Spring Clean Your Sobriety in PA
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to spring clean your sobriety!
Spring is about to happen in most of the country at this point. With spring comes the chance to open up those windows and freshen up your home. For many, the season also marks a new beginning and a chance to clear out any old habits to make room for self-growth and renewal. It’s the ideal time to freshen up and spring clean your sobriety.
In order to avoid relapse, it’s important to be able to identify behaviors that might indicate that your sobriety is slipping. If you find yourself missing meetings or changing your schedule, that can be an indication that you’re no longer prioritizing your recovery as much. Keep reading to learn some helpful steps to spring clean your sobriety.
Spring Clean Your Sobriety : Change is Growth
So often it is said that someone shouldn’t change something that is working. We’re here to argue that there is nothing wrong or to be feared about trying something new. If something about your recovery or sobriety doesn’t feel right it might be a sign to try something different. If you begin to feel you are not growing in your sobriety journey, it may be time for some changes.
Much like the winter season taking a toll on your physical wellbeing, your sobriety may feel stagnant. You may have withdrawn from your usual meetings, not exercised like you would during the summer, and indulged in a little more sweets than planned. Those things are great as they help us to rest over the colder months, but as your energy increases and the weather begins to freshen, it is also an opportunity to breathe new life into your sobriety and recovery.
Reprioritize Your Sobriety
Have you been putting work first recently? Hibernating to watching season after season of your favorite shows on Netflix? Compulsively scrolling through the social media apps on your phone?
Now is the time to change up your priorities, from how you fill your downtime to the focus of your schedule. Put your recovery back at the top of the list and rearrange other activities around that. When you lay out your spring clean your sobriety schedule, consider these things:
- Talk with someone about your sobriety journey.
- Go to 2-7 support group meetings.
- Attend holistic therapy sessions.
- Meet with a sponsor and/or sponsee.
- Spend time with people from recovery outside of therapy sessions or group meetings.
Every day, the focal point should be on engaging with your recovery in some way. In some cases, this may require you to change up your work schedule, rearrange time spent with friends, or switch up your workouts. The result will be a new schedule that is refreshing to you and your recovery.
Challenge Yourself with New Goals
Depending on your past experience in addiction, the current challenges you are facing, and/or where you would like to be in your recovery in the future, you can shake things up in your recovery by making some new recovery goals. New goals can breathe new life into your recovery and help you to spring clean your sobriety with focused direction. Each person’s recovery is as individual as they’re.
There is no “one size fits all” approach that works for everyone. That is as it should be. No one else has your unique background, history of use or reasons for using drugs or alcohol. It doesn’t make sense for your treatment program to look like anyone else’s. The goals you set for yourself during recovery will also be unique.
This can include:
- Working on an important relationship in therapy sessions
- Working the 12 Steps or a specific step
- Connecting with a volunteer position that allows you to give back to your community
- Finding work that is meaningful and/or removes triggers for relapse from your work environment
- Addressing the effects of past trauma through mental health treatment
Specific — A goal should set out what is to be done, and a time frame for completing it. “Continue my education” is not a goal but “Complete necessary academic upgrading/coursework to enroll in a college program majoring in ‘X’ by September”
Measurable — The statement, “Eat more healthy foods” can’t be considered a goal. If you change it a bit so that it reads, “I’m going to eat better by including a salad with my meals three times a week, now you have a goal.” In the second instance, you can measure whether you are eating the salads three times each week or not.
Achievable — An example of this is whether you attend your 12-step program meetings regularly. You make the decision to go to the meetings and to take the necessary steps to get to where they’re being held and how often you’ll attend. That is an achievable goal.
Part of setting goals for yourself includes gathering information and making the best decision you can in your current situation.
Relevant — The goal you set for yourself must be something that is important to you in some way. If it isn’t something you find meaningful, then you aren’t as likely to put forth the effort to do the work required.
Time-bound — A goal should have a set time for completion. You can set a short-term goal that you’ll do something each week and then renew it, or have a long-term goal about where you want to be by a certain point in three, six or 12 months — or even longer.
Spring Clean Your Sobriety : Evaluate Your Inner Circle
Nobody likes negativity – and it has no place in a life of recovery. This spring is the perfect time to take a hard look at your life and see where there is a negative influence. Spring clean your sobriety by evaluating negativity in your inner circle. Then, get rid of it. There are some people that have a great impact on our lives. There are others that can drag us down. If you are wanting to remain happily sober, then you are going to need to find those that bring the negative and distance yourself from them. Why?
With the negative attitudes, attention, and life outlook usually also comes drama. And, well, drama serves no purpose but to bring added stress. As you have learned from your time in treatment, increased stress can bring an increased chance for relapse. Do you see the problem here? Surround yourself with happiness and goodness and your life will be full of both. Spring clean the negative right on out the door.
Spring into Gratitude
“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
Taking stock of what you have will help you see what’s missing and ultimately, what needs to go – like a gratitude list, but much more concise. Here are a few examples of practices that can help gratitude become part of our daily lives. What matters more than the particular actions themselves is that we sent our intention to make these practices a healthy habit rather than simply waiting for them to happen spontaneously. Spring clean your sobriety with these helpful daily activities:
- Every day, think of someone or something that you are grateful for, creating a visual image and saying the words, “Thank you”.
- Reflect on challenging circumstances in your life that have led to growth.
- When you think of what you are grateful for, then wish these good things for others, including those people whom you have never met. Extending gratitude to wishing all good things to others deepens the practice and lays the groundwork for multiplying its benefits.
Take your inventory from that list. Where are you thriving and where are you slacking?
Spring time is a great time to re-evaluate where you are in your sobriety, and what direction you want to go. If you want to continue on the sober path, then take a look at your actions and tighten things up where you know you could improve.