Great work, you have successfully gone through the journey of becoming sober. Now, you must divert your attention to prevent relapse. Staying sober doesn’t just ‘happen’, you have to work at it. But the rewards of sobriety are tremendous – and you will learn to trust yourself again.
In this article we will be looking at 10 tips that will help you stay sober, but before we do, let’s look at some of the challenges you will face.
What are some of the challenges to staying sober?
- Social situations
- Stress at work
- Interpersonal conflict
- Emotional pressures
- Thoughts of trying ‘just a little’
An addiction is comprised of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors: your own craving for habit-forming substances and situations that make you want to start using again.
Start with a simple mantra: you simply cannot relapse.
Tips for staying sober
You have to make changes to your life after you leave a rehab center. Though you may be able to overcome your cravings, social and stressful situations can cause you to relapse. However, with time, you will regain your complete ability to deal with stress without turning to intoxicants.
Bring these changes to your life and make your journey to staying sober easier.
1. Learning to manage stress
Anyone can manage stress, right? For recovering addicts, stress is one of the biggest reasons why they relapse. Try and avoid stressful situations in the first place. When stress is inevitable, find ways to defuse an acute build-up of anxiety and panic.
2. Manage your urges
Urges may not last more than 15 or 20 minutes, but it can be very difficult to fight them. Urges are inevitable and you need to be prepared with chewing gum and other pre-planned distractions.
3. Learn to distract yourself and relax
When you become tense, you will want to return to old habits. Find ways to keep yourself relaxed and distract yourself when temptations and urges are particularly strong. A few things people do include yoga, reading and listening to music.
4. Be wary of situations that will tempt you
Soon after rehab is no time to ‘test your willpower’. Steer clear of situations where you will be tempted to ‘have a drink’ or ‘smoke up’. Avoid bars, pubs and parties where you know drugs and alcohol will be doing the rounds.
5. Find alternatives to alcohol
In some social situations it is comforting to have a non-alcoholic drink in your hand than nothing at all. In fact, it is rather better than having people repeatedly ask why you aren’t having anything. Find a non-alcoholic drink for the evening and people will not even be able to tell the difference.
6. Be prepared to be asked why you aren’t drinking
Expect to be asked why you aren’t drinking – repeatedly. It is likely that you don’t want to tell strangers or acquaintances that you are trying to stay sober. Be ready with responses such as ‘I am the designated driver’ or ‘I have a busy day tomorrow’.
7. Keep a support network of friends and family close
Having a close group of friends and family who you can contact in moments of weakness is essential. They can even accompany you to social events and keep you from making ill-advised decisions.
8. Find an activity that is meaningful for you
Develop positive habits that you enjoy. For many, exercise is a great outlet. Not only does it help release stress, strenuous exercise releases endorphins in the brain – a hormone that boosts happiness and acts as a pain reliever.
9. Develop your creativity
Explore your creative side by taking up music, painting, writing or dance. These activities help develop your brain and distract you from your addiction. In time, you may discover long-ignored talents.
10. Experience the outdoors
There is simply no better antidote to anxiety and stress than being outdoors. Hiking, camping and exploring nature diverts attention from everyday struggles.
Holistic rehabilitation center
At Neworld Medical Detox we make sure our clients explore all these facets. Set in a quiet part of the countryside, we offer a peaceful setting where you don’t just overcome your addiction, you prepare for life after rehab. Speak to a professional today and find out how we help people prevent relapse.