Sobriety is a brave step for someone recovering from drug addiction. It is your way of saying that drugs and alcohol are no longer your go-to when you experience negative feelings and you want to be respected towards your social circle. Living the sober life requires taking care of your physical and mental health as well as leave your mark on the world in a positive way.
Before being in recovery, it’s possible that you turned to drugs and alcohol whenever you felt stress. You felt like those substances can make those negative feelings go away when actually it became much worse. You will need to learn healthy ways to handle your stress to avoid a relapse. The first way to start off is by exercising for half an hour to an hour every day. Exercise can reduce stress by improving alertness and concentration. You will also produce endorphins which are the brain’s natural painkillers. You will feel more energized and happier during the day by being active. It also helps to decrease overall levels of tension, stabilize mood, and improve your self-esteem.
Most people with addiction can spend all day drinking alcohol instead of eating real food. What you may not know is that alcohol contains empty calories where there are no nutrients but can still gain a lot of weight from drinking. You should be eating three meals a day with foods like poultry to get your essential amino acids to produce new neurotransmitters that drugs deplete. Broccoli, cabbage, and kale supports liver detoxification that alcohol made its way through. Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids to improve memory and cognition. It is also important to drink plenty of water to hydrate yourself to prevent elevating your cortisol levels.
Just because you are now living the sober life does not mean that you are not allowed to feel stressed. Stressful situations occur all of the time such as financial troubles, applying for work, family troubles, or any other issues you may run into. The important thing is not to turn to drugs or alcohol as an outlet to your stress. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with stress, take a few minutes to breathe deeply as you focus on your thoughts in the moment instead of thinking of the past and the future. Do yoga or mindfulness techniques as a guarantee to help you stay calm. Call your friends, family, or people in your support groups if you feel too overwhelmed that you think you will have a panic attack. True friends who love you will help you put yourself together and not let you turn to drug abuse.
There are other ways to live stress-free like giving yourself a hot bath, listen to calm music, light candles of your favorite scent, and other ways to lower stress. Never be afraid to say no if people expect you to fulfill too many responsibilities. You cannot please everyone or take on tasks if you do not have the time or energy to do them. You can also make yourself a stress journal so that you can jot down moments when you feel the most stressed and maybe write up some ways of better handling it. This will help you recognize your stress levels and at what time of the day it occurs.
Another way to stay sober is to avoid being surrounded by anything that can trigger a relapse. When you come back home from rehab, you might feel tempted to visit your old hangouts or bars. Find a different route to walk or drive home in order to avoid the sights or smells that can bring back old temptations. You should also avoid hanging out with friends who are still using. The chances are that they will convince you to slip back to old habits. Even if you tell them you are done using, just watching them use drugs or drink alcohol can be too tempting, especially if you see them laughing together while under the influence. Only surround yourself by people who will support your recovery.
Hobbies can be a great healthy distraction. Take up playing an instrument, go running, get into an exciting book, create a scrapbook, or any other hobby to make your life more productive. If you are applying for a job and you have no experience because it was taken up by drug use, the chances are low at being hired. These hobbies can be the jumpstart to finding out what kind of purpose you are and what you would like to be. Taking up these hobbies will also taken your mind off of drug use if you find activities that are more fun. If you ever feel like relapsing, remind yourself why you decided to become sober in the first place. Maybe you hurt someone, ran into financial trouble, or got in trouble with the law. Remind yourself of your past despair and not to make those same mistakes again.
Living a sober life can also mean that you have more time to do more things for your soul. This can mean volunteering your time to help someone in need like at nursing homes, animal shelters, homeless shelters, tutoring students, and more. Since addiction has a tendency to make us self-involved, living a sober life will help you think more about others. A sober lifestyle is a life that you will be proud to lead.
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.