Beyond A Sober New Year’s Eve: How to Stay Sober This Year
Medically reviewed byDr. Richard Foster, LICDC-CS
Surviving the holidays and having a sober New Year’s Eve is one thing, but learning how to stay sober in the new year is an entirely different challenge. Luckily, these tips on long-term sobriety may help.
For a person new to recovery, the holidays can be a challenge. With so many holiday relapse triggers, it can be difficult to stay on track, but your commitment to your sobriety shouldn’t end there. When you do make it through, it can be tempting to ease up and become a little complacent, but this type of attitude could be a recipe for disaster for your recovery.
Maintaining Sobriety in the New Year
Maintaining long-term sobriety means stay committed to your recovery. While many people are concerned about making it through the holidays, you want to make your sobriety last a lifetime. These tips on how to stay sober this year can get you one big step closer to this goal.
Get treatment when
and how you need it.
Establish A Group of Supporters
Having support is an important part of maintaining sobriety. Joining a support group can be helpful, but you should not stop there. Find a group of people that you know will support your recovery efforts. Whether they are close friends, family members, recovery peers, or coworkers, these people should be those who you feel comfortable calling if you need to talk and a welcome distraction from the trying times of early recovery. Building a solid support system can take time, but knowing you have a group of different people who are on board with your commitment to sobriety can help you stay on the right track.
In order to have a sober new year, you need to stay committed to your sobriety. Whether you are in outpatient treatment or attending regular recovery meetings on your own, you need to continue to work at your sobriety. Write down your recovery goals so you know what you are working toward and you can track your progress. These goals can help ensure you keep moving forward in recovery.
Keep A Log of Gratitude
Taking note of what you are thankful for can help remind you why you got sober when times get tough. Make a daily log or journal entry where you note the things that you are grateful for. This running list can help you see the positives that came out of your sobriety. If you find it difficult to start, just focus on writing down three things each day.
Give Back or Volunteer
Building a substance-free lifestyle after addiction treatment usually means trying to find a new purpose now that drugs and alcohol are out of the picture. Volunteering or giving back to your community is a great way to give your life new meaning that can help you feel useful during difficult times.
Fill Your Calendar
One of the best tips on how to stay sober in the new year is to get busy. Because boredom can lead to relapse, staying busy in recovery with activities that are far from the influence of substance abuse may help you avoid relapse. Try something new by yourself or ask a loved one to join you. Look for activities that get you moving and keep you in positive situations.
Remember Your Health
In order to stay sober this year, people in recovery need to keep their overall health in mind. The holiday season can do a number to your physical and mental health as your healthy eating, sleep, and exercise habits may fall to the side. Make sure that in the new year you focus on recovering and maintaining a healthy routine.
Learning how to stay sober this year may be as simple as learning what triggers cravings and how to best avoid them. For many, the first place or situation where they abused drugs or alcohol becomes a long-term trigger. Also, spending time with people who are still abusing drugs or who introduced you to them could cause you to relapse. Steer clear of these places as much as possible, or if you can’t avoid them, have an exit strategy or trusted friend there to help.
Enjoy Your Sobriety
While recovery can be hard work, you should also take the time to enjoy it. This may seem difficult to do at first, but being in recovery affords you the unique opportunity to see the world from the perspective of someone who has bested their addiction and is now able to reap the many benefits. Make sure you take the time to reflect and enjoy the moment. When you can enjoy being sober, you will never want to go back.
Just because you make it through the bustling holiday season doesn’t mean your recovery journey is over. Sobriety may not be easy, but these tips on how to stay sober in the new year could help you ring in next year with a year in recovery under your belt.