When certain substances have been part of your daily routine for a while, it’s hard to imagine life without them. There’s so much joy within reach for those who start a sober lifestyle. The key is setting yourself up for success with physical and mental wellness tools like self-care habits.
These tips for the newly sober will transform your relationship with yourself, whether you’re in sobriety or are sober-curious.
1. Get more sleep
Going to bed earlier will do more than make you feel better rested. It’ll also help you stick with your sobriety goals. Research shows that individuals who get high-quality sleep are less likely to relapse into unwanted habits.
Turn off your lights a little earlier, make your room cool, or practice breathing exercises to calm your mind and get better sleep each night. Staying asleep throughout the night will help your mind remain strong in sobriety.
2. Journal about your challenges
Bottling your emotions is never a good idea. They pile up until an explosion pushes them outward in the form of an outburst or relapse. Journaling can prevent that.
Grab a new journal or download an app. Use the space to recommit yourself to your sobriety or review your motivations. It’s also an excellent opportunity to vent your feelings and process whatever happens as the weeks and months pass. Doing this for at least 30 days will make it an automatic habit that prevents negativity from sabotaging your goals.
3. Spend time outdoors
Going outside and trying fun activities will support your sobriety in several ways. It’s an easy way to fit more exercise into your day. Your brain releases endorphins that fight depression and anxiety during low- to high-intensity movements, which is helpful during your first few weeks of sobriety.
You can also benefit from being in the sun. Lounging in the sunlight will boost your serotonin levels without exercising. The feel-good chemical makes it easier to feel happy with your life as you adjust to a new routine.
4. Delegate responsibilities more often
Stress is a significant influencer for people in sobriety. It can convince your nervous system to think you’re fighting for your life, launching anxiety attacks that make substances seem like the only form of relief.
Delegating responsibilities is one of the best self-care tips for the newly sober. Asking for help to shift your daily workload will reduce your stress. You can always resume those responsibilities when you’re in a better mental health space. Your nervous system will stay at a comfortable baseline that’s easier to manage in sobriety when there’s less to worry about.
5. Treat your body with care
Unhealthy habits affect the body in more ways than one. Sobriety is the perfect opportunity to love yourself with new self-care routines. Follow a skin care regimen that suits your needs in the morning or evening. Shower every day to give your body a fresh start or relax in the tub at the end of the day. The little things can make the most significant difference as you form a sober relationship with your body.
6. Schedule check-in calls
Sobriety takes incredible courage, which may falter when life gets tough. Even the strongest person has moments when they need help. It’s best to be proactive about those times by scheduling recurring check-in calls with your support system.
Your supportive person could be your sponsor or a friend who knows about your new goals. It could also be a therapist helping you heal. The chats should allow you to vent, get advice and remind you that you’re not alone. You can figure anything out with a support system, no matter how challenging life becomes.
Start new self-care habits
Remember these self-care tips when you’re ready to start the next chapter in your life. You’ll build effective, long-term solutions that prevent and manage your sobriety. Every thoughtful effort will help you live your best life, no matter what sober goals you set for yourself.
Written by Mia Barnes
Mia is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for women’s health and wellness. Mia is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the healthy living online publication, Body+Mind Magazine.