Updated: 7 days ago
Quitting drinking is hard. Let's make it easier! By Jessica Foody RN, CPRC
When I first quit drinking, I was far from thriving. Quitting drinking is by far hardest thing I've ever done. In those early days, my only goal was to just not drink. When I laid my head on my pillow at night, as long as I was sober, that was enough. The thought of thriving didn't enter into the equation.
Quitting drinking is hard for anyone, but there are a ways to making this journey easier.
Here are 6 tips to help you go from surviving to thriving in early sobriety:
1. Find sober friends.
This journey becomes a lot more meaningful and enjoyable when we have people to share it with. And the truth is the only people who truly "get it" are people who have been there themselves. So where do you find these sober unicorn friends? You have to seek them out. There are a number of groups both online and in-person including SHE RECOVERS, the Luckiest Group, and twelve-step communities. SHE RECOVERS hosts free online gatherings for women twice daily!
2. Celebrate all your wins.
I remember celebrating 80 days sober with my then boyfriend at the time. 80 days might not seem like much, but to me, it was everything. When we celebrate all of our wins, big and small, it helps us stay motivated when the going gets tough. You don't have to wait for a full year alcohol-free to be proud of how far you've come! Each day you are sober is a win. Take the time to celebrate all your small wins and watch your days add up. Small wins lead to big results!
3. Start a gratitude practice.
It is easy to feel like you are missing out when you first quit drinking. Our brains have a negativity bias and a tendency to romanticize alcohol. If you only focus on what you are losing, you won't see what you are gaining and trust me, you are gaining so much! It can be helpful to start a gratitude practice. Make list of all the ways sobriety is making your life better. My gratitude list includes waking up present and energized, the ability to work towards my goals ,and be proud of the woman I am today. What does your list look like?
4. Cultivate self-compassion
Nothing is more of a buzz kill than hating on yourself. (Yes, pun intended!) In early sobriety, take steps to rebuild a healthier relationship with yourself. How do you do this? Start by being kind to yourself. Treat yourself like you would treat a good friend. When you are having a tough day, take a moment to acknowledge what you are feeling and ask yourself "what is the kindest thing I can do for myself in this moment?" Sobriety is not for the faint of heart and learning to love yourself through it all can help you stay sober no matter what happens. Love yourself. Be Yourself. You are so enough!