When being sober feels hard, it can be so easy to blame everything on the fact we’re not drinking and decide that wine will help, just one, just for now.
You know it is never just one and you will end up undoing all the wonderful work you’ve done and repeat the whole awful cycle again and again.
When things feel hard, it is a chance to grow and learn. When you come out the other side, which you will, you will feel stronger than ever. The ten things below are far more powerful than wine (yes, really) and will help you cope when being sober feels hard.
- Time and space
- Move your body
- Be in nature
- Tap into your dreams
- Do something you love
- Take action
- Practice gratitude
- Be gentle
Most of us start our sobriety journey full of hope, motivation and inspiration but can struggle when being sober feels hard, which it often does, because, well that’s life! Maybe we get bored or the whole thing feels boring. Perhaps we are feeling good and the thought of celebrating or enjoying happy times without alcohol feels the hardest of them all.
Staying on track and keeping that inspiration and motivation flowing, means turning to your tools and leaning into what you know works for you which will carry you through until you come out the other side, because you will.
If you’d like to listen to this blog with extra waffle from me, then you can do so just below!
In this blog post I’ll be sharing some of the things that have helped me when being sober feels hard with 10 ways to feel better right now, plus a FREE workbook with a super handy downloadable checklist to help you bring back the magic of sobriety.
When you’re facing a challenging time in your life, or you’re having a really bad day, know that it’s okay. The biggest hurdle when trying to deal with a challenging or emotional time, is questioning it, fighting it and trying to change it. It is so much easier when you accept that, yes things are bloody awful at the moment, but that’s okay. Just as day flows into night, you will get through this, (wine will not make it better) but often just surrendering, letting go and sitting with your feelings, and a nice cup of tea, is the kindest, most powerful thing you can do.
Time and space
Every day I give myself time and space, to be quiet and spend time just for me. I spend an hour with my writing, incense and fairy lights before my son wakes up, I sneak off for a yoga nidra nap and when I have more time, I do a solo walk or hike. This quiet time is deeply nourishing and restorative.
Make it your priority and I promise making space for yourself every day for a month, even if it’s ten minutes in the garden or a coffee in your favourite café watching the world go by, will change things forever, for the better.
Move your body
This can be part of your quite time if you like, and again making the effort to move your body everyday is the most wonderful gift and will leave you feeling inspired and back in the flow. Exercise releases dopamine, our natural feel good hormones which lifts us up and then allows us natural relaxation later on, what’s not to like?
Spend time with nature
What can I say? Spending time in nature will soothe, nourish and heal like nothing else can. If you can do your exercise and spend your quiet time among the trees, by a calm lake or along a windy beach even better.
When I first quit drinking, I would walk and walk and walk, across fields, up hills and along dirt tracks every single day. Nature makes everything feel better, she allows you the time and space to be grateful, to be mindful, to process your emotions, let your mind wander or just look at the moon and feel alive. Spend time with nature.
Just as being alone, is important, so too is connecting with your support network. One of our members recently said, ”thank you for building this support network, I love it” Support changes everything. So, whatever your support network looks like, be it your best friend, husband, our wonderful group, your coach or therapist, lean on them, that’s what they are there for. Never ever feel you have to struggle alone when being sober feels hard.
“I’m part of the generation that feels we just have to get on with it, so I’m struggling along alone”
I read an email from someone the other day who said, “I’m part of the generation that feels we just have to get on with it, so I’m struggling along alone”. And somebody else said, “I have real trouble asking for help which is why I’m still drinking of course.” Don’t be that person, you are supported and if you’re not it’s time you were, you deserve it.
Tap into your dreams
“Start where you want to end,” is a powerful phrase that reminds us that unless we know where we’re going, it will be difficult to get there. Your ‘end’ is your why, your dream, your reason for being on this journey and the most powerful thing you can do is to tap into that dream every single day.
Having a strong vision for your sobriety and really connecting with the emotions that your dream or vision bring is what will carry you through when things get difficult or challenging. Your dream is the thing that will keep you on your path and feeling good.
Do something you love
On day six of the Lunar Retreat, I encourage you to spend a whole day focusing on the things you love to do because by spending some time connecting with yourself and remembering all the things that make you happy and bring you joy, you can start to focus more on the good stuff which leaves less room for the bad stuff – alcohol.
You are in charge of creating an alcohol-free life that you love, one that you don’t need to run away from, so what do you love to do?
I hope that the tips in this blog will help you to get out of your head, to stop wishing and (drunk) dreaming and finally take the action you need to help you to get to where you want to go. It is so easy to read and wish and hope, to buy all the books, download all the free stuff, join the Facebook groups, but still do nothing (I did that for 5 years!) The only way you are going to stop drinking is to stop drinking! Make a commitment to yourself that you will take that step. I know it’s scary but it’s also the most empowering thing you can do.
I know you know this, but do you do it? Gratitude is the most uplifting emotion there is and can change things in an instant. Oprah Winfrey wisely says,
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
It’s true that some of you may roll your eyes at the thought of a gratitude practice, something else you have to tick off the list, but really, honestly feeling grateful works.
You can either moan about what’s wrong with the world and how difficult everything is and that being sober feels hard, or you can spend a few minutes a day feeling into what you’re grateful for. It’s impossible to think two thoughts at once, so why not pick the nice ones and see what happens? Three things, every day that’s all you need.
I know it seems like a lot to do and at first it can feel overwhelming, like you’re studying for an exam or something! While it is important to immerse yourself in your new way of life, it’s also important to be gentle with yourself. I love the advice of Laura McKowen, author of ‘We are the Luckiest’, who says treat your first nine months of sobriety as if you were pregnant. Really look after yourself, listen to your body and tune into your needs. We drink to feel better, but what does better mean? Go beyond the craving, dig deeper, what is it you really need? Do that. Be kind. Be gentle.
I know that we can read (or listen) to articles like this, say we’ll get round to ‘doing the things’ but then get distracted, forget where we saw it and struggle when things do feel hard. I don’t want that for you so, just in time for Sober October I created a FREE workbook to help you bring back the magic to your sober journey including a super handy checklist to help you get back on track and stay there feeling strong and empowered for a whole magical month.
**Sign up here**
How do you lift yourself up when being sober feels hard? Let me know in the comments!