Making Sober Friends

sober friends

Recovery can often necessitate meeting new people, as you may realize some of your friendships revolve around the substances you are working to avoid. But meeting new friends is hard, especially in sobriety when you may be more focused on your recovery than meeting new people. Because friendships can impact not only your happiness but also your health and overall well-being, it is important to build a community and make friends in sobriety. 

 

Sober friends are essential to recovery not only because they can help you avoid drugs or alcohol by replacing activities that involve these substances with enjoyable sober activities, but also because they can encourage you on your path to recovery through support and helping you heal emotionally and spiritually. At Soba Texas, we hope all of our clients can build a sober support system post treatment. 

 

What Are Sober Friends?

Friendships in addiction may center around drugs or alcohol. These types of relationships unsurprisingly tend to fall apart if one friend decides to become sober. Friendships rooted in addiction may even be damaging to your psychological well-being if you are trying to get sober. Healthy friendships are an important part of recovery, which is why a crucial component to sober living is often finding new sober friends. Sober friends are friends who are supportive of your sobriety, which often means they are also sober. Sober friendships aren’t rooted in the consumption of drugs or alcohol, instead they revolve around enjoyable sober activities. 

 

How to Meet Sober Friends

Meeting new friends can be intimidating and meeting sober friends can be especially intimidating if you don’t know where to look. However, there are countless ways to connect with sober friends.

 

Support groups and sober communities

One of the most sure-fire ways to meet sober friends is to join a support group, because everyone in attendance is pursuing similar goals of sobriety. The traditional Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have helped countless people because they offer great resources and help build a community of support. However, these groups aren’t for everyone and there are a number of other sobriety support groups that may be the right fit for you. Some alternative sober communities to the traditional AA include: SMART Recovery, which is open to both substance addictions and activity addictions and focuses on mutual-support and self-reliance; secular support groups like LifeRing or Secular Organizations for Sobriety; the Phoenix, which integrates physical activity into recovery; women-led communities like Women for Sobriety; or LGBT-friendly communities like Gay and Lesbians in Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

Non-alcoholic/drug-free events

One great way to meet sober friends is to attend events where addictive substances aren’t involved. These events could range from activities that don’t normally involve substances, like fitness classes, hikes or free museum days. There are also substance-free events that deliberately remove alcohol and drugs to create specifically sober events like pop-up non-alcoholic bars or alcohol-free early morning dance parties, such as those put on by Daybreaker in cities all around the world. 

 

Online groups

Sober communities or even mission-focused groups that revolve around a shared hobby can be difficult to find locally if you don’t know where to look. In the digital age, online groups through Facebook Groups are a growing resource for connecting people over a shared interest. There are Facebook Groups for an assortment of hobbies and you can find a local group and attend events put on by the group. Meetup is another online forum that connects people—you can look for groups in your local area with sober-centric interests or use search terms like “sober” or “sobriety” to find a sober meetup.

 

Tips to Maintain Sobriety

Sober friendships are beneficial to the maintenance of sobriety. Not only do sober friendships help you avoid substances by partaking in sober-centric activities, sober friends are an invaluable support to recovery through encouragement. In addition to meeting sober friends and building healthy relationships, here are some other tips for maintaining sobriety:

  • Take sobriety one day at a time.
  • Identify your personal triggers and create plans to prepare for and avoid them.
  • Practice healthy living with regular exercise, getting ample quality sleep, and eating regular well-balanced meals.
  • Develop hobbies and make time for them. Hobbies improve mental wellbeing and prevent boredom.
  • Take advantage of aftercare. Whether its local recovery support groups, AA meetings, online forums or aftercare offered by a rehabilitation facility.
  • Celebrate milestones in your recovery. Sobriety is hard work and it is important to acknowledge and celebrate that work to continue to stay motivated.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Reaching out to people and building new relationships can be daunting, especially when you are navigating meeting new people while working on your recovery. But healthy relationships are fundamental to addiction recovery and building sober friendships will be worth putting yourself out there. At Soba Texas, we are committed to your long-term recovery and we know sober communities are a part of building a healthy sober lifestyle. We integrate social interaction into our custom treatment to help build socialization skills and remind you that you are not alone in your journey to sobriety. Reach out to us today to take the first step on your road to recovery.

