Sober Living: 6 Great Life Hacks For Sober Living

Sober Living 6 Great Life Hacks For Sober Living

Quitting substances is hard work and don’t let anyone tell you different. Deciding to change your life takes bravery and determination.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer


August 19, 2021

Notice we didn’t say “easy” in the title.

Quitting substances is hard work and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Deciding to change your life and move forward in a completely different way takes bravery and determination. Making your way through a drug and alcohol treatment program? That’s hard work, too.

It’s probably why the thought of relapsing often looms large in the minds of recovering people.

First things first: Relapses are often part of the process. People stumble, fall … and get back up. That said, there’s nothing wrong with developing some life hacks that’ll serve you well, especially when you’re going through or just graduating from rehab.

Unlike a lot of your typical lifestyle hacks, though, most of these aren’t all that easy. But think of it like this: you’ve already made some major lifestyle changes that are working out for you. What are a few more?

Having said that, here’s six:

Make a Schedule and Own It: Building a sober life is a little like building a house. The stuff you do in drug and alcohol rehab – group sessions, talk therapy – are your strong foundation. The structure? Well…that part’s up to you.

So, draw up a blueprint. If you’ve been living in a sober living environment, you’ve got a great head start. Those rules you’re living under may seem a little grating, but they’re helping you stay occupied and keeping your mind in a good place. Regular meals, bedtimes and appointments all help recovery stick. Speaking of houses…

Put Your House in Order: There’s a reason behind keeping your living spaces clean and neat. Aside from basic hygiene, studies have shown there are legitimate health benefits behind housekeeping. Here’s an example: researchers from Indiana University discovered a potential link between people who kept neat houses … and took care of their health.

This is another area where sober living gives you a head start over others – after living in the tightly-structured environment of a sober house, you already know how to keep your living quarters neat and clean.

Get to Work: Responsibility and accountability are cornerstones of effective, lasting recovery. The best way to exercise both is to find a job. Okay, that’s definitely one of those things that’s easier said than done. But it is doable, even after a long gap in your employment record.

  • Step one: Today’s job hunt is largely digital. Get a profile for yourself on a networking site like LinkedIn. Don’t forget to really participate on the platform: share your story and experiences. You’ll be surprised by how many business people have similar stories to yours, and the drive and integrity recovering people possess can make them appealing hires as well.

  • Step two: Take advantage of any work reentry programs your rehab provider might offer. Keep searching online, too. There are tons of resources with tips about writing resumes, interview strategies and more.

  • Step three: There’s a good chance the jobs you do find may not exactly be what you were thinking of, like retail or service industry. Don’t let that get you down: any task will keep you focused on building a sober future and with the income from the job you might be able to further your skills online or at a community college if you need to.

No matter how you find work, remind yourself to (soberly!) celebrate that first paycheck, even if it’s a little smaller than you’d like. Getting paid for your work is a milestone. There is a fundamental dignity in all work, and even the most menial tasks can teach valuable lessons. Also, the present isn’t permanent; a simple job can be a gateway to more responsibility and a larger paycheck. Hey, as long as we’re talking paychecks…

Keep Your Mind on Your Money: Let’s face it, money management probably wasn’t a priority in your previous life. Drugs and alcohol aren’t just addictive; they’re serious money sinks. Plus, you’re likely to be a little short on cash for a while as you move through recovery.

Don’t beat yourself up: Reports show pretty much everybody needs a little help with their finances these days, sober or otherwise. Getting proactive with your money isn’t just great advice everyone should heed, it’s a way for you to exercise control over your new healthy life.

Make Room for Number One: Some people think self-love sounds dangerously close to self-absorption … and they’re wrong. The idea of self-care covers everything from healthy eating to regular exercise. It’s part of the process of rebuilding a person battered by the mental and physical effects of substance abuse.

Regular exercise, eating healthy, practicing alternative forms of treatment like yoga and mediation … even developing positive hobbies help people rebuild their self-esteem and self-efficacy.

Create and Maintain a Positive Network: Here’s a tough one. You probably had a circle of friends you hung out with prior to rehab. That’s great, but now’s a great time to really think about those relationships. What were the kinds of things you did together?

If those relationships revolved around partying, substance use and the other stuff which drove you to change your life, maybe now’s the time to rethink them. Being around substances and hanging around people and places you associate with your old life are major, dangerous triggers.

We know this is a major ask. Making new friends isn’t always the easiest thing to do, particularly when you’re a little emotionally raw. You’re at a crossroads, though: if your old friends represent a genuine risk of returning to bad habits, are you worth it?

Rehab, 12-step, and other recovery-focused groups aren’t necessarily made for socializing, but you can meet friends there. Not only are they on the same journey you’re on, they’re also a sort of ready-made support network which understands the same triggers and struggles you have.

The Journey Can Start Today

The ideal rehab provider doesn’t just shuttle you to meetings – they’re a partner which keeps up with you even after you leave. The Edge Treatment Center is a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center that acts as a community of care for our clients. Many of our clients work during their treatment, and we offer a flexible schedule – including a night program – allowing our treatment plans to mesh with your needs.

Don’t wait. Contact an expert today for a free consultation.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.