Regarding early sobriety, the best thing you can do is chip away at cognitive dissonance. It will make early sobriety SO much easier and more enjoyable!

Cognitive dissonance is when you strongly believe something (ex: I need alcohol to make life more fun/bearable/tolerable/relaxing) – and contrary evidence threatens that belief (ex: body aches, physical ailments, poor sleep, saying something you regret, increased anxiety). You’ll fight hard against that evidence because it goes against the belief you desperately want to maintain. Your brain can’t reconcile the two, and it’s an excruciating place.

We have to change our beliefs, change our actions, and change how we perceive our actions. It’s okay if it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process, and we are growing and evolving!

In addition to tackling that cognitive dissonance, Here are 10 tips for early sobriety (– or any time!)

1. Eat – this isn’t a time for crash dieting. Your body is already going through enough. All the healthy eating lifestyle changes can come in time. If you want, try to incorporate healthy proteins and lots of healthy veggies. I eventually started to use dark chocolate and nuts as my healthy treat, and I love chia pudding with blueberries. But in the beginning, I did not discriminate.

2. Move – aim for physical movement every day. My favorite is just taking a 30-to-60-minute walk outside. Walking in the early mornings is a great way to get some sunlight and vitamin D. You can add other healthy habits, such as listening to an inspirational podcast or audiobook. Early sobriety can also be a time to try something new to move your body (a new yoga class, etc.)

3. Get support – get in touch with a sober community. It doesn’t have to be AA, but if AA is what works for you, then great! There are so many free online resources like the I Am Sober App, etc. Podcasts and “quit-lit” count as support too!

4. Try to get some sleep – I wrote a blog post about this if you need tips!

5. Drink plenty of water – do a brief online calculation about how much water you need daily (typically a half to one ounce of water per pound of body weight), and aim to get that. Water releases toxins & helps curb cravings (both for junk food and sugar), and helps your mood.

6. Get it (all things alcohol) out of the house. If you don’t have a partner joining you on the alcohol-free journey, talking with those you live with about how they can support you doesn’t hurt. For example, if it is not possible to remove the alcohol from the house, maybe they will agree not to drink your old alcohol of choice in front of you. 

7. Switch things up around your drinking schedule – Would you typically start drinking around 5 or 6? Maybe that’s when you take a walk or work out instead. If you need to cook dinner at that time, perhaps you’re listening to a sober podcast while you do it. Maybe you’ve pre-made meals or are just doing EASY.

8. Say “no” at first – it’s perfectly okay to say “no” to certain people and places you strongly associate with drinking. Some people/activities/things will be too tempting in the beginning as you learn new routines, and that’s okay. If dinner with a friend or loved one is too triggering, for example, maybe try lunch instead, etc.

9. Write down your “why” – and revisit it as often as you need.

10. Set goals – if “forever” is too daunting, start with 30 days, with the plan to reassess at that time. If you’re feeling good, extend that goal further out! Any period of sobriety is an excellent learning opportunity.  

I created my 10-week intensive alcohol-free course to help you learn why you drink, identify your triggers, and learn better ways to cope. Then, with an extended break, you can see what life is like on the other side! At that time, you can make your own informed decision about what role you want alcohol to have in your life moving forward. I hope to see you there!

2 thoughts on “Tips for early sobriety”

  1. This is amazing, I am so stoked these are your tips. These are so under valued in addiction recovery and not promoted enough. Thank you for the awesome blog post.

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