4 Helpful Tips for Your First 30 Days of Sobriety
The early days of recovery can be a delicate and difficult time. Many of us begin the journey feeling scared and vulnerable, unsure if we’re even capable of putting a drink or drug down for any significant length of time. The good news is, while you may feel lost and alone, you’re anything but—an estimated 22 million Americans (including myself) are in recovery from alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems. There’s no shortage of tools at your disposal to help you get and stay sober, and the majority of them are free. Below are some suggestions to help you get through the first 30 days of your sobriety (and beyond!).
1: Seek Out Support
Sharing your thoughts and feelings with people experiencing similar struggles can be incredibly cathartic. You also have a better chance of staying away from your substance of choice when you surround yourself with sober people. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and LifeRing are great places to find support and meet other people in recovery. And now it’s easier than ever to attend these meetings, as they’re all available online due to the pandemic.
2: Establish a Routine
People in recovery often say their lives felt chaotic and out of control when they were active in their addiction. But adjusting to all the changes that come with early sobriety can feel just as confusing and overwhelming. Following a consistent schedule can help you combat these feelings of chaos by providing structure and predictability. Try setting up a daily routine that includes regular meal times, consistent sleep schedules, and times carved out for activities such as exercise, support group meetings, work, errands, and chores.
3: Get Moving
In addition to easing feelings of stress and anxiety, exercising on a regular basis can help curb drug and alcohol cravings. And you don’t have to go to the gym or run a mile each day to reap these benefits, which is especially important to remember if you’re struggling with withdrawals or other physical discomforts common in early sobriety. A brisk 20-minute walk or a bike ride around the block is all it takes to get your heart rate up so you can experience the positive effects of physical activity.
4: Try a Meditation App
While meditation is a valuable tool for staying sober, people in early recovery sometimes find the practice to be confusing, overwhelming, and/or frustrating. How do you know if you’re doing it right? What if you can’t sit still for that long? If these concerns resonate with you, we suggest trying a guided meditation app. There are tons of options to choose from, in a wide range of types, lengths, and intensities. Some of our favorite free options include Calm, Insight Timer, Smiling Mind, and Sattva.
Your First 30 Days of Sobriety
However you choose the handle the first 30 days of sobriety, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. Many others have been down the road to recovery. Using the tools discussed above you can overcome the challenges of early sobriety and live a life in recovery.