Why Recovery Is A Lifelong Process

recovery is a lifelong process

As you know, there is no magic pill to “cure” withdrawal symptoms during detox, the only way is to go through it. The same concept can be applied to recovery. Recovery is a lifelong process. That’s why aftercare is very important when it comes to the prevention of relapse and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Wherever you are in the process of getting sober, Soba Texas would like to extend a heartfelt congratulation to you. Your bravery is admirable. We believe in your long-term addiction recovery process. We believe that you have what it takes to be successful in this lifelong journey. So, welcome to the next chapter of your life!

 

Substance Abuse Recovery Process

We understand that the addiction recovery process has not been easy, but it is worth it. From now on, it will take discipline and practice to maintain your sobriety. Just like everyone else’s, life is not easy. There will be bumps and hiccups. The most important part is to learn how to manage the recovery process. From day one at Soba Texas, we incorporate psycho-behavioral therapy into your addiction treatment strategy. We don’t believe in a “one-size-fits-all” treatment approach because we understand that each individual is unique. We offer a wide range of psychological therapies such as behavioral therapy, parental support, conflict resolution, anxiety and depression therapy, just to name a few. These treatment modalities are to prepare you to be successful after completing treatment at our facility. Here are some tips to stay on track of your sobriety.

 

Tips to Maintain the Addiction Recovery Process

Know your “why”: Everyone has their own “why”. Some people’s “why” might be their families, their relationships, some might have done it because of their careers. Someone might’ve just decided to get sober for a better life they know they deserve. This “why” was the motivation that kept you going through the darkest hours where everything seems to be impossible. So, remember your “why” and keep it close to your heart. With life’s ups and downs, sometimes, we all need a reminder of why we do what we do.

Stability is the key: At Soba Texas, we provide you with all the necessary tools and resources to be independent and maintain a life of sobriety. All of our clients are strongly encouraged to pursue a new career or return to their previous job. We firmly believe that stability plays a major role in long-term sobriety. Since recovery is a lifelong process, having a job will provide a steady source of income that will allow you to take care of yourself and your family. Have you ever thought about your passion or life calling? If you don’t have the answer for that yet, maybe this is the time to do some soul searching. Having a career that you love will make you feel fulfilled and purposeful. That feeling of fulfillment will get you through life when obstacles present. Another important part of maintaining stability is going to support groups and finding a sponsor (if you pursue AA or NA). Accountability is important, but more than that, life-long friendship can be found here. 

Stress management: Stress is one of the major triggers for addiction and relapse. That’s why Soba Texas focuses on stress management, anxiety and depression therapy from day one. Therapy is highly recommended after you finish with our treatment program. Incorporating yoga, meditation into your daily routine is one of the stress management methods. Free resources of these practices are available online, feel free to check it out and pick a program that is best for your needs and comfort level. Taking care of your body is another aspect of stress management. Remember, mental and physical health go hand in hand. Planning your weekly meals not only saves you money on grocery shopping, but it also ensures that you will always have nutritious, healthy food on hand. Along with diet, getting adequate sleep is also essential. According to the sleep foundation, younger adults (18-25 years of age) and adults (26-64 years of age)’s recommended sleep time is 7-9 hours. Make sleep your priority!

Love yourself: As human beings, we all make mistakes, so don’t be too harsh on yourself. You have made it this far, be proud of yourself! Self-care is a form of self-love, but don’t forget about others who have been there for you throughout this journey. Make time to reach out to your friends and family. You’d be surprised at how much it means to them and how good it’d make you feel. 

 

Get Help With Your Substance Abuse Recovery Process 

Soba Texas commits to be there for you every step of the way during your addiction recovery process. Do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns. Our after-care program is catered to all of your needs post-treatment. You will not be alone. Again, we believe in your long-term recovery! Call us today if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction. 

