Sobriety is not all sunshine and roses, all the time. Life is certainly better sober, but life still happens and sometimes that can be difficult. Without old behaviors to rely on, such as drinking or using drugs, it can feel confounding to figure out how to navigate life. When an emotional bottom happens, the feelings experienced can be shocking. Feelings of depression can set in when the reality of life does not meet high expectations. Mistaking that life is wonderful once we get sober and stay sober can lead to grave disappointments. Learning to live life on life’s terms is a process, and not one that is ever perfected. Difficult times in sobriety are not impossible to manage. Here are some tips for staying on track when life seems to get just a bit rough.
Sobriety is a lifelong journey and process. Utilize the methods you have been shown will support you. Therapy, participating in 12 step meetings, regular exercise, creative outlets— these activities are the foundations you have laid for living your life. When a foundation is cracked or shaky, it needs to be reinforced, made stronger with steady hands and lots of work. The maintenance of sobriety can feel daunting, but being with those who offer support and utilizing the tools and resources available can only make the process easier better.
Learn to Relax
Self care is a very important practice in sobriety. It might mean taking a step back from enjoyable activities to slow down and find one’s center again. Mindfulness is a great activity to build into everyday life. It can be done anywhere or anytime. Release judgment of oneself or others. Nobody is perfect, it is okay to cut some slack and let go of any lingering self-doubts about one’s ability to cope with sobriety. By giving yourself and others a break, you will likely find that other things are less stressful.
Be of Service
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks which have to be done. Serving others is a great way to focus less on the individual in recovery from addiction and more on others. Practice gratitude and be thankful for the opportunity to be present by focusing less on the problems and more on the available blessings. Everyone has problems, but it is how they are dealt with which makes the difference. So, go out there and help someone else in need as a natural mood enhancer that only comes from doing good for others.
The worst thing anyone can do when depressed is to isolate themselves and be alone. Find a support network, or person. Whether it’s exercise, working on a project, finding a hobby or creative outlet, don’t wallow in the negative or what’s wrong. Focus on the positive, practice gratitude and prepare the mind for good things to come. Feelings of depression can come and go in any season of life. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression or low mood, don’t wait. Ask for help. Sobriety is the most important thing. Contact The Last Resort for assistance at 512-750-6750.