Managing Real Life While Maintaining Sobriety
If you are in the post-treatment stage of addiction, you already know it takes incredible effort to reach where you are now. Avoiding relapse should be your number one priority. The problem is the stresses and pressures of daily life often cause people to turn back to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Let’s discuss how to manage real-life responsibilities while remaining sober.
What Is Sobriety?
The technical definition of sobriety is the state of being sober, meaning no drugs or alcohol are in your system. Other definitions mostly focus on the process of recovery. Obtaining and maintaining sobriety means developing coping mechanisms and habits that support a healthy lifestyle and wellness for the future.
While abstinence from drugs and alcohol is the goal, the reality is that triggers are abundant and old habits are hard to break, especially in the face of everyday stressful situations.
Maintaining Sobriety While Balancing Real Life
Let’s learn more about how to manage your life while maintaining sobriety.
Have a daily routine: Creating a daily routine for yourself gives you a straightforward checklist to keep you engaged and away from the temptation to use or drink. By maintaining a daily routine, you reduce the anxiety you may feel thanks to unexpected events and prepare yourself for the unexpected.
In this way, you safeguard your recovery and prevent relapse with positive, life-changing behavior patterns and thoughts which will consistently fight cravings and help you find meaning in a substance-free life.
Avoid triggers and old patterns: Know the situations, people, places, or things that can be triggers for substance use. Your internal feelings like overthinking or emotions associated with substance use can also be triggers. Once you identify your biggest risk areas, find ways to avoid them as much as possible.
If you quit using substances but continue your same routines such as hanging around the same people and places and don't make any situational changes, it'll be much easier to slide into old behavior patterns and habits.
Here’s how to avoid it.
7 Ways To Avoid Falling Back Into Old Behaviors & Habits
Support network: Find a recovery-supportive social circle to keep you in check and promote healthier habits.
Self-love: As you learn to form your health and emotional well-being — your foremost priority in the early stages of recovery — you’ll also learn the value of encouraging yourself and loving yourself for who you are, what you do, and what you are willing to do. When your internal dialogue is positive like this, the stresses of daily life are less likely to cause cravings for substances.
Find balance in your life: One common mistake for people who are new to alcohol and drug recovery is substituting their drug use for another compulsion, called a transfer or substitute addiction. This may come in the form of things like addiction to gambling, sugar, or sex. While these are less harmful than drugs or alcohol addiction, they still need to be addressed to maintain a healthy life balance. Although your new routine is healthy and efficient, the void left by the primary addiction can turn into a transfer addiction. The secret is to seek out a healthy balance and take control of your life and your choices.
Celebrate small achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate your recovery to stay motivated and remind yourself why you took this brave step toward sobriety in the first place — as long as your rewards or celebrations don't involve substance use. Instead, try new experiences and activities that allow you to enjoy your newly sober lifestyle and celebrate the work you've done to get there.
Self-discipline: Self-discipline is incredibly important while recovering from substance use. It helps you create and perform new healthy habits. The more you get into the habit of practicing discipline with small things, the easier it will be when bigger issues arise.
Building a new social life: Before treatment, your social circle may have included many other drug and alcohol users. Now, it is important to establish healthier friendships with people who support your recovery and mental stability. Many recovering from addiction struggle with social insecurities, especially adolescents. This is why social skills are such an important piece of recovery. Forming a healthier social circle can help you recover your self-confidence keep you accountable and motivated. In treatment, you will begin to build a sober social circle through peers in treatment and support groups. You will also attend counseling programs where you will further develop sound social skills.
Take financial responsibilities: It is normal to find it difficult to cope with work-related responsibilities, keep up with family and friends, and manage financial responsibilities. If your substance addiction lasted some time, you might have gotten into financial trouble. Financial troubles and difficulties finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse — and these issues won't resolve themselves overnight. Take responsibility for these issues and use your resources through your drug rehab or local employment assistance to slowly start to rebuild and recover your financial life.
Building & Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle Is A Big Task
With the pressures of work or school, daily life, and family obligations, you may find yourself feeling burned out, or even turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms. If you're struggling with substance abuse, consult an addiction recovery professional at The Edge Treatment Center. Though it's always hard to ask for help or reach out to people, you have achieved a significant milestone in your recovery once you do. We are here to help you to balance continued recovery and daily-to-day activities. Call us today at (800) 778-1772.