Maintaining sobriety is a challenge that requires dedication and determination. It’s not an easy feat, but it can be done with the right strategies in place.
Overcoming addiction takes tremendous courage and strength, so if you’re just starting on your journey to recovery, know that you’re already making progress.
Having a clear plan of action is essential for sustained sobriety. To help make this process easier, here are six smart pieces of advice to maintain your hard-earned sobriety: establish a daily routine; build supportive relationships; seek professional help; practice self-care; avoid triggers; and keep track of progress.
Each piece of advice has its own unique benefits and will help you stay focused on achieving long-term success in sobriety.
1. Seek Professional Help
It is only natural to feel overwhelmed as you begin your journey to recovery. Achieving sobriety can be a difficult journey, but seeking the help of an expert addiction therapist or joining 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can provide invaluable assistance along the way.
Conversely, opting for things like a sober living home, mental health treatment, or even patient/inpatient services, can help provide a safe haven and structured lifestyle when you need it the most. Of course, each choice will depend solely on your individual needs and preferences.
2. Build Supportive Relationships
It can be easy to feel isolated or alone as you attempt to stay sober, but having a strong social support system is essential for long-term sobriety. This can include family members, friends, and other individuals who are supportive of your recovery goals.
Having people in your life who understand and share the same values as you help create an environment that encourages success.
Additionally, joining a recovery-oriented group like 12-step meetings or attending local events with individuals in recovery can offer a sense of acceptance and camaraderie while helping you stay committed to your sobriety.
3. Establish a Daily Routine
Having a consistent daily routine is key for long-term recovery. This includes adhering to a set sleep schedule, eating regular meals and snacks, staying physically active, and attending regular meetings or therapy sessions.
On top of that, having healthy leisure activities to occupy your time — like taking up a new hobby or skill — can help keep you motivated and on track. Maintaining a daily routine helps provide structure, which can help reduce the chances of relapse.
In your daily routine, try to include activities that bring you joy and satisfaction, as well as those that promote your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
4. Practice Self-Care
Self-care is often overlooked when it comes to sobriety, but taking time to practice self-care can make a big difference. This can include activities like journaling, meditating, reading books or magazines, engaging in creative hobbies, or even just taking some time for yourself during the day.
Self-care helps reduce stress and anxiety, and it also helps provide a sense of purpose in life. Furthermore, it can help remind you of your own value and worth, which is essential for staying focused on sobriety.
5. Avoid Triggers
Certain situations can be triggers for relapse, so it’s important to be aware of the people and places that may cause an urge to drink or use drugs. It’s also helpful to identify any emotional triggers like boredom, depression, anger, sadness, or anxiety.
Knowing what your triggers are and how to manage them is a valuable skill when dealing with addiction. Furthermore, having a plan in place to deal with unavoidable triggers or cravings is essential for maintaining sobriety.
However, most triggers are often tied to a place, emotion, or even person — so it’s important to avoid anything that can lead to relapse.
6. Keep Track of Progress
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to remember that sobriety takes time and effort. While setbacks are inevitable, having a way to track your progress will help you stay motivated and focused on the long-term goal of staying sober.
This can include setting short-term recovery goals or tracking the days since your last relapse. Having a clear picture of where you are and how far you’ve come can help keep your spirits up and serve as a reminder that sobriety is worth it.
Overall, these six pieces of advice will help anyone that is looking to maintain their sobriety in the long run.
By seeking professional help, building supportive relationships, establishing a daily routine, practicing self-care, avoiding triggers, and keeping track of progress — you can increase your chances of achieving long-term recovery.
With dedication and hard work, sobriety is very achievable. All it takes is making the decision to commit to recovery and taking the steps necessary to make it happen.