OK, so you have quit that demon drink and you want to get well. Yes, it’s time to get healthy. Change your lenses from through the wine glass to through the looking glass. Look at yourself. Who IS that in the mirror? Who are you REALLY?
The opposite of health is illness or dis-ease. Eating from nature, as our ancestors once ate, promotes holistic health. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, free-range meats and fish, plenty of exercise, and fresh air. Does alcohol fit in anywhere here? No, alcohol creates dis-ease in our bodies and minds. Alcohol creates dis-ease deep down in our souls, our spirits.
The Wellness Toolbox
Ok, so it is time to get well. Get out your toolbox and start to unpack it. Have you packed these things?
- Friends, family members or professionals who can be your support base
- Peers in the sober world who have also quit drinking and can be your ears and support base
- Meditation techniques, books and apps
- Relaxation and self-care
- Stress reduction tips and tools
- Plenty of sunshine and light – get outside into Nature
- Plenty of quality sleep
- Plenty of movement, exercise, cardio and strengthening
The following list includes wonderful tools we can all use to stay well and alcohol-free:
- Talk to a friend
- Talk to a health care professional
- Peer counseling or exchange listening
- Focusing exercises
- Relaxation and stress reduction exercises
- Guided imagery
- Journaling (writing in a notebook)
- Creative affirming activities
- Healthy diet
- Using a lightbox
- Extra rest
- Take time off from home or work responsibilities
- Hot packs or cold packs
- Take medications, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements
- Attend a support group; join an online group; see your counselor
- Do something “normal” like washing your hair, shaving, or going to work
- Get a medication check
- Get a second opinion
- Call a hotline
- Surround yourself with people who are positive, affirming, and loving
- Wear something that makes you feel good
- Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums
- Make a list of your accomplishments
- Spend ten minutes writing down everything good you can think of about yourself
- Do something that makes you laugh
- Do something special for someone else
- Focus on and appreciate what is happening right now
- Take a warm bath
- Listen to music, make music or sing
Your Daily Plan
Draw up a daily plan and make sure you are aware in a holistic way of your wellness:
- Daily Plan – What are you like when you are well? What do you do every day to stay well? Write down what you should do daily, even hour by hour.
- Stressors – What things outside in the environment tend to trigger you? What things (events or circumstances) make you feel discomfort, anger, and irritation?) What are your reactions to these triggers? They are normal and allowed BUT they can get worse if we don’t have a plan. What things deep down inside you tend to trigger you? Lack of self-esteem or self-love? No sense of values?
- When Things are Breaking Down – What are the things that take you away from your wellness? What things make you feel worse or sad? Write down the things that make you upset and sad. Make sure you talk to someone about this – is there someone you can trust who will understand?
- Let’s look at these amazing concepts that you may need to guide you as you set off into the world of sober living!
- Hope – Never give up on your goals and dreams. Find out what your vision, mission and goals are in this life, on this planet. People who stay sober and love being sober are the people who set goals and follow their visions!
- Personal Responsibility – This is your choice, your life and it is all up to you. That being said, always reach out and get guidance and assistance from your peers, and your support system. Connection is the opposite of addiction.
- Education – Read, listen, watch and learn! Do this as much as possible and journal all your learnings down too. What you know, informs your decisions.
- Support – While working toward your wellness is up to you, receiving support from others, and giving support to others will help you feel better and enhance the quality of your life.
This is what others say who have entered recovery, or sobriety:
Many people agree that abstinence from the substance is what wellness is about. No more drinking is essential for those who want to and need to be sober.
Taking time to grow personally and increase levels of self-care are essential to sobriety or recovery. Personal growth and development should continue at all costs and no matter how big or how small. You don’t have to become the next Dr Gabor Mate but just improving yourself as a kind, a sober person is a huge step on the path to being sober. Enjoy life without alcohol and you are already a hero or heroine.
Once you feel stable and happy, reach out to others and become of service to your community in some small way. This habit is known to fulfill those who were once drinking and feel gaps in their lives. Join an organization as a volunteer or just cook food for the poor, donate to the dog shelter or take on one hungry child who you can support. The world is full of needy individuals and the earth also needs as much help as it can get so joining an environmental movement will do wonders for your self-esteem too!
What are you Eating?
Another baseline requirement for being healthy during sobriety is nutrition, or diet, of course.
Nutrition means healthy eating so that the mind and body can perform at their peak. We all need vitamins and minerals, proteins and carbohydrates to function holistically. Every person you meet will have another view about food and what we should all be eating. You choose what suits you BUT we all know that processed foods and sugars are a big, fat NO. Alcohol is a big fat NO too!
Anchored Tides Recovery notes that “not only will a balanced diet improve your physical wellness, your mood and mental health will also improve. Also, a regular balanced diet can help undo the damages of addictive substances and facilitate your healing.”
Exercise and Mindfulness
Along with nutrition comes exercise. A fit body compliments a fit mind and vice versa – find a form of exercise that you love and that attracts you full of joy every day. It will help to choose something that suits your lifestyle so if you work in a high rise as a corporate, maybe a gym workout or class is best? If you work from home and are more flexible, maybe you can walk and do yoga? Many people now love CrossFit training and other forms of intense strengthening too! Exercise boosts those happy hormones and keeps you happy and on a high, reducing any cravings for alcohol that you may still harbour.
The third pedestal in the tripod of wellness is mediation or mindfulness. Some people incorporate this into their exercise – for example, walking mindfully is a great way to mediate and destress. Other people like to sit Buddha stye and mediate consciously for some minutes daily. Do what suits your lifestyle and personality. Don’t make it a chore, it will become something you love to do. Pay attention to your thoughts and remind yourself that they are pure energy and not real at all.
Finally, be a friend, a mother, a father, a sister or a brother to those close to you. Show the love and receive the love. Be social. Humans are social creatures so it is part of our health to connect and share with others, rather than disconnecting and isolating.
“Make new friends, visit new places, join a social group, mix up with people who understand your journey.”
The bottom line is this: use all your tools in your toolbox. Connect with people who are similar to you. Find your joy. Be real.
Get your free Pdf when you click on this image: