Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to change your lifestyle for a new fresh start. Without leaving your home or finding a new job, you can refresh many parts of your life so that they can longer temp you back into your old ways. Last time we talked about getting rid of anything that reminds you of drinking including your glassware, clothes, and even the smell of your home. Today we’re here to finish the list with ways you can change your lifestyle to resist classic alcoholism recovery temptations and rebuild your life as a happy sober person.
6) Eat Regularly
Many recovering alcoholics have found that they were using alcohol for daily calories. You will be hungrier, and hunger can trigger a craving to drink. Essentially, your stomach expects alcohol when it’s hungry now and you’ve got to change its expectations.
The solution is to make sure you are eating healthily and regularly. Do not skip breakfast, grab enough protein and carbs to kill the hunger. Eat a real meal at lunch, not just cup noodle. Consider ordering healthy takeout like Chinese or Indian food that comes with plenty of rice, meat, and vegetables. Learn to cook new recipes that were never paired with drinks in your mind.
Finally, keep protein bars or trail mix with you at all times. Having a filling protein-rich snack available can be the difference between resolute sobriety and letting your stomach drive you to the liquor store.
7) Join an Evening Class
Time and time again in addiction recovery tips, you see the suggestion to get a hobby in order to change your lifestyle. But this is too vague and many people have no idea what kind of hobby they want to pursue or how to pursue it. Instead of twiddling your thumbs at home telling yourself you should have a hobby, go out into the world and find one. We suggest something like an evening class that keeps your hands active. Whether it’s throwing pots, learning to draw, or taking an evening web development class, these activities will not only occupy your mind, they will also help you meet new groups of people who share your interests and don’t spend their evenings at bars. Join a camping group or charity mission to keep yourself busy on weekends.
8) Avoid Your Old Haunts to Change Your Lifestyle
The temptation to go to your old haunts, sit in your old chair, and hang out with your old drinking buddies is a very very dangerous one. You can still stay connected with friends who drink safely, but to do this on your terms somewhere safe and sober. Invite them to your house, a coffee shop, or even enjoy a sober night on the town together. But don’t meet up at your old favorite bar.
Don’t go visit your old haunts. Don’t visit the parking lots. Don’t even drive down their streets if you can avoid it.
9) Pick a Favorite New Drink
Many people after quitting alcohol find themselves feeling incredibly awkward at social gatherings because they don’t have the usual glass to hold onto. Much like smokers who can be seen chewing straws to deal with the physical habituation of having a cigarette, you may need something to replace your old drinking mannerisms.
For your new sober life, choose a new favorite drink. Whether it’s cranberry and Sprite or cola, find yourself a new go-to drink that can be held and sipped the same way you used to drink alcohol at parties and social events. Whether it’s the office Holiday party where everyone else is getting smashed or your niece’s 12th birthday where no one is getting smashed, having ‘your drink’ will be a comfort and help you not to crave an alcoholic drink instead.
10) Have a Community to Rely On
Finally, it’s important to understand that no recovering alcohol addict is an island. Temptation will come. There will be bad days at work or challenging bumps in your romantic life that will make it hard not to drink. There may even be scenarios where friendly people who don’t know better are encouraging you to drink with them. Almost everyone needs backup eventually and that is what an outpatient community is for.
Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment in Fresno California
Whether you like the 12 steps or prefer a more personalized approach, your recovery community can be there for you when fighting your addiction becomes the hardest. Go to group meetings and have two or three people you can call when you need support. They will be able to remind you of all the right things to do when all you can think about is drinking again even if you don’t want to. Here at First Steps, we can be the community you need. Please contact us today if you are looking for support in leaving addiction behind.