Hi there. I'm Zoey! My personal goal is to stay sober for a year and write a blog post about it daily. So far, I've been sober for about three months, and Dry January was a great jumping off point for me. After starting my own sobriety journey on December 17, Dry January was reaaaally nice because I had extra support for a month (people to celebrate with and commiserate with). I probably had about half a dozen peers do Dry January with me and a *huge* online community of folks staying dry. 

So you can imagine: it was pretty lonely when February 1st rolled around and most people I knew started drinking again. But! It's possible to stay energized in the beginnings of sobriety, even outside of Dry January. Here are a few tips on how to get going, for any of you that may be sober curious. Or for any of you that may be sober already but want a boost of momentum.

1) Set your intentions

If you're anything like me, you may have dabbled in sobriety in the past but then immediately caved when your friends did a champagne toast. Just a sip couldn't hurt, right? For me, setting intentions was a HUGE part of my process. Putting concrete goals and reminders in place helped me solidify my choice to be sober. It can also be helpful to decide *why* you're doing the sober thing. For me, I had lost my ability to drink in moderation, and I knew I had to make a change and start being more mindful. It could be as simple as... wanting to lose weight or save money. It's different for everyone. Figuring out what sobriety means to *you* can be a liberating step. So, if that goes along with your intentions - great! Journal it out.

 Here were the intentions I set for myself. You can modify them as you see fit.

​"Intentions:

- Don't drink alcohol for one year

- Find alternatives for drinking socially

- Dump out wine that's already in my house

- Do this for me

- Forget about seeking approval from others

- Be kind with myself

- Be patient with myself"

 ​2) Find a creative outlet / distract yourself with meaningful hobbies

The absence of alcohol creates a lot of room in your life for other things. For me, blogging and journaling about sobriety and my daily moods/musings has been so cathartic and has made sobriety that much more meaningful. Being sober has allowed me the time to write and the clarity to commit to daily rituals (such as journaling and meditating and cooking and, like, actually washing my makeup off at night).

 Other ideas: singing, dancing, meditating, making a zine, cooking, doodling, coloring, drawing, hula-hooping, jump-roping, photography, going for long walks. You can be creative doing literally WHATEVER YOU WANT. But finding a way to channel your energy in a positive way that's not centered around drinking is the goal here.

 3) Try an AA meeting

I think there are a lot of stigmas about Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think that at the very least - it's very humbling to go and hear others' experiences with alcohol. Alcoholism can be such a serious thing for so many people, and it's astounding how many lives are affected by abuse of alcohol. I don't want to preach too much on this subject, but I would say that for someone starting out in sobriety - it can be a definite lifeline and support system. (That being said, I have only been to three meetings in as many months. I haven't quite found my groove with it, personally.)

 4) Connect with humans

Seriously, the sober Instagram community is amazing. Following popular hashtags can connect you to other folks who are struggling and/or thriving in their recovery journeys. And, you know, not everyone is in recovery necessarily. Some folks just choose to abstain from alcohol. But engaging with folks who have the same values and who actively want to change their lives/their relationships with alcohol/their relationships with others is so so inspiring.

 ALSO! Don't neglect your friends or isolate yourself IRL. I personally still go out to shows or to bars but always make sure I have a soda water with lemon. Keeping my hands busy distracts me from temptations and helps me avoid awkward conversations with people about "why I'm not drinking." Plus, it's not fun to do this alone. So go out with a buddy who knows your situation and will support you in your soda water or Diet Coke choices.

5) Take time for mindfulness / self care

No matter how lofty your goals are, it's good to remember that everything is easier if you just take it one day at a time and try to live in your present moment. Take a bath, take a walk, download a meditation app, treat yourself when you hit a new sobriety milestone. You are taking a huge step in bettering yourself mentally/physically/spiritually/emotionally so just remember to be gentle with yourself.

 

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