Staying sober is an exercise in perseverance. People who celebrate their years-long streak of sobriety do so for a good reason—it’s a long uphill battle with several pitfalls along the way. For those coming out of treatment, it’s essential to know that while the steepest challenges have passed, there is still work ahead. Maintaining sobriety is more than just resisting the urge to drink or use; it’s about forming habits that reduce the need for drugs or alcohol.
Our help doesn’t end at treatment, either. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we’re here to assist you in your journey for the long term. Call us today at 727-954-3908 or fill out our online contact form to learn about the skills we teach to stay sober or about our sober living program for making the transition to life at home easier.
Why Forming Sober Habits Is Important
Forming healthy habits is essential to maintaining sobriety, whether you’re newly sober or have been in recovery for many years. You’re more likely to make it through a challenging situation without relapse if you have the proper habits in place.
Forming sober habits is important because:
- It lets you replace old habits that were tied to drinking or using with healthier ones.
- It helps trigger positive emotions, such as pride, contentment, and gratitude.
- It increases your confidence in yourself and your ability to stay sober. It reduces the risk of relapse by reducing negative emotions, such as anxiety, agitation, or despair.
- It helps create structure and gives you something to focus on other than drugs or alcohol.
- It encourages positive behavior and relationships with others. It can help you stay accountable to yourself and those around you.
Although forming these habits takes effort and consistency, the rewards are well worth it. A strong sober foundation can provide the guidance and structure you need to stay on track with your recovery goals, allowing you to live the life you want.
Relapse Prevention Techniques
Maintaining sobriety is about preparing yourself for a steady, habitual avoidance of substance use. Learning and implementing relapse prevention techniques is an integral part of making sobriety the new norm. Whether it’s in response to a trigger event or a strategy for the long-term, learning these relapse prevention techniques can help strengthen your sober lifestyle.
Triggers are people, places, or things that can reintroduce cravings or encourage substance use. Knowing what potential triggers there are for you can help significantly reduce your exposure to potential causes of relapse. Triggers aren’t just physical, either—they can take the form of stress, anxiety, or even boredom. Stay mindful of how each trigger affects your sobriety status, and respond accordingly.
Engage in Healthy Activities
Exercise, meditation, and hobbies can all occupy time that substance use would have otherwise taken up. These activities can serve as both a distraction from cravings and a real, healthy lifestyle change.
In the same way that healthy activities can stave off physical triggers, self-care mediates mental ones. Taking inventory of how you’re feeling that day, how your emotional status has changed over the past week, or making your mental health a high priority can all reduce the impulse to relapse.
Set Goals and Track Progress
Your emotional status isn’t the only thing you can track. Count the days since you began your sobriety journey, and wear it like a badge. Compare how difficult it’s been from the beginning to now, and identify patterns in when staying sober is at its hardest. It’s not all about keeping a streak, though. Aiming for perfection and falling short is no failure.
Maintaining Sobriety at Footprints Beachside Recovery
At Footprints Beachside Recovery, we believe that staying sober doesn’t have to be a daily struggle. Like walking or breathing, living sober can be an unconscious effort with the right approach. Sober life is within reach for everyone. Contact us today at 727-954-3908 to learn strategies for maintaining sobriety and about our sober living program near Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida.