So you’ve decided to quit drinking and want to live a healthier sober life. Good for you!
With 15 million people addicted to alcohol in the U.S. alone, it can seem very difficult to both quit drinking and stay sober for the long term. This is especially true if you’re around many other drinkers who are not encouraging.
Whether you’ve made this decision recently have struggled with staying clean for years, there are some effective tips for staying sober that will help you avoid temptation and react appropriately when you feel pressured to relapse.
Check out these three creative ways to stay sober.
1. Find a Goal or Hobby That Gives You Purpose
When you struggle and might feel there’s no real motivation for staying sober, it helps to have a goal or dream you want to work toward. Maybe you would love to start your own business, invent something, or travel the world.
Even something like a new hobby can help you enjoy life without alcohol and give you something to look forward to. You could take up a new sport, learn to paint, practice a musical instrument, or anything else you’ve been putting off.
In any case, taking small steps each day to work towards your goal or practice your hobby will help keep your mind off drinking and make you more productive as well. Even better, have a friend or family member hold you accountable and check in on your progress.
2. Have Some Good Excuses Ready for When Someone Pressures You
Even though you personally want to live a sober life, that doesn’t mean you won’t end up in a situation where colleagues, friends, or relatives offer you a drink. You also probably can’t or don’t want to avoid all parties and social gatherings either.
That’s why it helps to have persuasive and creative excuses ready to give to people who offer you a drink, especially if they just won’t take “no” for an answer.
Rather than having to explain that you have had an addiction to alcohol when you’re not comfortable doing so, you can use excuses related to your health, goals, or beliefs. For example, you might pass on that drink since it would go against the diet your doctor ordered or your religious beliefs.
3. Spend More Time with the People Who Support You
Ideally, you’ll want to spend most of your time with people who support your decision not to drink and avoid people and places that tempt you.
It helps to have a discussion with your close friends and family about why you’ve decided to live a sober life and ask for their advice and encouragement when you feel you’re struggling. When you feel tempted to go out with your drinking buddies, call up a sober friend or relative instead to go see a movie or just enjoy conversation.
Of course, you have others outside your social circle who can support you. Working with an addiction counselor can provide you with more tips for staying sober and provide support in a crisis situation. You can also continue spending time at alcohol addiction support groups to hear others’ struggles and know you’re not alone.
Now You Have Some Creative Ways to Stay Sober
With these tips, you now know how to distract yourself with something productive when you feel like drinking. You’ll also be better equipped to handle when others pressure you to give up staying sober.
These are just a few of the many ways to stay sober, so don’t be afraid to try them out and see which work best for you. An addiction counselor or support group can also help you deal with specific struggles.
If you want to see even more life hacks about staying sober and other topics, be sure to check out our blog.