Once you’ve made the decision to get and stay sober, it is an ongoing process. It’s going to take effort and a massive 180 degree turn from your life as a former addict. While change is always a difficult thing to cope with, there are a few key lifestyle choices that you can make to help this particular change a little easier to stick to.
Here are 5 lifestyle changes that will help you stay sober during recovery, and even enjoy it.
First thing’s first, you simply cannot truly get sober without being honest, sometimes brutally honest, about your addiction.
You absolutely must be honest with yourself first. The fact that you have decide to change your life proves that you can do that, but along the road of recovery you may be tempted to say ‘oh, I can handle that’ or ‘just one sip won’t hurt’. That may be true, but if it’s not, don’t fool yourself. Be open and honest with yourself, but make sure to leave the judgement and pressure at bay.
If you are really serious about sobriety, you’ll also need some kind of help. There’s no shame in it. In fact, getting help is the smart step to take. However, therapists, meetings, sponsors, and anyone else from whom you seek guidance cannot help you if you are not honest with them. It is understandable if you don’t wish to have your personal life become public news, but there are certain people, including yourself, that need to know the facts.
Before you decide to skip over this part, remember that getting exercise doesn’t have to mean that you’re at the gym 5 days a week doing all kinds of fancy combinations of cardio, weight training, and so on. There are so many fun and creative ways to incorporate fitness into your routine without it being a hassle, or feeling like a chore. Think sports, dancing, rowing, biking, hiking, anything that involves a little bit of physical exertion and an increased heart rate really.
Working out, in its many forms, carries so many benefits beyond getting in shape and simply looking better. Many people have found that the naturally occurring high that you have when you get your blood pumping rivals the highs of drugs and alcohol, helping you stay sober.
It’s hard to feel like you’re in control of your life or making progress when there are bills piling up and your financial status is shaky. So much of the stress that people face on a regular basis is money related, and when you’re a recovering addict situations will weigh on you that much more.
So take control by budgeting. Get a job, calculate your earnings against expenditures and debts. Make sure that at some point you are able to save up towards certain goals. Try to stick to your budget so that you always have exactly how much you need. When the stress of a rocky financial status is lifted from your shoulders, you’ll have a few less reasons to reach for that drink.
Let’s not kid ourselves here; while living a life of addiction, making healthy food choices
probably was not at the top of your list of priorities. Addicts and alcoholics alike indulge in an alarming amount of sweet and savoury, processed foods. Often times, the only food you ate in a day was probably junk food. Addicts and alcoholics generally don’t care what goes in their body, drugs, alcohol, incredibly unhealthy foods, it’s all the same.
When you’re in recovery, maintaining a fairly healthy diet will actually help strengthen your resolve to stay sober. Paying attention to the food you eat and making sure that it’s good for you will help reduce the chances of you deciding to just take a sip or try a hit.
Chances are that you became an addict because you felt like there was always something missing, or you were very upset about various things and situations. You probably started using or continued using to try and make yourself or the situation feel better. By practicing gratitude, you reverse that thought process.
Instead of focusing on things you’re not happy about, be mindful of the many blessings that you have the good fortune of receiving. When you start paying attention to the various little details of your day that you can be thankful for, you’ll probably find that life’s not all that terrible after all. You will probably find a new appreciation for the world, it’s all about perspective.
These are all very simple things that don’t require too much effort, but for a former addict they can seem like massive lifestyle changes. The good news is that once you get started, and are able to feel the positive effects these changes have on you, it will be that much easier to stick to them. Not to mention, they will increase your quality of life so that you don’t have to feel like reaching for a bottle to feel better. At the end of the day, your recovery is the most important thing in your life. It’s okay to focus on yourself, because you’ll only be able to properly be a part of other people’s lives when you are doing well.