Staying sober involves continuous commitment and hard work. There will be many ups and downs, but the most important thing is to not give up. It is estimated that around 80% of those who stay sober long-term had at least one relapse along the way. It takes time to find what helps you resist cravings and to develop the willpower to avoid relapse. Not giving up when you slip-up and staying committed to your recovery is essential in achieving long-term sobriety. This blog will offer some general tips that can help you get and stay sober.
Tips to Begin and Continue Your Recovery
Long-term success in sobriety comes with setbacks. Using each slip-up to learn and adjust your recovery plan is important in maintaining your sobriety in the future. Here are a few tips to help your sobriety stick.
Avoid risky situations
Staying away from people and places that may trigger cravings or relapse can help safeguard your sobriety. Ending relationships with people with who you used to use with is a difficult but important part of your recovery. It is incredibly hard to stay sober when the people around you used to use with you and/or are currently using.
Manage your cravings
Managing your cravings is probably one of the hardest parts of sobriety (particularly in the beginning). Most cravings last from 15 to 30 minutes, so finding ways to cope throughout this time is crucial. Chewing gum, repeating a personal mantra, or calling someone in your support network are ways to avoid using when you have strong urges. Writing why your sober in a journal and going back to it when you have the urge to use can also be helpful in avoiding relapse.
Get some exercise
Staying active during recovery is a good way to curb cravings and improve your mental health. The endorphins relieve stress and offer you a more positive mindset. Exercising in recovery can help you regain some control in your life and can provide you with the necessary structure to stay sober.
Focus on the present
If you get stuck thinking about past mistakes or future failures, it is much more likely you’ll relapse. You cannot change your past actions and you cannot predict the future. Focus on what you can do today that will help you maintain your sobriety and aid in your overall growth.
Identify your triggers
Identifying your triggers is crucial in staying sober. Making a mental or written list of people, places, or things that trigger your cravings is important in avoiding them. Some examples of triggers are bars, nightclubs, and parties. Emotions can also be triggers, such as financial hardship, stress, relationship issues, and more.
Recognizing these triggers and planning a relapse prevention plan is essential in maintaining your sobriety. Spend time to develop coping mechanisms with your support network to safeguard your sobriety and best equipped you to stay sober long-term.
Build healthy relationships
Recovery is a great time to start forming new, healthy relationships. Sobriety when you start to understand what you want from a friendship and what you have to offer. Being sure to befriend individuals that can support you and your recovery should be at the core of any new relationships. Avoiding any relationships that may seem co-dependent or that may enable your use is essential in maintaining your sobriety. Developing a strong group of sober friends can make recovery feel less lonely.
Create a structured schedule
Chaos and disorganizations can significantly interfere with your recovery. Taking the time to plan out a weekly schedule and develop structure in your day-to-day life will help you stay on track with both your life goals and your recovery-specific goals. Outlining both long-term and short-term goals can provide you with a purpose each day and will help you maintain your sobriety.
Stay on top of your mental health
In many cases, underlying mental health issues are what motivates one’s addiction. In 2014, over 20 million Americans had a substance use disorder – nearly 8 million of those had a co-occurring mental illness. This means that by making your mental health a priority, you are safeguarding your sobriety.
Make time in your weekly schedule to see a therapist or counselor to stay on top of your mental health. Be sure not to isolate yourself if you are feeling down as you are much more likely to relapse if you are feeling lonely. Remember that there is always someone to talk to about your addiction and your mental health, whether that be a medical professional, a meeting, or with your loved ones.
Celebrate your milestones
Acknowledging the hard work you’ve put towards staying sober can be helpful in keeping you motivated. Celebrating the challenges you overcame to get to where you are and rewarding yourself for it can help you reaffirm your commitment to your sobriety. That being said, make sure your reward does not involve drugs and/or alcohol.
Maintaining Your Sobriety with Design for Recovery
If you are struggling to stay sober long-term, Design for Recovery can offer you a safe space to become more secure in your recovery. Design for Recovery is a sober living home for men located in West Los Angeles. While living in Design for Recovery’s structured, safe environment, you can begin to reap the rewards sober life has to offer. Residents work hard daily to develop new skills, values, and coping mechanisms for approaching life in early recovery. At Design for Recovery, you will start to see the many reasons why you should live drug-free, such as developing close residents friendships with their peers and becoming connected with the Los Angeles recovery community. Let Design for Recovery help you develop the necessary skills to become comfortable in your recovery and stay sober long-term.