Alcohol abuse is one of the biggest issues our society is facing today.
The number of lives affected by alcoholism is staggering, which makes kicking the addiction so much more important.
Those who manage to stop drinking have a long fight ahead of them. Remaining sober is a process that takes years and requires consistent effort. We’ve put together 7 tips that are proven to help on this road to full recovery.
1. Change your Surrounding
Drinking is a social phenomenon. Most alcohol abuse cases start drinking with friends and socializing. Going to the same places and hanging out with the same people is a good way to fall back into your old ways. Why? Because humans are creatures of habit. We seek patterns and we stick to them.
By changing your patterns of behavior and removing yourself from environments you associate with drinking, you will have a much better chance at remaining sober. If you find that your friends aren’t supportive, you might be dealing with a toxic environment, at which point you definitely need a change of setting.
2. Put Together a Schedule
For many alcoholics, drinking is a strong driving factor. You’d rush work to get home and drink, you’d look forward all day to hanging out with friends, so you could have a beer or two. Once you remove drinking from the equation, there is a chance you’ll feel lost. At that point, the best way to remain focused is to follow a schedule and develop a routine.
Routine is a great tool to remain on the path of sobriety. Experts over at Coastline Behavioral Health argue building new routines and sticking to a defined structured schedule develops confidence. Give yourself achievable goals and enjoy the sense of accomplishment when you meet them.
3. Start the Change From the Inside
Recovery takes time. Once sober, chances are that you’ll notice at least a few areas in which you can improve. More often than not, personal health is on that shortlist. Start working on yourself.
Put your well-being ahead of everything else for a while. Join a gym, change your diet, get enough sleep. All of these things will help you stay focused on the end goal and keep your mind away from thinking about alcohol.
4. Be Honest with Yourself
Staying sober is extremely difficult as it is. For some, it is the most difficult thing they’ll ever have to do. Because of that, being honest with yourself is key. If you notice that you’re relapsing or that you’re getting more intrusive thoughts than usual, don’t discard these warning signs.
Recognize their meaning and deal with them. If you’re in therapy, seek help. If you’re doing this on your own, the ability to recognize these subtle warning signs is essential in fighting off the addiction. Your progress hinges on you being honest with yourself.
5. Find Support in Others
Humans are social animals. We function better when we’re not alone and when we know there’s someone looking out for us. Unfortunately, most alcohol abuse victims don’t have a healthy support system.
Instead, they have to build it from the ground up. Forming healthy relationships and ditching old, toxic ones is an essential part of moving forward. This is why support group membership is often cited as an important part of recovery.
5. Understand the Cause of your Problem
Alcohol abuse almost always has a cause. There is a reason why someone seeks escape in drinking and usually it has to do with stress, relationship problems, financial problems, or others.
Understanding why you used to drink and what set you off is an imperative part of recovery. By knowing what to avoid, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of relapse. We all have our triggers, you just have to recognize yours.
6. Accept Your Past
Alcohol makes us do things that we’re rarely proud of. More often than not a round of drinking leaves us feeling guilt and remorse the day after. It’s important to accept these feelings and understand that experiencing shame or guilt is a part of the process. Don’t hide your mistakes, learn from them.
Long Road Ahead
Dealing with alcohol abuse takes years for some, a lifetime for others. It’s not something you can rush. Understanding how recovery works and recognizing that it can often be challenging is the only way you’ll remain on the path towards sobriety. We hope that these tips have proven to be helpful and that we’ve helped you get a tiny step closer to your goals.