How to Maintain Sobriety Through Stressful Times

how to stay sober during stressful times

The world is a stressful place, and it’s practically impossible to find a single person on this planet who isn’t worried or anxious from time to time. Unfortunately, stress is one of the biggest factors of alcohol and drug abuse by far. When life gets tough, we often feel alone in our experiences and become desperate for fast relief just to keep going. But substance abuse only makes things tougher in the long run, and many people suffering from addiction end up abusing substances more and more just to try and regain some small level of comfort.

Fortunately, life doesn’t have to be this way. With over 20 million people (over 10 percent of adults) suffering from addiction each year in the United States, you’re not alone in your experiences. Furthermore, with the right addiction treatment program, many people can both obtain sobriety and learn healthy coping skills for addiction recovery that can help them through stressful times.

In the meantime, here are several time-tested techniques you can use to keep stress levels at bay without relying on unhealthy activities for relief:

Use Breathing Techniques

There’s a lot you can do to lower your stress levels in general, and we’ll get to those in just a moment. When your stress levels are spiking in the moment though is when you need the most help, because this is when you are most likely to want to turn to drugs or alcohol for relief, using focused breathing techniques has been shown to help calm you down and bring your stressful thoughts back to a more grounded state. Find somewhere comfortable to sit if possible, and shut your eyes so you don’t have any visual distractions. Take long, deep breathes, focusing on filling your lungs to capacity with air and then slowly releasing it all out. Do this for as long as you need to. Meditation can also help.

Exercise

Even milder physical workouts have been shown to be almost instant stress relievers. Incorporating regular exercise into your weekly schedule will also help lower your stress levels over time as well as keep you occupied. This is especially important, as keeping busy with physical tasks (like working out) will leave you with fewer “empty moments” where you may otherwise feel urges to use substances.

running for how to stay sober

Get Outdoors

According to the American Institute of Stress, getting outside and into nature has also been shown to help reduce stress levels almost instantaneously. Try looking up local parks or nature walks ahead of time so you have a destination in mind the next time you’re starting to feel overly anxious or frazzled. Likewise, spending time outdoors on a regular basis will help lower your general stress levels in the long run.

Avoid Stressful Triggers

Does reading or watching the news get you all stressed out? Do you have an exhausting work schedule or a relationship that may be toxic? Some things that stress you out are easy to avoid, while others may take a firmer stance. Nevertheless, it’s important to take steps in reducing your exposure to these stressful triggers. If a relationship (either personal or professional) may be stressing you out constantly, talking about your issues can sometimes help. If it does not, then it may be time to end the relationship and move forward into less stressful situations.

Practice Gratitude

Sobriety is far from the only thing that will help keep your life in recovery stable. It’s all about attitude. Studies have shown that actively focusing on the people, experiences, and objects you are grateful for every day can help you find joy in the little things. With this, stress levels decrease and general contentment wins over. Focusing on things you are thankful for having in life is also a good practice for whenever you do start feeling anxious or stressed out. Some people even make a list of these things and carry it around with them for such occasions.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Reaching out to others and talking through the things that are stressing you out can also prove to be quickly relieving. This is one reason why many people in addiction recovery still attend regular support group meetings and keep in touch with their rehab program. Focusing on building a strong support network of family and friends will also give you people you can rely on as an outlet for life’s problems.

If you’re still trying to reach life in recovery, it’s important to know that you don’t have to face addiction alone. Our team of substance abuse professionals at Soba Texas is here to help you through detox and addiction treatment safely and avoid falling back into relapse. In our luxury treatment center, you can start building the healthy, productive life you deserve. Everyday life will still come with stress, but we can help you learn to cope effectively without turning back to drugs. Get in touch with us when you’re ready — change can start today!

What To Do When The Cravings Hit?

You feel like you’re at the end of the road. You’re tired, broke, and honestly annoyed at life. You’ve been using the same drug over and over again, and finally, want to stop. You want the freedom during the day to do whatever you want instead of thinking about how you’ll score more drugs. Congratulations, you’re ready to get sober. 

During your journey in sobriety, you may experience cravings from time to time. This is a common part of recovery so don’t be scared if you feel one. Cravings are completely manageable with the right tools and coping skills. 

What are Cravings?

