Setting realistic New Year’s Resolutions can be challenging, especially after a year like 2018. However, it’s important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a marker for extreme character change. Rather, it’s a time for people to reflect on their behavior over the past year so they can decide what kinds of positive changes they want to make. Still, the post-holiday slump can make this difficult, especially if you were struggling to stay sober during the bingeful holiday season. If you have committed yourself to get or stay sober in 2019, then keeping your other resolutions realistic and achievable will give you a greater chance of doing that. And, with the New Year approaching fast, Lumiere Treatment Center would like to share the top 10 ways to stay sober in 2019.
1. Avoid Self-Isolation
Isolation can be dangerous, especially to addicts or alcoholics trying to stay sober. A simple way to combat loneliness is to spend more time with family and friends who have your best interest in mind. Moreover, you should avoid those who endorse bad habits that may trigger a relapse. If you are far away from home or do not have many friends locally, you can easily find support groups. Bonding with others in recovery will not only help you feel less lonely, but it will also expand your support circle. For Alcoholics Anonymous, you can use this meeting finder. For those struggling with drug addiction, this group locator will help you find Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
2. Get Active
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep both your mind and your body healthy. When you exercise, your body releases reward chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals boost energy and feelings of joy and positivity. Many describe the endorphins rush after a good workout as euphoric. This isn’t surprising since endorphins are the same chemicals responsible for the euphoria that people try to get through substance use. Why else would it be called a “runner’s high”? All in all, getting just a little bit of exercise every day can help you gain a new, revitalized outlook on life.
3. Treat Yourself
Addiction takes a toll on every aspect of your health. Most people know about the physical consequences of addiction, but not many people stop to think of the psychological, emotional, or even spiritual consequences. Now that you are in recovery, you should find new ways to treat yourself in order to rebuild all suffering areas of your health. Popular methods of self-care in recovery might include meditative relaxation, a day at the spa, a new haircut, and other means of rejuvenation. These and other physical changes will help you celebrate the new you and your new sober life.
4. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a significant part of the recovery process. In fact, it should be the foundation on which your sober life is built. If you’re holding on to feelings of resentment, then you’re holding on to the past. You can’t move forward by looking back! So, learn to forgive yourself and anyone who may have done you wrong. By doing this, you can re-establish your sense of love, respect, and compassion both for yourself and for others.
5. Try Meditation
Meditation clears the mind and releases stress from the body. It’s one of the most popular forms of relaxation and self-reflection, especially for those in recovery. Plus, there are many ways to meditate. Whether you do it through yoga, religious prayer, or just by taking a quiet moment to yourself, your worries will melt away.
6. Live in the Present
As cliche as the concept may sound, living in the present is actually a vital part of the recovery process. Like forgiveness, it requires staying focused on yourself and your progress without worrying about the past— or the future. Don’t dwell on your past mistakes. If you’ve learned from them, then there’s no reason to live in fear that you will make the same mistakes again. So, instead of focusing on the fear of falling back on old destructive patterns, focus on your recovery. And remember, living in fear is not living at all.
7. Adopt A Pet
The unconditional love of pets has proven to be very beneficial for the emotional side of addiction recovery. After all, keeping up a sober lifestyle requires structure and discipline. And the responsibility of caring for a new pet will definitely add more structure and discipline to your life. Plus, adopting a pet can be a joyful distraction from whatever loneliness you may feel during the early stages of recovery. And, people with pets seem to be much happier in general.
8. Create New Goals
Have you been trying to get a promotion at work? Or trying to fit back into your favorite pair of jeans? Having goals is important. It gives you something positive to look forward to and be excited about. Setting goals for yourself will help you achieve new heights of success that you can look back on and be proud of, especially in recovery. If you put your mind to it, 2019 can be the year of doing, not trying.
9. Get Creative
Pursuing creative projects is good for your mental and emotional well being. You’ve already started a new life, so why not try new things? Get those creative juices flowing by taking up whatever project interests you. Drawing, writing, playing an instrument, dancing, painting, sculpting, crafting, woodworking— the world is your oyster!
10. Go to Group More Often
You shouldn’t rely solely on your experiences in rehab to keep you sober. After all, laying a solid foundation for sobriety takes a lot longer than 30 days. Plus, the holiday season and the early months of the New Year are some of the hardest times of year to stay sober. This is why attending support group meetings is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Going to meetings and hearing others in recovery share their experiences can be extremely helpful for your own recovery. And, by going to meetings as often as you can, you’ll gather the strength and support you’ll need to build a successful, sober new year. As the days go on, things will get easier, and your sense of accomplishments and overall well-being will improve.
Need More Answers About Sobriety?
These are some simple ways to maintain your sobriety after rehab. However, none of these tips can replace the invaluable process of detox and rehab at a professional treatment facility. If you have any additional questions or need immediate help, please call Lumiere Treatment Center today at 855-535-8501.
We look forward to hearing from you. Happy holidays, and Happy New Year!