized they have a problem will only tempt you to relapse. And it’s a risk you should never take.
There are plenty of people in the world who won’t tempt you to relapse. Stick with them. They will show you how to live a lifestyle free from substance abuse.
4. Create a Routine and Stick to It
A sober lifestyle is dependent on structure. Without structure, you become listless.
When you’re up against the myriad of daily choices in life, you experience what’s called analysis paralysis. Some people think that having no structure is great. That is, they think it’s great until they experience it.
When you wake up in the morning and have no routine set, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Each decision you have to make tires your brain just a little.
President Obama shared his biggest productivity secret with the world once. What is it? Make as few inane decisions as possible.
Obama would wear either a gray or blue suit. He refused to make decisions about the small things. Instead, he just put those decisions into an automatic routine so his brain had the energy to make other more important decisions.
Adopting this kind of approach is crucial. Relegate the small things to a routine. If you do this, you are more likely to have the mental strength to lead a sober lifestyle.
You won’t stall on which shirt to wear or whether to take a walk or watch TV. You’ll already have your routine down.
5. Make Time for Excercise
Not only is getting exercise good for you, it will help you keep a sober lifestyle. Exercise does this amazing thing to our bodies. It helps us maintain our circadian rhythms.
Your addiction was something you used to replace healthy things in your life. And when your circadian rhythm is off, your body starting craving something without understanding.
What your body really needs is healthy outputs like exercise to put it back on track. But your brain was trained wrong to think your body is saying it needs the addictive substance.
Once that addictive substance is gone, it’s time to start training your brain to crave the right thing. You can train your brain to re-interpret your body’s signals by sticking to an exercise routine.
Conclusion: A Sober Lifestyle is Possible
Now that you have a few tools in your box, it’s time to start using them. You can live a sober lifestyle and enjoy it too.
If you are looking to start down the path to recovery, contact us and we’ll help you get there.