A craving is the term used to describe the urge to use alcohol or drugs once someone is sober. For certain people, the most severe cravings take place during the detox process. During detox, addicts will go through withdrawals. The symptoms of withdrawal will vary slightly from person to person as addiction impacts everyone differently, but common symptoms include fevers, shaking, chills, emotional lability, and discomfort. The urge to use drugs or alcohol to make these symptoms go away is a craving.

Once you’ve detoxed, the withdrawal symptoms are not going to be as severe but you are still at risk to feel the urge to use drugs or drink alcohol from time to time. Withdrawals will go away after the toxins leave your body but you can still experience cravings. Just because you feel a craving doesn’t mean you won’t stay sober, it’s a matter of how you react to the craving. 

How to Handle a Craving

If you feel a craving coming on, there are a few steps you can take to combat the craving. Taking the proper steps will help keep you sober. 

  1. Be aware: Before you can shake off a craving, you’ll have to know you’re experiencing one. Cravings can feel different for everyone but some common craving symptoms are irritability, feeling like you have an imaginary itch you can’t scratch, and frequent thoughts of using drugs or alcohol. If you experience these feelings it’s important to check in with yourself and identify the root of them. Maybe you haven’t attended a 12-step meeting all week and now it’s Friday, or maybe you’ve been around friends lately who drink and do drugs. After you identify the root cause, you’ll realize you’re having a craving. 
  2. Ways to cope: Once the feeling is recognized, the next step is to find a way to cope. How you cope with cravings is totally up to you. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. Some people find it helpful to call a friend or sober companion and talk about the feeling. Other people find it helpful to meditate. Shifting your focus to something else like exercising or writing can be helpful as well. Just be careful to not distract yourself too much from the feeling because you may end up brushing it under the rug, instead of dealing with it. 
  3. Seek support: One of the most effective ways to handle a craving is by seeking support from others. A huge component of drug and alcohol treatment is various types of therapies. If you’ve completed any form of treatment, you probably engaged in group therapy, individual therapy, and support groups types of therapy. Therapy and support groups shouldn’t just be isolated to treatment as recovery is a lifelong battle. Completing a comprehensive aftercare program post-treatment will help immensely with cravings. 

Let Us Help!

At Soba Texas, we are one of the top drug & alcohol treatment programs based in the San Antonio, TX region. Our detox & inpatient treatment programs help clients overcome addiction and take back control of their lives. Our premier luxury program that combines traditional addiction treatment with modern therapies to help our participants in overcoming substance abuse for good. If you are interested in finding out more about how our team can help you overcome addiction, please contact us!

How To Have Fun In Sobriety

Conquering addiction is one of the biggest challenges that someone can face. If you are sober and reading this, we’d like to congratulate you on your accomplishments. If you want to be sober, we’re here to let you know that getting sober doesn’t mean giving up having fun. It can be incredibly hard to part ways with something that has been an integral part of someone’s life for a long time. The journey to recovery is a long road but worth it. 

One of the biggest challenges that people are going to face on this journey is figuring out how to have fun. Let’s face it: drugs and alcohol are often used at parties to facilitate fun. The good news is that there are plenty of other ways to have fun in sobriety. 

What To Do During Sobriety for Fun

The area around San Antonio, TX is filled with great ways to have fun. Now that people are sober, this is a time to take risks appropriately, having fun without breaking the rules. This is very different (but fulfilling!) from the type of fun people have while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

San Antonio is known for its natural beauty. You can go hiking for the first time and explore the great outdoors. If you’re an adrenaline ‘junkie’, take a trip skydiving in the local area. Why not also take a risk and try to meet new people? One of the most important things people have to accomplish when they attain sobriety is finding new relationships that are going to help them maintain that sobriety. Meeting new people is a great way to do exactly that.

In general, people can have fun in sobriety by doing the things that “normal” people do. While “normal” is just a social construct, we’re talking about the stuff you probably wouldn’t have done while you were getting high, like riding a bike. You probably weren’t going to the movies either with friends while you were using but it’s actually very fun. You’ll be surprised at the joy that ensues while picking out candy and popcorn.

Try Picking Up an Old Hobby

There are plenty of people who still wish they could do something from their days as a child. This might mean an old sport, playing a musical instrument, or learning a second language. These are all great sober hobbies that you can do with your new free time that’s no longer being monopolized by addiction. It’s also important to reconnect with hobbies that remind you of what you were like before you started using drugs or alcohol.

