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In early sobriety, it felt like every hour that I stayed sober was a huge win. And the first night that I willfully chose not to have a drink was such an empowering accomplishment for me and one that I will never forget. What did I do in those first hours, days, and weeks of early sobriety to make it through another day and to help my body to begin to heal (physically at least) from years of alcohol abuse?
1) Keep It Simple
Keeping it simple is really the framework of everything on this list. On a basic level, many times we suffer from decision fatigue (having to make too many decisions day in and day out) and end up doing things we do not want to or need to. During this time of early sobriety, try to avoid making any major changes or big decisions that might cause you to experience decision fatigue or undue stress.
2) Drink Water
Our bodies need water for optimal functioning, and heavy alcohol use probably threw off that balance. As you go through early sobriety, focus on rehydrating.
Just because you’re NOT waking up with a sour stomach from a hangover or the infamous ‘cotton mouth’ doesn’t give you a pass on your water intake either, so drink up! I actually find drinking water enjoyable now, knowing that a simple task is providing my body with something that it needs to function everyday.
So just how much water should you consume? Try to aim for half your body weight in ounces. If the thought of increasing your water intake makes you cry, then try adding sliced cucumbers, lemon, even strawberries! Sparking water options such as Pellegrino and La Croix are also tasty carbonated beverages that make drinking water more fun.
3) Get Rest
I noticed during my first week of sobriety, I was EXHAUSTED. Rest when you can. Need a nap? Take one. Feel tired at 8pm? Get to bed early if you can. Listen to what your body is telling you during this time and take care of yourself!
4) Eat Nutritious Meals and Take Your Vitamins
No, you definitely SHOULD NOT go on a diet right now (see tip #1 on my list!) but you want to get the most nutritional bang for your buck from your meals. Eating nutritionally dense meals will help to rebalance nutrients and minerals that were lost due to heavy drinking.
Another reason to eat well is to help curb other unhealthy cravings that may arise during early sobriety. Feeling satisfied from a delicous and nutritious meal might help you to steer clear of trying to fill the void of alcohol with sugary snacks and meals.
5) Journal or Draw
…Or share your feelings in a way that feels best for you. As an introvert I find journaling the easiest way to get my feelings and emotions down without having to talk to someone about it, which can be nerve wracking. I’ll admit that I will even talk to myself if I’m struggling through a situation that I need to work through. Doing this allows me to gather my thoughts and validate my feelings in a pinch.
Other ways to do this include creating art such as coloring or drawing, talking with a trusted friend or family member, attending group or one-on-one therapy sessions, any way that allows you to experience and work through those crazy, raw emotions that pop up during early sobriety.
Do you have any other tips to share for early sobriety? Share with us below!