Everyone was looking forward to the end of 2020 as if sanity would suddenly emerge. This obviously didn’t happen, and many folks started searching out tips for staying sober in 2021. The hectic events that have already occurred in the new year are no doubt stressful, and anything that creates anxiety or depression can increase the risk of relapse.
Fortunately, there are several proven methods for maintaining sobriety during this time. If you’ve yet to start on the road to recovery, contact us at Mending Fences today. If you’ve already achieved sobriety and simply need help to maintain it, though, the following tips will prove invaluable.
Coping with the loneliness imposed by social distancing was a tough pill to swallow for many people in 2020. Levels of mental illness skyrocketed during this time, and so did addiction and relapse. With a vaccine now available, though, life will hopefully soon return to normal. The moment it’s safe to reconnect with friends and family members, you should not hesitate to do so.
If addiction once controlled you, there’s a good chance you visited a peer-support group. These come in many forms, but they’re often simply referred to as 12-step programs. Unfortunately, countless groups ended in-person meetings due to the pandemic. This doesn’t mean, however, that attending meetings won’t be one of the best tips for staying sober in 2021.
If you’ve yet to do so, visit the website of your program now to find virtual meetings. And when the time comes that group gatherings are again safe, do not hesitate to participate in them. Follow CDC and government guidelines — including getting your vaccine — and you’ll minimize infection risks.
One of the most obvious tips for staying sober in 2021 is to simply relax. Stress and anxiety can grip a person and drag them back down into substance abuse disorder. While closing your eyes and thinking nice thoughts can help, try out some of the following actions as well:
No matter the specific type of substance abuse, there comes a point when addiction is strictly mental. This is why relaxing activities are so important for overcoming the negative thoughts that lead to relapse.
If you took part in a professional treatment program, you hopefully have received aftercare following its completion. This is where addiction specialists stay in contact with you to improve the odds of sobriety. Never view this as a tedious or unnecessary task. Find a program that takes aftercare seriously and then commit yourself to the process.
Anyone in recovery should keep a journal of when they get relapse urges. Among tips for staying sober in 2021, it’s impossible to overstate the necessity of this. More importantly, though, is actually avoiding these triggers. Even if that “good buddy” who sells drugs “just wants to catch up” when COVID-19 restrictions get lifted, avoid making excuses for risky actions.
Every moment of sobriety is a success story, so don’t be afraid to celebrate milestones. If you took part in 12-step programs, you already know why this is one of the most important tips for staying sober in 2021. It’s vital that you acknowledge hard work and celebrate it. Reward yourself when you achieve recovery goals, and don’t be afraid to shout your success from the rooftops.
Some say that idle hands are the devil’s workshop. This adage holds particular significance for those going through recovery. Find something that you love doing — whether it’s working out, volunteering or engaging in local politics — and jump headfirst into it. When you’re engaged in meaningful activities, you won’t want to risk failing at your responsibilities.
Relapse rates for substance abuse typically range from 40% to 60%. You should do everything in your power to avoid becoming part of this statistic. If you do relapse in 2021, though, don’t spiral into depression over the mistake. Seek treatment. Contact us at Mending Fences so we can help you build a better recovery plan.
At some point during the new year, someone will ask why you’re not drinking or taking part in activities you once enjoyed. Preparing your story now is one of the most powerful tips for staying sober in 2021. Come up with two stories. For loved ones, you can be brutally honest. If someone you’re not particularly close to asks, though, don’t be afraid to send an “I have to work tomorrow” their way.
While it’s one of the most essential tips for staying sober in 2021, creating a schedule is important regardless of the year. A disorganized lifestyle can lead a person back to bad habits. Create an hour-by-hour schedule for each day and stick to it. If you find yourself off schedule with free time, take a moment to contact family members, attend a meeting or do something productive.
Regardless of whether it’s increasing political division or an ongoing pandemic, the new year promises many of the same challenges seen in 2020. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to interfere with your sobriety. There are innumerable methods for reducing the possibility of relapse, but whether these approaches work in accomplishing this rests squarely on you.
At Mending Fences, many of our clients have returned from the brink and lived rewarding lives. Our certified staff of professionals is committed to this goal. Recovery is an ongoing process, and we can help you along that path. These tips for staying sober in 2021 are a good start, but contact us today to learn how we can help get your life back on track.
Centers for Disease Control
National Institute on Drug Abuse