Why Having Fun in Sobriety Matters

The journey to sobriety is challenging. Tears, anger, and hurdles to overcome are usually involved but it’s worth it. People in recovery work extremely hard for their sobriety and deserve to have fun. Happy and healthy individuals are less likely to relapse as well. 

Let Us Help You Find Fun in Sobriety!

At Soba Texas, we’re a drug abuse & alcohol treatment program located in San Antonio, TX. We provide a wide variety of detox and inpatient treatment options for substance abuse. We also offer a unique luxury program that combines traditional treatment and modern therapies to assist clients on the path to addiction recovery and sobriety. Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about our service!

What To Do While Sober In San Antonio, Texas

Everyone is familiar with the saying “Everything is bigger in Texas”, so we are sure that you will be pleasantly surprised to find out that applies to even our tourist spots. There is quite a lot to see and do inside the Alamo City no matter what time of day it is. Whether you are visiting their lovely zoo with more than 750+ species within 56 acres or moseying through the many historic sights and attractions, there are definitely many sights to see and explore while sober. Being under the influence isn’t the only way you can enjoy yourself. Albeit, finding activities or entertainment that doesn’t revolve around being under the influence can be difficult if you don’t know where to look, and to make your search easier we have compiled a list of entertainment below.

Visit the Farmers Market at the Pearl.

Think of the farmers market at pearl as a Boston creme donut enticing and inviting on the outside, but absolutely amazing on the inside.  With almost 20 friendly merchants and dealers selling things like hot food for on the go-to standard jewelry, there is undoubtedly something for everybody inside. The pearl district is not lacking in picturesque beauty in the landscape and design so you can never get bored with the layout while you explore. This community gathering is actually dog-friendly, kid-friendly and fun for the entire family without being horribly expensive. Feel free to wake up and start your day there, coffee in your hand and central downtown just a few blocks away if you would enjoy more solidarity. There is something for all kinds of people in this market.

See a Rodeo

You don’t have to be a farm-raised cowboy to enjoy a rodeo and some good ole’ fashioned roughhousing. Make your way over to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo during the month of February and March, or perhaps the Teja Rodeo which is from the spring to the end of fall; to enjoy bull-riding, barrel racing, and calf roping. Live music is also happily included with the admission price, along with the chance to ride an infamous mechanical bull or you could get your shoes shined if you aren’t one for roughhousing. There are still activities available for those who aren’t seeking a quick thrill and prefer to relax in their downtime, like the hayrides or an armadillo race.

Visit The Esquire Tavern.

The Esquire Taverns is just as mysterious and mystical as the name suggests. They distribute alcohol of course but there is still plenty to do for those who don’t drink! There is delectable food waiting for you at the pub, so don’t be hesitant when it comes to grabbing a seat! Food and drinks aren’t the only things that await you at the pub either, be sure to catch a fantastic musical act for the night before heading home. Whether you are here accompanied by your loved ones or for business, you are undoubtedly going to enjoy your visit to The Esquire Tavern.

Get your game on with Knight Watch Games

San Antonio is happy to cater to all tastes and if your tastes happen to be competitive cards/board games such as Dungeons And Dragons or Game Of Thrones in a hall that could make the most professional of game designers jealous-Then Knight Watch is definitely down your alley. With an amazing combo of a gaming hall for you to play to your heart’s content, a game shop for you to purchase your own games to play in the future, and clothing shop to dress the part of any renaissance role you see fit-Knight Watch is a personal getaway for anyone who enjoys thoughtful games and trials that kicks the brain into motion. Knight Watch accepts all visitors with open arms whether you come by yourself or with friends.

Explore your artistic side with ArtPace

Are you on the artistic side? Find yourself marveling at art? Then the ArtPace is the place for you! The museum is definitely an acquired taste, full to the brim with contemporary art. Nine artists are invited to live there and work throughout the year, three from different parts of Texas-and others from different parts of the United States and the world.  One of their most recent partnerships was with Austin Eastciders in “Cider Sessions” where they distributed free cider and visitors were invited to see just how artists were able to create their pieces.  ArtPace does not charge any admission money and prides itself on being open to all parts of the public. All in all, if you lean more on the creative side ArtPace will be a memorable trip to take.

