You’ve broken free from alcohol or your drug of choice and see a bright light at the end of your substance use disorder tunnel. Setting up a strong foundation of sobriety is paramount to reaching that light and avoiding the challenges and temptations in early recovery.
To help set you firmly on the road to recovery, Dr. Daniel Headrick and the team here at Tres Vistas Recovery pulled together five tips that will serve you well in staying sober.
1. Stay connected
One of the most important steps you can take in recovery is to stay connected. Whether through our aftercare services, which include alumni meetings, your local support group, or remaining in close contact with people who are also in recovery, these connections are important.
As we mentioned, recovery can be full of hurdles, but you no longer have to surmount them alone. By staying connected, you benefit from a collective wisdom that has helped millions before you get clean and stay clean.
2. Find new activities
Finding new interests or activities is highly beneficial when you’re in recovery. We can’t tell you how often our clients have told us that a new activity was key to their success. The power behind finding a new interest is that it is connected to the new, sober you and teaches you how to have fun in sobriety.
Whether it’s surfing, music, photography, or anything else that piques your interest, new interests can make all the difference in your recovery.
3. Move a muscle, change a thought
If you attend support groups, you may have heard the expression, “Move a muscle, change a thought.” When you’re in early recovery, your brain is still adjusting and old thought patterns, and cravings can still crop up.
One of the most effective ways to combat these thoughts and cravings is to get up and move rather than sit with the negative thinking patterns. Movement sets other processes in your body in motion and distracts your brain long enough for the cravings to subside. So, next time the thought of drinking or using pops into your head, get moving.
4. Establish boundaries
When you’re in recovery, you may be anxious to plug back into life, but proceed with caution and firm boundaries. For example, if a friend invites you to a movie, great. If you receive an invitation to someone’s big birthday bash where you know most everyone will be under the influence, you might consider taking a pass.
Avoid any situation that makes you in the least bit uncomfortable. Even if you find yourself in a potentially sticky situation by accident, leaving is always an option and one that will help you maintain your boundaries and sobriety.
5. Stay present
One of the best practices in recovery (and in life, for that matter) is to remain as present as possible. There’s nothing you can do about the past and little gained by worrying about the future. By staying in the present, you will be stronger and more connected as all of your energy is poured into each moment.
For more tips on staying sober, we invite you to contact our office in San Juan Capistrano, California, to speak with one of our highly skilled addiction and recovery specialists.