How to Stay Sober: 6 Tips to Clean Up After Rehab
Rehab is only the first step on the path to sobriety. Staying sober is harder than you think. If you want to know how to stay sober, here are 6 useful tips.
Keyword(s): how to stay sober
Learning to embrace the gift of sobriety through a rehab facility is a great first-step toward conquering the demons of addiction. But what happens when you leave those friendly faces behind and return to your life?
For many recovering addicts, learning how to stay sober after rehab can be quite frightening. On average, somewhere between 40 to 60 percent of all addicts will experience a relapse at some point.
But a relapse isn't the fault of the addict, nor is the rehab facility responsible. In truth, temptations will always be there.
Learning how to overcome temptation is hugely important to maintaining your sobriety. Read on for six tips on how to stay sober once you leave the comfy confines of rehab.
1. Be Honest About Your Addiction
You can't expect to live a sober lifestyle if you're not honest with yourself. For some, this means a healthy dose of tough love, while others require a more meek method (more on this later).
Whatever your situation, it's important that you're open and honest with yourself about your addiction.
In truth, one doesn't stop living as an addict when they finish their rehabilitation program.
It's important that you're honest with yourself about your struggles and temptations. You alone cannot maintain your sobriety.
Whether you personally believe in Alcoholics Anonymous' methods or not, their use of the Serenity Prayer is a fantastic tool for recovering addicts.
If you're unfamiliar, the Serenity Prayer is all about giving up your own power and placing your faith in the hands of God.
By surrendering to His will and living your life on a moment-by-moment basis, your chances of staying sobriety go up exponentially.
2. Watch For Trigger Situations
While it'd be wonderful if you were never faced with temptation, the truth of the matter is that you'll more than likely end up in a few situations where you feel tempted to use. Many of these situations may not even be intentional.
What you do in these situations determines whether or not you stay sober.
Therefore, think about some trigger situations you may find yourself in and rehearse how you'll react.
These situations aren't always social, either. For many addicts, temptation comes when we're at our most vulnerable. Perhaps you've recently experienced a loss or you're stressed out, for instance.
It can be easy to fall into old vices when times get tough or when you don't know how to react. But rehearsal and planning are psychology-backed solutions for overcoming common pitfalls.
3. Create A Daily Routine
Doctors and social scientists have spent years studying the impact of daily routines on our health.
Through hard work and research, they've determined that setting a routine for one's self (even if they're not an addict) can have some pretty major health benefits.
Routines are a great way to help us maximize our time and minimize our risk.
And setting a routine doesn't mean that you have to plan out every activity of every day. There's still plenty of time to go off and have an adventure!
But setting a routine for yourself can help you establish a sense of normalcy and get back to everyday life.
4. Surround Yourself With Good People
By nature, we humans are social creatures. We thrive on opportunities to interact and learn from those around us.
While it may not be the most revolutionary idea in the world, everyone needs a strong support system in their life. And that goes double for those trying to stay sober.
Surrounding yourself with the right people can make all of the difference.
For some, that support system may be a literal support group they attend. For others, it just means some truly wonderful friends and family that have been there through your darkest moments.
Whatever the case, find your support system and embrace it. Surround yourself with people who value you and your sobriety and choose to lift you up.
In many ways, sobriety is a team effort. So make sure you're surrounding yourself with a team that wants to see you succeed.
5. Focus On Recovery, Not Relapse
For almost all addicts, the word relapse may as well be a four-letter word. It's understandable, after all. No recovering addict wants to return to a life of pain and misery.
Yet the more we dread the thought of relapse, the more power we give it.
Yes, it's always smart to keep yourself out of situations where a relapse may occur, and no, we're not saying that relapse is guaranteed to occur.
What we're saying that no one deserves to live in constant fear. Take those emotions and energy and direct them toward something more positive.
Here are a few great ways to harness that energy into something more constructive:
- Volunteer at your local church
- Feed the homeless
- Serve as a sobriety mentor to others
- Visit retirement homes to keep the elderly company
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Take up a part-time job
- Explore your favorite hobbies
There's no shortage of great, positive ways to use your energy. The trick is to make sure you're using that energy for the right things.
6. Practice Forgiveness
There's so much we can learn from God's forgiveness. After all, how many people would be truly willing to give their only son to the world?
Heal your mind and take a step toward a Christ-based life by exercising forgiveness.
For some, that may be more difficult than it sounds. Forgiveness requires us to wrestle with some pretty nasty feelings, after all.
But whether you forgive yourself, those that have hurt you, or even God himself, letting go of that negativity and embracing the power of forgiveness is so wonderfully powerful.
Final Thoughts For Those Looking For Advice On How To Stay Sober
Those wondering how to stay sober should know that they have quite the battle ahead. Have no doubt, there will be days where your strength and commitment are put to the test.
But through God, all things are possible. Make sure to follow these Christ-driven tips to help you live a healthy, sober lifestyle.