San Antonio is primarily known for the Alamo, however, that does not mean that there aren’t other fun things to do when moseying through town besides drinking. It is also the home to many amusement parks such as Six flags, the wet and wild SeaWorld, as well as the famous river walk. Addiction recovery can be difficult, but we are more than willing to show you the best of the best in San Antonio; So you can reward yourself and take the vacation that you deserve while maintaining your sobriety.

Don’t Let Stress Wreck Your Sobriety – Tips to Succeed at Addiction Recovery

If there’s one thing that can test the strength of your sobriety, it’s stress. Emotional and mental stress can make it difficult to follow through with routine responsibilities to your family, friends, and employer. Physical stress like pain or an injury may add a deeper element that challenges your commitment to addiction recovery.

You can’t eliminate stress from your life, but there are five ways you can manage it more efficiently. Here’s one quick tip to get you started: controlling your reaction to stressful circumstances can lead to instant relief and is far more effective than trying to find a quick fix for a long-term problem or a situation that is out of your control.

1. Spend time with yourself every day.

Staying in touch with your deeper emotions and thoughts can help you react in a more positive manner when stressful situations arise. Commit to doing one or more of the following for up to an hour every morning or just before bed:

  • Journaling – Get a pen and paper or open a blank document on your computer, and simply start writing whatever comes to mind. You can set a timer and challenge yourself to keep writing until your time is up or write two to three pages daily. As you write, you will focus on what’s stressing you out and on your deeper thoughts that often go unacknowledged in daily life. You will start to solve problems and stumble upon powerful realizations if you’re consistent in your journaling.
  • Guided Meditation – Research has found that mindful meditation eases psychological stress. Depression and anxiety are symptoms of that type of stress and can easily set in during the addiction recovery process. The easiest way to start meditating is to find a guided meditation soundtrack or download an app or podcast that offers meditation tracks. Get into a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus your mind on the track.
  • Gratitude Journaling – Write down five or more things that you’re thankful for each day. You can add that into your journaling practice or just do it on your phone when you have a few minutes to spare during your day. Focusing your mind on the blessings in your life will help you maintain a more positive mindset.

2. Make your sleep routine a habit.

When you look into the correlation between sleep habits and stress, the following facts stick out:

  • Sleeping an extra 60-90 minutes per night would make most Americans healthier and happier.
  • Many Americans report feeling more stressed when the length or quality of their sleep decreases.
  • Americans report feeling even more stressed if they don’t get enough sleep during stressful times.
  • The side effects of sleep deprivation can mimic signs of extreme stress, including irritability, fatigue and lack of motivation

Have you heard of the sleep-stress cycle? It’s a cycle in which stress interferes with sleep, and then inadequate sleep leads to more stress, which makes it even harder to sleep. You can break the cycle and control your stress by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Yes, that includes weekends. Make sure your schedule allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

3. Minimize overwhelm by tackling one goal at a time.

If you’re concerned that stress will sabotage your addiction recovery, it doesn’t make sense to create more stress for yourself. You may have a lot that you want to accomplish as you get your life back on track, but don’t try to do it all at once.

Try writing down all of your goals, and then listing them in order of priority. Put goals that energize and excite you at the top of the list because they will motivate you the most. The more you have to look forward to, the more likely you are to maintain your sobriety.

4. Incorporate aerobic activity into your daily life.

While exercise may feel difficult and stressful when you first start, it will eventually become a piece of the sturdy foundation that roots you in healthy addiction recovery. Aerobic activity is anything that increases your heart rate, gets you sweating and requires you to control your breathing and exertion.

Whether you decide to try water aerobics, Zumba, running, fitness walking or cycling, routine aerobic exercise will help you relax while boosting your mood and allowing you to clear your mind of stressful thoughts. You may even find that your exercise sessions spark flashes of creativity that help you solve problems that have long been sources of stress for you.

