Recovery is about building a new life. Like anything you build, you’re going to need some tools.
It’s why a lot of us in recovery create a sober toolkit. It’s a collection of the things, people, and places we know we can rely on as we recover. They might be a favorite place to escape for a little while, a podcast about recovery, or a favorite candy bar tucked into a corner of our backpack.
Fundamentally, a sober toolkit is about comfort. Recovery can be a difficult journey at times and being able to find healthy coping methods is key to a long, successful recovery.
On to the tools!
#1: A Phone and/or Tablet: As sober lifestyles continue to be embraced, a growing number of developers are making sober tracking apps. There are no better ways to track your gains because you’ve got your device on you all the time. These apps allow you to set up reminders, dates, and more to keep track of your milestones, recovery group meetings, and more.
Additional apps can also tell you how much money (and calories) recovery has been saving you. Plus, make sure your contacts list has your sponsor, your support group, your house manager (if you’re living in a sober home), and anyone else you can rely on in a pinch. Being able to call someone when you’re feeling a potential relapse is a great way to keep in recovery.
Also, remember to keep headphones, a power pack, and a charger in your sober toolkit, too!
#2: Sober Treats: Substance cravings are part of recovery. Keeping some sober treats as part of your sober toolkit can be a distraction or a reward if you’re feeling a craving. Candy works well especially if you’re recovering from alcohol use disorder, even if you’re trying to eat a healthy diet. Here’s why:
When you quit alcohol, you end up taking a lot of sugar out of your diet. This is a good thing, but it can leave you craving sugar. A candy bar or a can of soda in your sober toolkit can help relieve that craving without sending you into a relapse.
#3: Books, Audiobooks, & Podcasts: Boredom is a major driver of relapse, and being able to distract yourself with favorite books, podcasts, and audiobooks can be just the thing to keep in your sober toolkit to your mind off of old memories and temptations. Remember, addiction rewires our brains completely, and part of recovery is training our brains to avoid the behaviors and habits you left behind when you went into recovery.
There are tons of great recovery podcasts to add to your sober toolkit, too.
#4: Place You Can Go When Things Get Stressful: Okay, this one is less something you have on your person and more a place you can go to when you’re feeling overwhelmed by environmental addiction triggers. It can be a quiet corner of your home, your bedroom, or a corner of a local park.
It’s normal to sometimes feel intense anger, regret, and frustration as you recover. Knowing there’s a favorite park bench, trail, or even a quiet area of the parking lot outside of your office you can go to and get away from stress is a great thing to have and rely on.
#5: Lifestyle Changes: For a lot of us, nights and the weekend tended to be the times when we abused substances. A great way to stay in recovery and avoid potential relapse is to develop (and stick to) lifestyle changes.
Take nights: these are easy times to fall into the trap of remembering the old days. Instead, consider taking an online exercise class, going to the gym, or devoting your evenings to positive self-care. Stretches, meditation, and other ways of being good to you are all good things to do instead of being reminded of what you used to do before you entered recovery.
Also, establishing a schedule is a way to improve your sleep patterns. Getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t just help you heal; it’ll also improve your mental outlook.
There’s another great tool for your sober toolkit: sober living homes.
Why Sober Living Homes Are a Vital Part of your Sober Toolkit
Sober living homes are the best possible places to recover. They’re drug-free, so forget worrying about cravings and addiction triggers. Sober homes are also communal living spaces, giving you a place to live with others on the same life journey as you. This strengthens your recovery by giving you a community to be accountable.
Finally, sober home managers are often veterans of addiction treatment as well. They’re great resources to talk to about advice, things stressing you out, or any other roadblocks in your recovery.
Finding a sober home? That’s a challenge.
Build Out Your Sober Toolkit Like a Pro with SoberLivingNearYou.com!
Finding a sober living home isn’t always easy. With SoberLivingNearYou.com, you’ll have access to thousands of sober home listings across the US. You’ll be able to find a sober home for your interests, needs, and budget.
A sober toolkit can be lifesaving. Make yours as strong as it can be with SoberLivingNearYou.com!