So, you took the plunge into Dry January, and you're reaping all the benefits: you have more energy, you're sleeping well, and your overall mood has increased. Continuing Dry January can keep that healthy feeling going. Here are a few tips for staying sober after the beginning of the year.
Bask in the Positivity
If staying sober is a positive life choice for you, treat it like one. This is a beneficial change in your life that makes you feel good, so there's no need to hide it or be wary of what people may think. You are taking care of yourself and feeling better - celebrate that!
Make It a Lifestyle
Bring this newfound healthy feeling into other areas of your life. Nothing is stopping you from being a healthier, happier version of yourself. Practice healthy living by eating food that makes you feel good. Foster healthy relationships by analyzing your current relationships and making changes where you need to.
Keep Others in the Loop
Let friends and family know about your plans to stay sober. This will give them a chance to ask questions and open the door for a good conversation about your new healthier way of living. This also means they won't pressure you to drink at parties, and they might keep it in mind when choosing places to hang out.
If they seem interested, invite friends and family to join you on your journey! Healthy living can be more fun and easier to follow with a buddy.
If you're comfortable with it, offer to be the permanent designated driver. If you enjoy driving and don't mind busy social interactions, it can help everyone to know there's always a DD when needed - and it'll make you feel good to be someone others can rely on.
While there are some situations conducive to staying sober, not everywhere is as encouraging of this lifestyle. You can make your life easier by being prepared for whatever situation you're going into.
Many restaurants now have mocktail lists specifically for sober customers. This offers you the fun of a fancy cocktail without alcohol.
Focus on the Present
Being in the moment is always a good mindfulness practice, and it can help here too. Focus on the present and appreciate how you're feeling without alcohol.
Enjoy the moment with friends by coming up with fun group activities rather than just going to a bar to drink. Try mini-golfing, axe throwing, or bowling with friends.
Journal About Your Experience
Grab a notebook, a pen, your favorite warm beverage, and reflect. Journaling is a great way to check in with yourself. Here are some questions to help get you started:
- Why are you continuing Dry January?
- How does staying sober make you feel? Think about your mental and physical health.
- What positive impacts do you see in your life thanks to this new lifestyle?
If journaling feels like too much, try a lighter version like making a gratitude list of how staying sober is benefiting you (examples: saving on finances, better sleep, etc.).
No matter your reasons, continuing Dry January can be a positive experience that encourages a healthy lifestyle. Sobriety offers a wide range of benefits for both your physical and mental health. Be proud that you are putting yourself first and listening to your body. Focus on your well-being and embrace the positive vibes!
Need a little extra help? First Step Recovery provides outpatient treatment for people who are struggling with substance use. Call 701-451-4900 or contact First Step online with any questions.