Typically, individuals struggle with maintaining a sober lifestyle because humans are creatures of habit. Most people stick to old habits and behaviors because they are comfortable and familiar. For this reason, building this new sober lifestyle can be frustrating and overwhelming for someone new to recovery. It can be a slow process and may require a lot of trial and error, but countless people have found success in crafting a new, sober lifestyle.
What Is Sobriety?
Sobriety is defined as the lack of intoxication due to alcohol or drug use. When someone is sober, they are free from the influence of drugs and alcohol. Sobriety also means abstaining from any mind-altering substances including opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and marijuana. For this reason, sobriety is also known as abstinence.
With that being said, sobriety is not just about abstaining from drugs and alcohol. It is also about developing healthier coping skills and making positive lifestyle changes that create a new, sober lifestyle.
Sober Lifestyles Are More Than Abstinence
Sober lifestyles are more than not using drugs and alcohol. While technically correct by definition, in circles of recovery, most would agree that there is far more to sobriety than not using substances anymore. In fact, getting clean is just the beginning.
Sobriety is not a singular action, it is something that requires ongoing maintenance. In order to keep their sobriety, most people must completely change their lifestyle. Building a sober lifestyle means making choices that support your recovery.
How to Start Building a Sober Lifestyle
If you’re new to recovery and are just beginning the journey into sobriety, you may be wondering where to start. A good starting point is finding consistent, reliable work. Becoming self-sufficient while learning to be responsible is indispensable for someone building a sober lifestyle.
Here are some small suggestions to try:
- Integrate some form of exercise into your routine
- Make little, healthy changes to your eating habits
- Try waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day
- Make time for daily self-reflection
Building a sober lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. If you still don’t know where to start, find someone who you admire and follow what they do. Ask them how they got sober and how they continue to stay sober. Remember, everyone is different, and there is no right or wrong way to do sobriety.
Getting Sober in Drug and Alcohol Rehab
Building a meaningful life in drug and alcohol rehab is something you will start to do day by day. As your sobriety continues, it is important to take advantage of the many activities and resources in rehab. These opportunities are essential in helping you learn more about yourself and grow into adulthood while learning how to live a life without drugs and alcohol. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or accept help from your peers, counselors, and other professionals.
During treatment, you learn more about addiction and the impact it can have on a person’s life. Uncovering the reasons why you may have turned to drugs or alcohol can help you develop the skills and tools needed to manage triggers, cravings, and feelings of relapse. You will also learn how to cope with difficult emotions in healthy ways instead of turning to substances.
In drug and alcohol rehab, it is common for people to become part of a peer community. By participating in group activities, therapy sessions, and support groups, you will find yourself surrounded by peers who understand what it’s like to fight an addiction. This can help provide the encouragement needed for long-term recovery.
Joining a Program of Recovery
For most people, attending recovery meetings is the cornerstone of sobriety. Joining a 12-step program like AA or NA can really help to increase your chances of staying sober. With a 12-step program, you will work through the steps with other people who also want to achieve sobriety. This can be an amazing source of strength and encouragement for anyone going through addiction recovery.
Other alternative programs of recovery include SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety, Refuge Recovery, and LifeRing Secular Recovery. These programs may be more appealing to those who don’t want to follow a religious-based program.
While most people in early recovery benefit from in-person meetings, there are also online message boards, chat rooms, and social media groups that can also connect you with your sober community. Whether in-person or online, there are many support groups that provide guidance and support.
Getting involved in a recovery group is one of the best things you can do for yourself when embarking on your journey of sobriety. Not only will it provide an extra layer of support, but it can also give you an outlet for talking about your issues and struggles with other people who have faced similar challenges.
In order to maintain your sobriety, it’s important early on to establish a regular meeting schedule. Not only can you attend meetings, but you can also find ways to help your support group run smoothly. Making healthy commitments with members of your support group, such as making coffee or greeting, adds an additional level of accountability.
Building A Sober Support Network In Recovery
Knowing that there is a community of people out there going through the same things as you will help to keep you motivated and strong in your new, sober life. For this reason, communicating with sober people outside of meetings can remind you that you are not alone.
More importantly, having someone to reach out to is crucial, especially during early sobriety. This is why building connections in your recovery community is an important step in creating your sober support network.
Participating in sober activities with other people in recovery can offer an extra source of motivation and will give you something to look forward to. Signing up for fundraisers, clean ups or any number of events in your recovery community is a great way to stay connected and have fun without the use of alcohol or drugs.
No matter what kind of recovery activity you choose to participate in, there are resources and information that can keep you motivated throughout your sobriety. From support meetings to sober social clubs and beyond, it is important to make sure that you have access to recovery activities in a safe and supportive environment.
Sober Lifestyles in Long-Term Recovery
It’s important to understand that a successful, long-term recovery is about making positive changes in all areas of your life. After treatment, you can continue to build your sober lifestyle through personal growth in therapy and skill-building.
Using the skills you learned in treatment, you will be able to cope with triggers or cravings you may experience during the recovery process. Similarly, continuing to participate in sober activities can offer physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
Another important aspect of recovery is having a regular routine. Incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine is a beneficial practice that can help anyone, regardless of whether they’re in recovery or not.
As you develop your sober lifestyle, it is important to avoid trying to make too many abrupt changes all at once. Don’t try to overhaul your entire life at once but small, healthy decisions will add up to a successful sober lifestyle over time.
Accountability Measures In Sobriety
While you progress through early recovery, another key aspect of staying sober comes from accountability. In fact, keeping yourself accountable to will help you stay on track and strive for success during the recovery process. You can help yourself remain accountable for upholding your sober lifestyle by enlisting the help of your sober support network. For example, developing healthy relationships in treatment and recovery meetings can provide peer accountability.
Another way to incorporate accountability in recovery is by joining an outpatient program (OP). Outpatient programs can provide you with a structured environment to focus on your sobriety, which helps to create accountability for yourself. Having regular check-ins with your therapist or counselor can also help you stay accountable in the recovery process.
Many outpatient programs also provide sober living environments, which immerse you within your recovery community. Choosing to live with other people in recovery provides an added layer of accountability.
You can also learn to exercise accountability through consistent employment. For instance, a job will require you to show up on time and perform your duties at an acceptable level. For this reason, employment carries a ton of benefits that all lend themselves to a successful, sober lifestyle.
Begin Your Sober Lifestyle at Royal Life Centers
At Royal Life Centers, our goal is to provide you with the guidance, resources, and support you need to maintain your sobriety as you build your new life. Our compassionate recovery professionals will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and goals.
Through evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies, we will help you develop the tools necessary for long-term recovery success. We are committed to helping you achieve permanent sobriety and a healthier, happier life.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Royal Life Centers right away. Our world-class program is designed around the needs of our guests, so they get the most out of their treatment.