5 Tools to Help You Stay Sober in 2016
As you head into 2016 and a new year in recovery, there are a number of resources available to help you amp up your progress and create new positive goals in the coming months. Whether you want to meet new people in recovery, find new and interesting therapies, or just increase your connection to recovery, here are five tools that will help you to not only stay sober in the new year but also to grow and thrive in recovery.
Community Support Options
From 12-Step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to in-person and online support groups like SMART Recovery to nonprofit organizations that offer a range of assistance for people in recovery, you can connect with resources that can completely alter the trajectory of your new year. Each community is different, but look for resources that include:
- – Job skills and resume-building assistance from local small business organizations
- – Interview clothes, clothing basics, and food from religious organizations and other nonprofits
- – Peer recovery resources from nonprofits
- – Financial support for childcare, food, and utilities through state and local agencies
If you’re not sure how to find out what’s available in your community, start asking. Talk to people at meetings, ask your therapist, do some research online, and start making phone calls. Then, make use of the resources that will help you.
A sober coach, also known as a recovery coach or life coach, can be an excellent resource for people who are stable in recovery with some clean time under their belts but unsure of how best to maintain their momentum and keep moving forward. Depending upon your needs and the scope of services provided by the individual life coach you choose, you can expect assistance in:
- – Identifying goals in recovery, from career changes to family issues
- – Creating an actionable, step-by-step plan for achieving one or more of those goals
- – Executing that plan and/or altering it if necessary to accommodate changes
- – Attending events that may trigger your urge to drink or get high
You don’t have to enter into a long-term contract with a recovery coach to get the benefit of a little bit of objective guidance in recovery. Contact a few different recovery coaches in your area, find out how each one likes to conduct client relationships, and decide which one will work best for your needs.
Volunteering in the community and connecting with other people, both in the recovery community and beyond, is an excellent way to rejuvenate your experience in sobriety. Seeing others who live with different challenges and knowing that you are having a positive impact on the people around you can give you an improved sense of wellbeing. Regular volunteer sessions can also add positive structure to your schedule and help you to “get out of your own head,” stop worrying about the little things in life, and focus your energy instead on doing something positive.
Some volunteer options include:
- – Working at a homeless shelter
- – Staffing a food bank
- – Sharing your story of addiction and recovery at local organizations
- – Fundraising, crafting, or otherwise generating funds and items for a certain population or organization
Apps and Technology
Smartphones and technology can be triggers in some cases, but in others, they can serve to boost your recovery. You may wish to check out online forums and blogs about recovery to hear what is happening across the country and around the world, and connect with others in recovery at any time of the day or night. Or you may choose to download an app or two that will help you to remain engaged actively with your recovery throughout the day.
For example, an app called Addicaid may help you to find local 12-Step meetings for about 20 different kinds of substance and process addictions, connect with others in recovery through chat rooms, and monitor progress and check in with yourself regularly. Other apps may provide you with inspiration throughout the day, offer you access to different recovery literature, or connect you with others in the recovery community.
You can also find organizational apps, nutritional and workout apps, meditation apps, and more that can augment other areas of your life. These apps can help you to stay physically and mentally healthy and, at the same time, improve your ability to stay sober.
Reconnect with Treatment
Sometimes, especially in the face of an acute crisis, the best way to prioritize long-term recovery is to wipe the slate clean, head back to “start,” and reconnect with the principles that originally helped you to ground yourself in sobriety. This can mean enrolling in a residential treatment program for 30 days or finding an intensive outpatient treatment program that will provide you with comprehensive care and help you to get back on track.
It may also mean shaking things up a bit in your personal recovery regimen: taking a yoga class, increasing personal therapy sessions to twice a week, choosing to go to a support group meeting every day for a month, or finding a new holistic or alternative therapy option that sounds interesting. Finding something new and changing up your routine can be all you need to boost your ability to stay sober this year.