Sobriety doesn’t take a day off. Some days may go smoothly, with minimal triggers. Other days may take a little more effort to remain on a clean path. Triggers may get larger, louder and take up more of your time and energy to work through. Casa Palmera wants to help you make the most of each day and give you the best chance at lifelong recovery. Take a look below at our list of three tips with tools that will give yourself the best chance at sobriety.
How many times have you been overwhelmed with work or school because of procrastination? You might think that your deadline is far enough off to relax for a few days, but then you quickly realize that time has flown by and you only have a few hours left before time’s up. Suddenly, you’re dealing with an unfortunately timed printer jam or slow internet connection as the clock winds down. You can’t do anything about it now, but you can take this situation as a lesson to be more proactive.
Your recovery is often a similar situation. For example, you might have an extra busy week so you decide to skip the weekly support group you normally attend one night after work. After all, you’re feeling good and you’re handling triggers in healthy ways. You might ask yourself if you really need to keep attending each week. So, you skip this week. Fast forward to Friday and you’re exhausted. Your self-talk is extremely negative, you’re slipping into cognitive distortions, and you’re craving a substance to help you take the edge off. Right now, you’re reacting to the bad decision you made to not be proactive in your recovery.
If you want to give yourself the best chance at sobriety, you’re going to have to shift from a reactive mode into a proactive mode. Before you make any big decisions, pause to think about the consequences that can occur if you do or do not decide to do something. If you’re doing well, it’s probably because you’re being proactive and taking preventative measures to ensure your sobriety. That’s a great thing! Being consistently proactive can help you anticipate potential triggers so you can avoid them before they become a problem. So, find a few minutes in your day to do things you know will help make your recovery a bit easier: meditate, exercise, plan, eat well or attend that meeting. You’ll thank yourself later
Find Your Team
An important part of recovery is having a team of like-minded peers around you. Recovery is a team effort. If you’re a pitcher on a baseball team, you have to rely on your defense behind you. You can’t run down a hit to the outfield, but your teammate can! Having a group of sober peers that share your interests and goals can help build trust and hold you accountable for your actions. Just like a baseball team can’t win with just a pitcher, you can’t be successful in your sobriety if you isolate and try to do it all on your own.
If you’re in college, find a sober group of young adults who you can relate to. If you’re a parent, find other parents who understand the extra challenges there are when you have other people to care for. If you’re an athlete, find other athletes who understand the drive and passion necessary to compete at a high level and understand the benefits sobriety can bring to your athletic career. The more involved you are in your sober community, the more comfortable you’ll feel asking for help in difficult moments.
Foster Healthy Habits
When you were newly sober, you probably realized that you spent a ton of time thinking about substances, using substances and coming down from the withdrawal of substances. You might be uncomfortable with all the free time you now have on your hands. A great way to help keep you from returning to substance use is to stay busy.
Think back to some of the hobbies you enjoyed as a child or before you started using substances. Was there anything you could lose yourself in for hours without even realizing so much time had passed? Maybe you like to read, exercise, garden, cook, watch movies, play sports or spend time fixing something in the garage with a family member. Whatever it is that you loved, consider returning to your roots! If you can’t find something you used to enjoy, try something new. The more time you spend sitting around without something to occupy yourself with, the more likely you are to give into those cravings. Find what you love and turn it into a healthy habit. Hobbies aren’t just helpful when you’re newly sober—they’re also a huge part of keeping you sober for a lifetime.
Casa Palmera can help you not only get sober but stay sober. Long-term sobriety may seem like a daunting task right now, but we can help you reach your golas and learn how to create a sustainable path to recovery. Casa Palmera is a comprehensive behavioral health facility in Del Mar, California, that offers residential treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, trauma and PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. We also offer partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs and ongoing care to support your recovery. Call our staff today at (855) 508-0473. We can help.