If you’ve decided to live a life of recovery from substance abuse, congratulations on a difficult but rewarding journey ahead. You already know how difficult it was to make the initial decision to live a sober life, and now you must do everything possible to sustain this new way of life.
There’s no denying that recovery comes with its challenges. To make your new sober lifestyle easier, there are some tips you should know. Read on to learn more about five ways to stay sober for the rest of your life.
1. Notice your triggers
A major tool for preventing a future relapse is being in tune with the triggers that lead you to substance abuse. These may be external triggers like, places, situations, things, or people that you associate with your substance abuse. Triggers also may be internal triggers such as thoughts, emotions, or feelings you associate with using.
Get in the habit of naming these triggers early so you can avoid them entirely.
2. Seek support from a treatment center
For more professional help, you could benefit from the support of an addiction treatment center. According to this Alcohol Rehab Richmond center, you should consider searching for a center with staff that specialize in addiction psychiatry, withdrawals, recovery coaching, family consultations, and more.
Try seeing what treatment centers are available in your area. They may offer much more support that benefits your long-term sobriety than you can offer yourself.
3. Be aware of relapse warning signs
Sometimes relapse happens. What matters is how you respond to a possible relapse and avoid another in the future. To be mindful of what causes you to relapse you must pay attention to your own warning signs that occur just before you pick up a drug or drink.
This may involve repeating addictive thinking, self-defeating behavior, situations where drugs and alcohol are being used, and more. The closer you can be aware of these warning signs, the better.
4. Avoid past habits and routines
As painful as it may be, some past habits, people, and routines may no longer be beneficial to your sober lifestyle. What used to be an after work hang with coworkers could lead you to a potential slip into your old ways.
Try a different route home if passing by your old bar will bring up bad feelings. Instead, find a new way to fill that time with a helpful and productive activity or way to socialize.
5. Focus on healthy relationships
It’s likely that what led you to choose sobriety was a desire to change the relationships in your life. This could mean cutting out past relationships that proved to be more toxic than fulfilling.
Take the energy spent on codependent and enabling relationships and find people that can relate and lift you up. This may come in the form of a support group, or with loved ones who want to see you succeed.
Bonus Tip: Celebrate milestones
Milestones are crucial on the long road of sobriety. Be sure to stop and celebrate your hard work every time you reach a new week, month, year and more. Rather than reward with drugs or alcohol, treat yourself with momentous experiences, gifts, or activities that celebrate and encourage your healthy new lifestyle.
Congratulations on the choice to move forward down the road of sobriety; it’s a huge decision and accomplishment. Stay mindful of these tips to make your journey to recovery more productive. Always seek the support of others as you face the challenges ahead. Remember that even if you slip up or find certain days to be hard, you can always try again.