5. Don’t bottle up your stress.

The worst thing you can do during addiction recovery is pretending that you’re okay when you’re not. When stressful situations arise, reach out to family and friends who are aware of your commitment to sobriety. Just venting to someone who knows about your struggles can help you see the situation in a new light, altering your reaction to the stressful situation quickly.

You can also reach out to the trained and compassionate professionals at Soba Texas when stress becomes too much to manage on your own. We’re always one call away, so never suffer in silence.

 

How to Get Sober and Stay Sober

Making the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol is a huge step in the right direction.  But it also comes with challenges.  Maybe you’re wondering how to put your life back together, and where to go for addiction treatment.  Maybe you’re worried about the possibility of relapse.  Making healthy lifestyle adjustments and seeking support will go a long way toward helping you get– and stay– sober.  Here are some tips to guide you in your recovery.

Take One Day at a Time

If you’re new to recovery or are discouraged because of a relapse, the idea of long-term sobriety can seem overwhelming.  Take your new life one day at a time.  Decide each day that for the next 24 hours, you’re going to commit to staying clean and sober.

Set Goals

Setting short-term and long-term goals can make it easier to give up addictive habits.  Having something to work toward can give you a sense of meaning and purpose.  When you’re struggling to stay on track, your goals can serve as a reminder of why you committed to recovery in the first place.

Structure Your Days

Establishing a schedule of meaningful activities can help you set and work toward your goals.  Having regular activities to look forward to each day will also reduce boredom, a common relapse trigger.  When you’re new to recovery, rehab-related activities will likely take up much of your time.

Once you’ve completed rehab, it’s especially vital to keep your days structured.  Consider going back to school, volunteering in the community, or getting a job.  Taking up a hobby can also be rewarding and help you keep your mind off drinking and drugs.

Adopt Healthy Habits

Using drugs and alcohol takes quite a toll on your body, and self-care tends to fall by the wayside.  Adopting healthy habits in recovery can help you reverse the effects of long-term substance abuse.

  • Exercise.  Physical activity is especially beneficial for people in recovery.  Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that can help you fend off cravings.  Going to the gym or even taking a brisk walk in nature reduces stress, making relapse less likely and enhancing your overall sense of well-being.
  • Diet.  Substance overuse makes it difficult for your body to absorb any nutrients it gets, so making healthy meal choices is especially important when you’re sober.  Be sure to get plenty of protein and vitamins from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.  When you feel better, it’s easier to maintain a positive outlook and stay away from drugs and alcohol.
  • Quit Smoking.  If smoking is one of the habits you enjoyed along with drugs or alcohol, now is a good time to quit.  By refraining from using harmful substances, you’ll be able to reap maximum benefits from your other healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Embrace Self-Care.  Making all of these changes can be stressful, so it’s important to make self-care a priority.  Be kind to yourself.  Speak words of encouragement over yourself and reward yourself occasionally for coming as far as you have.  Do your best to take responsibility for your past actions, but let go of the guilt and shame that can become stumbling blocks for many in recovery.  Learn effective stress-management techniques so you can find healthy ways to decompress.
  • Avoid Triggers.  If you spend time with the friends you were surrounded by in your addiction or frequent the same stomping grounds you did in the old days, you’re not likely to remain sober for long.  Find new friends who are committed to sobriety, and avoid people and places that may serve as triggers.

Learn All You Can About Addiction and Relapse

Too often, people in recovery are just told to stay away from drugs and alcohol and go to meetings.  While this may be enough for some, most people need more in the way of addiction treatment.  Finding resources to help you commit to sobriety and learning more about addiction and possible triggers can help you discover what works best for you when it comes to staying clean.  After all, recovery looks a little different for each person.

While you shouldn’t live in constant fear of relapse, be aware of the warning signs so you can get help before you go back to old habits.  Withdrawing from the recovery community and loved ones and feeling less committed to sobriety are indicators that you’re vulnerable to relapse.

Seek Support

Healthy relationships are key to helping you stay on track.  Finding support groups and friends and family members who will cheer you on are critical as you build your new life.

Recovery is a lifelong journey.  Congratulations on taking the first steps.  At SOBA Texas, we provide intensive addiction treatmentContact us to learn more about how we can help.