The time is now to make a change, and stick to it.
The following 21 tips will help you get and stay sober in 2017.
1. Live in the now.
You cannot change yesterday or control tomorrow. Focus on doing your best right now.
2. Seek support in nature.
Fresh air and sunshine are wonderful antidotes for depression and anxiety. Try out activities like hiking and surfing to establish a deeper connection.
3. Tap into your creative side.
Paint, draw, sculpt, sing or dance. If it gets the creative juices flowing, it’s good for your sobriety.
4. Don’t test your willpower.
Get rid of all of the alcohol in your house, including bottles “for guests” or special occasions.
5. Embrace change.
Change is good, especially when you are becoming a better person. Let go of the past.
6. Let go of resentment.
Focus on forgiveness; grant yourself and your loved ones forgiveness. Without it, moving forward is impossible. Reconnect with family and friends and make amends as needed.
7. Try meditation.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. Choose the method that appeals to you. Meditation will help you quiet your mind and center yourself.
8. Don’t live in fear of relapsing.
Worrying about slipping back into old destructive patterns can consume your mind. Instead, focus on your strength in recovery.
9. Fend off loneliness.
Isolation can be dangerous. Spend time with family and friends who will support your recovery and provide positive reinforcement.
10. Use the 24-hour plan.
If a lifetime of sobriety seems overwhelming, start with a smaller goal. Decide that for today, you will not drink or use, no matter what.
11. Don’t put too much pressure on one short stay in rehab.
It takes more than 30 days to develop and nurture a solid foundation for sobriety. It’s something you’ll need to work on every day.
12. Be good to yourself.
Addiction beats you up. Now that you’re in recovery, treat yourself to a massage or a new pair or shoes to celebrate how far you’ve come.
13. Get active.
When your mind and body are engaged, there is less room for cravings. Go for a run in the woods or kick a soccer ball around with the kids. You’ll feel energized, alive, and best of all, sober.
14. Adopt a pet if you don’t already have one.
The responsibility of a pet will add more structure to your lifestyle, and the unconditional love that animals offer is truly irreplaceable.
15. Check yourself frequently.
With every decision you make, ask yourself: “Is this the healthiest choice for me right now?”
16. Give back.
Whether volunteering your time or your skills, helping others just feels good.
17. Be willing to walk away from stressful situations.
You have enough stress in your life. Learn how to let go of what you don’t need.
18. Create a gratitude list.
Each and every day, write down a couple of things you are grateful for. If you’re having a bad day, look at your list and remember how far you’ve come.
19. Clean your mental house.
Get rid of the negativity. Speak to yourself with loving, supportive, encouraging words. If this is hard, be kind to that struggle.
20. Create goals.
Always have a challenging goal in the back of your mind; something that pushes you to be better and reach new heights.
21. Don’t stress over discouraging statistics.
You are an individual in control of your own success in recovery.