The end of the year is when individuals usually reflect on the past year and think about ways they could improve and change for the one to come. The new year is frequently viewed as a new chapter, an opportunity for a fresh start and a chance for individuals to improve their lives. Thinking about and making resolutions for the new year is somewhat of a tradition and one that we have all probably participated in at one point or another. Grand plans for sobriety may take shape, and mantras such as the title of this blog, “New Year, Sober You,” take root in our hearts as we prepare for the year to come.
Amid the Stress, There Is Hope
At the end of each year, individuals may face many challenging situations concerning their mental health and sobriety. While the festivities and celebrations at the end of the year may seem like they should be joyous and merry, individuals struggling with addiction often face an onslaught of stress and anxiety.
Amid the stress that the end of the year brings, the contrast of the new year is often championed as a time of peace and renewal. What better time to reflect and make changes for a sober you in the new year? Individuals living with addiction may focus their resolutions on a desire to live a healthier life, achieve sobriety or overall self-improvement.
One of the most important things that the new year offers is hope. While you may carry much of the past along with you, a blank slate awaits. The turn of the new year offers a distinctive point for you to latch onto and move forward from.
While it is possible to overcome issues with addiction and substance abuse at any time of the year, there is a certain magical quality about participating with others around the globe in the renewal of the season. With a positive mindset and support systems in place, it is possible to discover a new and sober you in the new year.
Embrace the Challenge of Sobriety in the New Year
At Promises Behavioral Health, we will always encourage you to participate in the spirit of new year’s resolutions. However, we do so with the knowledge that there are many obstacles to overcome in enacting your resolutions. The new year is always a motivating time to begin one’s road to recovery, but it is important to remember that choosing sobriety is a multifaceted and complex decision. A thought-out, realistic plan on how to reach the goals you’ve set is essential.
Here are some tips for a sober you in the new year.
Begin with a Plan for a Sober New Year’s Eve
Set yourself up for success from the beginning. Instead of planning a last night out to fall on New Year’s Eve, make the previous night’s shenanigans the start of your resolution. (Hint: this doesn’t have to center around a holiday).
Have a New Year’s party with your sober friends. Whether it’s those you’ve met through treatment, AA/NA, or it’s a circle of people who you inherently trust with your well-being, it can be a great idea to surround yourself in their supportive presence.
Attend an event with a particular focus. Whether this means you’re headed to the local AA/NA festivities or participating in an event at a museum, movie theatre, botanical gardens or holiday concert, even when alcohol is served, it will not steal the focus of the event.
Enlist a friend and plan ahead. If you can’t keep yourself from the party scene, bring along someone who can help you stick to your guns and avoid alcohol for the entirety of the evening. Practice your refusal skills and know that it will take some serious willpower to make this the night you stop using. Consider staying home instead with a good friend and switching up the tradition to include a chill game night at home.
*If New Year’s Eve has already passed by the time you’re reading this, consider bookmarking this post for the next drinking-centric holiday that comes to pass or for next year.
Select a Support Circle
Friends and family are valuable assets on the road to recovery and beyond; use them. You may even choose to establish a weekly or biweekly check-in time with certain friends and family. If you do not already have a professional support system, it may be helpful to find a therapist or a sober network such as local AA or NA organizations. If you do have a counselor, it is important to discuss your goals and have a researched and thought-out plan, especially to figure out your schedule during the initial stages of recovery.
Let Positivity Fuel Your Sobriety
During times of hardship and change, it is important to maintain a positive outlook as much as possible. Trying to be kind to oneself and understand there will be ups and downs on the road to recovery is essential. By taking things one day at a time, the journey will feel more achievable and less overwhelming. A couple of stumbles on the road to recovery are expected and do not take away from all the progress.
Every person’s journey to sobriety will look different and so it is important to focus on yourself and try not to compare with other people. Remember to give yourself credit for making hard decisions for a better future and even if you feel you are not quite where you want to be. Making this decision and working toward it is a courageous move.
Stay Accountable to Yourself
In less-than-ideal situations, it can be human nature to blame others or events out of your control for the situation at hand. Try and consciously take ownership of your situation as well as for the decision you have taken to get sober.
When challenges arise, it is important to reflect and decide the best path forward. Without being honest with yourself, it is difficult to identify where the addiction stems from and what kind of help will be best for your situation. It is you who is ultimately in control of your choices and actions. Once you take ownership and accountability for your situation, you will make better decisions for your path to recovery.
Know Your Treatment Options
There are many paths to reach the goal of recovery and reach sobriety. Take the time to learn about the options and consult with professionals as well. If you feel comfortable, it could be helpful to also discuss options with your support circle of friends and family. Depending on the severity of your addiction, options will include residential treatment, day treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient treatment, sober living community or joining a support group such as NA or AA. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan, and everyone has their unique struggle that will need to be reflected in the treatment plan. Take the time to research, learn and decide what may be the best path forward for you.
Commit to the Process
Once you have decided on the best option for your treatment plan, it is important to commit to it. Addiction treatment is not easy or quick. It is an intense process that will require patience and commitment.
The long-term nature of the recovery process means that individuals need to commit to the process daily. That way, they will be able to focus on staying sober for the long term. Keep in mind that committing to a plan for recovery means that you will need to follow through even when things get challenging. Taking the treatment-inspired new habits one day at a time is a helpful way for your goal to feel less overwhelming and more achievable.
Celebrate a Sober You
No matter how small, progress is an achievement, and achievements must be celebrated. As you go down your path of recovery, make a point to celebrate the small wins and positive changes you are making. Even when it is hard to see, there are always things to be thankful for and proud of. Take the time to think about those and celebrate them!
Remember, it is usually a series of small achievements that become the big changes you were working toward. It is easy to focus on the past and the struggles you have been through but focusing on all the work you have done to reach sobriety is helpful in the big picture. Think about your mindset and try to maintain a positive outlook when possible.
If you or a loved one is living with addiction or substance abuse and is looking to break the cycle and achieve sobriety in 2022, Promises Behavioral Health can help. We offer several addiction treatment options and can help you decide which is the right plan for you or your loved one and support you during the process.
To learn more about our treatment options and offerings, reach out to us now at 888-969-8134. Our experienced and friendly team is waiting to guide and support you in reaching your goals for a sober you in the new year.