Sober living can be difficult, especially when drinking alcohol served as your method of stress-relief for so long. However, there are plenty of healthy habits that can help you reduce your stress levels while staying sober. Here are five that you should try:
1. Regular exercise
Exercise is a great way of coping with stress, and aiding addiction recovery. If you feel tempted to take a drink, try going for a run instead. Physical activity simulates the feeling of escaping whatever is threatening you, be it a difficult day at work, an argument with a loved one, or financial troubles. A regular exercise regimen is an excellent way to keep your stress levels low.
Mindfulness is another great way to reduce stress. The purpose of meditation is to clear your mind, and let go of your thoughts, and that includes your negative thoughts. Meditating regularly, say for ten minutes a day, will strengthen your ability to put aside negative thoughts, thereby helping you stay sober.
3. Getting enough sleep
Lack of sleep can put a damper on your mood, impede your ability to concentrate, and increase your stress levels. Getting a good night’s sleep every night will get your day off to a good start, so you are better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at you.
Cooking helps sober living in two ways. One is that you will be spending less time around alcohol if you go to restaurants less frequently. Another is that cooking is a therapeutic activity which helps to focus your mind on a specific task and keep you in the present moment, distracting you from worries that might tempt you to drink.
5. Self care
Self care is different for everyone. It consists of whatever activities you need to do (drawing, reading, walking, a hot bath, etc) to make sure that you feel happy, healthy and cared for. Figure out what habits you want to be part of your self-care routine and do them as often as you need to. When you feel happy, healthy, and cared for, sobriety is easier to maintain.