The holiday season is officially over, which means that a new year is upon us. And with a new year comes new resolutions. One of the most popular seems to be maintaining sobriety.
Alcoholism is an extremely serious disease that affects millions of people every day. In addition to tearing apart families and social circles, it can cause liver and brain damage and in extreme cases, may be fatal.
Sobriety is tough enough on its own, but it gets even harder when you start to realize that temptation is practically everywhere.
Keep your mind and body sharp by knowing what to expect. Here are six easy tips on maintaining sobriety in 2018.
1. Maintaining Sobriety Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
When it comes to sobriety, there's a common saying that sobriety is a marathon, not a sprint. It may not be the newest phrase on earth, but it's certainly poignant.
Sobriety isn't something that can be accomplished in a set number of days. Even with the help of a 12 step program, you'll face temptations all the time.
Instead, it's important that you approach your sobriety as a journey of sorts. Like anything worth doing in life, it's going to take time and plenty of effort.
If you're just beginning your sober journey, expect a rough beginning. Depending on the severity of your addiction, you may experience nausea, profuse sweating, and sudden outbursts.
For your safety, consult a physician before quitting cold turkey. Your body gets used to certain chemicals and substances, and depriving your system of those substances suddenly puts your body in a state of shock.
Be safe and be patient. Sobriety may be tough, but you're tougher.
2. Grow Your Support System
During your initial days of sobriety staying away from alcohol can feel daunting. You may feel alone and like no one understands. But the truth is you have tons of people around you who love and support you no matter what.
Psychologists suggest that having a strong support system in place is a great way to stay sober and those who have a strong circle of friends and family are likelier to stay sober than those who walk their path alone.
There will be days where maintaining sobriety feels almost impossible. It's precisely during these dark days that you'll need to turn to your loved ones. It's a good idea to surround yourself with sober individuals, or at least individuals that won't pressure you into drinking.
3. Remind Yourself Why You're Quitting
Everyone has their own personal reasons for maintaining sobriety. It may be for your own health, for your family, relationship, or even your career.
Whatever your reason, physically writing out your reasons for quitting is a great, cathartic exercise. Grab a piece of a paper and a pencil and find a quiet area.
Take a few moments to reflect on your life. What is it that made you choose to quit?
There's no right or wrong answer. Write down whatever you think is important enough to get you to stop drinking.
Then, once you've finished, fold up the paper and keep it in a drawer or private area. When you're feeling tempted to drink, open up the list and remind yourself once again what you're fighting for.
4. Give Yourself a Physical Reminder
It's nice to have a piece of paper to turn to, but plenty of people would rather have a physical reminder of their sobriety. For those that want a reminder to stay strong at all times, we'd suggest picking up an affirmation chip.
With tons of different options, there's sure to be an affirmation chip that's right for you. These trinkets offer both comfort and accountability.
Imagine having one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong.
Work is tough, you didn't get enough sleep last night, and you overhear your coworkers talking about grabbing drinks after work. You want to partake, but then you remember that helpful little coin in your pocket.
One day at a time, it says. Suddenly, you're reminded why it may not be such a great idea to head to the bar tonight. And just like that, your token of sobriety keeps your temptation in check.
5. Learn Your Triggers
Alcoholism in and of itself is often a symptom of something else. There's always a reason why someone turns to the bottle. Understanding what it is that makes you drink is a great way to keep yourself in check.
Determining your triggers may not be something you can accomplish on your own. Don't be afraid to reach out and talk to a mental health professional or a trusted confidante at your local AA meeting.
There are plenty of people out there who would love to help you get to the bottom of your addiction, and the sooner you understand what attracts you to alcohol, the sooner you can understand how to fix it and what to avoid.
6. Be Vocal About Maintaining Sobriety
Sobriety is never something that should be hidden or looked down upon, even by those who actively imbibe. It takes immense personal strength and fortitude to quit self-destructive behaviors.
Yet so many addicts find it tough to talk about maintaining sobriety as if there's a stigma. But vocalizing one's sobriety is a fantastic way to inspire yourself and others.
Don't be afraid to share your story with those around you. Sobriety is, after all, a journey that no one can take alone.
Reach out to others around you. Consider sponsoring a newly recovering addict at your local AA meeting, or just share your own story with friends.
Your desire to maintain sobriety has the capacity to affect everyone around you for the better. Imagine how much of a difference you can make by letting others know why you're staying sober.
Maintaining Sobriety is Tough, Let Us Help
Truth be told, there's no easy way to stay sober. But you have what it takes. Stay strong, and don't be afraid to share your journey with the world. You never know who you may inspire.
Don't forget to pick up your personal token to help you maintain sobriety. Get in touch or browse our shop to find the perfect recovery gift.