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Original post date: 2/1/18
I have found that alcohol sobriety has forced me to deal head on with all sorts of feelings, both good and bad…overwhelm, exhaustion, anger, sadness, and pure joy to name a few. As an introvert, it is really hard to outwardly process experiences, especially when those experiences are intertwined with social interactions.
Where I used to turn to alcohol to drown out bad emotions or to celebrate good ones, that crutch is no longer there and I have had to find ways to unravel from the most mundane as well as the most unruly of days.
And on those days of complete overwhelm, I tried giving in to those feelings by simply putting myself to bed in order to “sleep it off,” only to wake up the next morning still in a funk…This has happened to me more times than I would like to admit!
And many times I find that those bad days end up affecting my sleep, leaving me reeling, tired, and perhaps even crankier the following morning. Simply going to sleep (most times) doesn’t work!
So how can we truly find a pause between days, and a fair chance to start fresh the following morning, with good vibes and positive intentions intact? Because if only it were as simple as sleeping off a bad day….then I would be the Sleep Queen! (or at least attempting to be….because, kids.)
I have found that there are three concepts which seem to hold true in order to end the day on a good note (even if it wasn’t a great day!) These three concepts are:
Acceptance, Acknowledgement, and Gratitude
In a nutshell, we must accept everything that came with the day. Acknowledge the good that came from it. And, be grateful for those who make the day worthwhile.
1) Acceptance With Journaling
Give yourself 5-10 minutes (or longer?) to write down all the stuff from your head that happened today. The good, the bad, and the ugly. (Yes, feel free to vent about the lady who rudely side-eyed you in line at the grocery store while your baby was screaming and your toddler was trying to do a tasting/heist of ALL the candy at checkout.)
Write down all the stuff that keeps replaying in your head from the day, the “should have, could have, would have” thoughts… Just get it all out on paper, no matter how big, small, or silly it might seem. And then, accept that this was your day, and be done with it!
2) Acknowledge The Good
After journaling, pick one or two positive things that happened today, no matter how small, and acknowledge its good. Perhaps your baby smiled at you for the first time, or giggled with delight when you got back home after being gone for a couple of hours. (My 10 month old was so giddy to see me last night after I got home from teaching, she almost bounced herself off my mom’s lap! Not going to lie, that totally made my night!) Or maybe a stranger picked up your tab at the coffee shop this morning.
Whatever it may be, acknowledge the good. Revel in it and embrace it.
3) Show Gratitude
Finally, pick one person or thing that you are grateful for and send them positive vibes. Try to focus on the wonderful effect that they have had on your day (or life!) and send them gratitude for it.
Whether it’s the neighbor who checks in and makes sure YOU are doing okay (and offers to help with the kids!) or that your hubby can always tell when you’ve had a tough day and draws a bubble bath for you, be grateful for them, and the positivity they spread in your life.
To recap, these 3 concepts of acceptance, acknowlegdement, and gratitude, can help you end your day right. Accepting all parts of the day, acknowledging the good that came from it, and being thankful for those that are a part of it can help you to close the day on a good note, and start tomorrow on the right track.
How do you close out your days to ensure any negativity from one day doesn’t bleed into the next? Have you found like I have that it takes more effort to deal with your emotions during sobriety?