What Should I Focus On To Stay Sober in the New Year?

Being in recovery during the holidays and into the new year can be challenging. The good news is that the holiday stresses do pass, leaving behind an opportunity to take the coming year and turn it into your best one yet. There are countless areas to focus on to make your sobriety successful, but here are a few to start out with.

Read the Signs and Heed the Warnings

Part of addiction treatment and rehab is learning more about yourself and the various factors leading to substance abuse. Use this knowledge to your advantage and understand the triggers that provoke the urge to drink or use drugs. These triggers could be:

  • Anxiety
  • Troubled relationships
  • Changes in environment
  • Use of alcohol or drugs by peers
  • Financial or employment issues

By taking note of what’s going on around you, it will be much more difficult for a relapse to occur before you have a chance to stop it. If you catch yourself thinking and acting in similar ways to before you became sober, it’s often an indicator that addiction is attempting to take over again.

Use the New Year as a New Opportunity

Addiction and substance use disorder is defined by behaviors and patterns. After becoming sober, you’ll realize that there are many changes to make in order to avoid going down the same rabbit hole of substance abuse as before.

One of the most glaring changes that need to be made are to your environment. Make sure you aren’t putting yourself in situations where drugs or alcohol are being consumed. It’s even more important to distance yourself from relationships that existed solely for substance use.

Taking a hard look at your relationships can be difficult. It’s often the case that friends met during substance use are unhealthy or toxic for you now that you’re sober. Previous drinking buddies or groups you used drugs with don’t have a place in your sobriety if success is the goal.

Don’t stop at relationships directly linked to substance use either. A loved one can have just as much of an impact on your substance abuse if not more. Those who enable addictive and destructive behavior may be sober themselves but don’t have your sober interests at heart. Being too dependent on someone should be avoided as well to avoid stress when they aren’t around.

Find Help When It’s Needed

Maintaining sobriety will look different for everyone. It’s recommended to first reach out to those you have a strong and healthy relationship with. Spend more time with friends and family members by planning a day together and getting out of the house.

When times get stressful, lean into these groups that you can have a healthy lifestyle around. Find groups that engage in sober sports or other hobbies that interest you. Drug and alcohol recovery support groups are another avenue to explore.

Mental health professionals such as therapists are an important resource to leverage when in recovery. There are challenges that come with beating addiction and a mental health professional can help teach you how to healthily cope along the way.

If the new year is proving to be more difficult than you anticipated, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team here at Baystate Recovery Center.