Keeping Your Sobriety When Life is Tough
One of the biggest challenges people face is when things in life get hard. Things like COVID-19, or when family crises arise, when financial hiccups happen, when career and job life is stressful, it can be difficult for people dealing with addiction for several reasons. Stress is a time that our minds want to protect us and for or us to seek comfort, this is the time we fall back into old habits. Even when you have the best intentions, it can be a challenge to maintain your sobriety. During times of stress, it’s easy to feel lonely and seek out old comforts and unhealthy habits.
You can make it through these testing times clean and sober and feel great about your accomplishment. Here are some tips for staying sober when life gets tough.
Schedule Your Appointments
It’s always important to manage your time and be intentional about how you choose to spend it, and this becomes even more important when you’re working on staying sober. When you are feeling down or stressed out, think about things that you can do to help you move out of that feeling and focus on something positive, from touching base with a sober friend or taking a walk to be in nature.
Scheduling your appointments is helpful for several reasons. Not knowing what you’ll be doing from day to day can be stressful. Make a plan to secure an appointment to take care of yourself first.
Schedule Time to Meet with a Counselor
Of all the things you’ll schedule, the most important thing you can do is to make time to meet with your counselor these meetings give you a chance to get something off your chest that you need to talk about, address any troublesome feelings you may be having, and discuss ways to make it through hard times with your sobriety intact.
Remember that your time is precious and that you should be selfish with it. Making time to take care of yourself and protect your sobriety means keeping regular appointments with your counselor. They are equipped to help you with a wide range of issues you may encounter in life, which many fail to overcome. Life can be tough at times and stressful for many people, even those who aren’t fighting addiction. It’s essential throughout the year to actively work on your sobriety, but it’s non-negotiable during hard times.
Commit to Keep Your Appointments
Scheduling appointments is one thing; keeping them is something else. Work on managing your time and schedule so that you keep your essential engagements, such as meeting with your counselor. It can be easy to cast plans aside when they conflict with our current emotions and energy levels, and, to be sure, there are times when we should listen to our bodies and rest instead of forcing ourselves to go out.
However, in many cases, we don’t want to do the things we know will help us in the long run. Plan to attend your counseling sessions, spend time with sober friends, and take time alone for personal reflection. Recognize that, even if you don’t feel like doing these things at the moment, they can help you feel better, change your perspective, and gain ground when it comes to staying sober.
Never Be Too Busy for You
Many people find themselves with hectic schedules or navigating rough patches in life. You may suddenly realize that you have something planned every night of the week for the next month. If so, you might want to rethink your obligations.
First, consider which of these situations might be triggering for you. For example, If your co-workers all drink at the office party, then you might want to avoid that situation unless you’re sure it won’t be too tempting for you. If you have a family dinner scheduled with a relative who triggers you to drink or use drugs, realize that it’s okay to make an excuse and bow out.
Another reason to manage your social calendar wisely is that if you are consistently busy entertaining or attending other people’s functions, you won’t have enough time to take care of yourself and your own needs. When it comes to recovery, self-care is everything. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and do the things that nourish your spirit, whether that means journaling, meditating, spending time in nature, or taking a long hot bath and curling up with a good book or a favorite TV show.
About Pathway Healthcare®
At Pathway Healthcare, we understand that addiction and other substance use disorders are all different and that everyone’s experience is unique. We offer highly effective, lasting treatments for addiction and dependence using scientifically-proven methods in a professional, supportive outpatient setting. We hope the tips for staying sober during these tough times are helpful, and we encourage you to contact us if you are struggling with addiction. We’re here to help.