One of the latest trends that you may have seen people post about on social media is practicing sobriety for a month. Basically, people abstain from drinking (or other harmful substances) for a month as a way to recalibrate. In fact, it’s become so popular to do this after the excess of the holiday season that Dry January has become a fad. While many people practice sobriety for a month to recover from a period of overindulgence then go back to their normal habits once the time is up, it can actually be a valuable first step in creating a lifetime of healthy sobriety.
The Benefits of Sober Living
To live sober is to live a life free from the grip of substances that would dictate your behavior, even if it was detrimental to your health. You may feel a greater sense of balance, or more joy. Instead of answering to your craving for substances, you begin to answer to yourself and what you want out of life. Once you decide to start living a sober life, get ready for change—this will open up a world of new possibilities for you.
That transformation takes place inside and out. Physically, you may experience great change. Without all the extra calories from alcohol, you may find you are losing weight. Your skin will look clearer and your health will improve—you will feel better in so many ways.
Internally, you may find yourself with much more energy now that alcohol isn’t impairing your brain function and you aren’t waking up in the morning coping with hangovers. You may also have a greater feeling of clarity, concentration, and focus.
You will also find you have a lot more time to invest in meaningful things that will be uplifting and feed your soul. Now that your time isn’t invested in drinking, you can pursue activities that make you happy or discover new hobbies. Photography, knitting, running—there are so many choices out there. Without alcohol clouding your judgment, you will also have the ability to be more present, which can absolutely rejuvenate relationships. With a higher level of communication and more time spent together, your relationships can deepen and take on another dimension of intimacy. By spending your time in these enriching ways, you can experience a greater fulfillment in life and experience more joy.
The Benefits of Practicing Sobriety for a Month
If that all sounds good to you, then you may be ready to commit to living a sober life. However, many people find that the prospect of long-term sobriety seems frightening or impossible to accomplish. To relieve some of that pressure, it can help to set limits and commit to trying sobriety for a month. That goal won’t seem as overwhelming, and you may have a greater likelihood of succeeding.
The month is also a good time to see how you feel when you are sober, and that may motivate you to keep moving forward. You can assess your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to living without alcohol or other substances, and get a better knowledge of yourself. You can experience how good you feel emotionally, and you can uncover triggers and trouble spots that could endanger your sobriety and learn how to avoid or work around them. You will also notice an immediate physical change. In fact, the staff members at New Scientist magazine tried a month of sober living and found that overall they had healthy decreases in their blood glucose levels and the fat in their liver in just that short period of time. The month can be eye-opening—you may enter it feeling restricted that you can’t drink, but by the end, you may feel an unparalleled freedom because you are no longer living in the confines of your addiction. In fact, you may want to continue living sober after your month is over.
How to Make Sobriety a Lifelong Journey
The best way to build a sober lifestyle is to do it mindfully, one day at a time, or even one moment at a time. Don’t worry about what the next week, month, or year will look like. Be present today. It can also help to start keeping a gratitude journal, which can help you see all the positives in living a sober lifestyle and that can also encourage you to stay on a sober path.
It can also be beneficial to get rid of the things that can trigger your cravings for substances. That can range from removing all the alcohol from your home to distancing yourself from relationships that could be harmful to your sobriety. Instead, build a support network of people who understand your decision to pursue sobriety and can walk alongside you on this journey. That can include a therapist and a 12-step support group.
As you take care of yourself emotionally and mentally, make sure to tend to your physical needs as well. An exercise program will capitalize on your rediscovered energy level, while stress management techniques such as meditation, tai chi, or yoga can help relieve tension and promote mindfulness.
One of the best things to do for a lifetime of sobriety is to build a strong foundation during your first month free of substances. At Casa Palmera, our caring and highly qualified staff can assist you in our comprehensive rehabilitation programs that can give you the tools you need to thrive in recovery. If you are ready to practice sobriety for a month—and even a lifetime—visit the Casa Palmera website to learn more about how we can help you live your best life.