Recently, I was talking to someone about getting through those first few days of not drinking. I was encouraging her to come up with a plan for herself. The biggest thing I noticed is that she seemed ready, willing and eager to change her life. She wanted it and she knew it was time. I had some tips for her and this isn't the first time I found myself trying to explain this to someone, so I thought it might be helpful to just get it down in writing. I am going to include this in my welcome newsletter from now on as well, because, why not. FYI, I am not a doctor. This is just my advice, from personal experience, and well - it worked for me.
Ten tips for the first ten days of sobriety!
Clean out the booze in the house. Get rid of all of the alcohol you have, so there is no temptation. If you are seriously ready to commit to an alcohol free lifestyle, then you need to get rid of anything that may knock you off your path to success.
Talk to your partner or friend about your plan to get sober. You need to hold yourself accountable in those first several days. Talking about your situation makes it real and speaking about it out loud for the first time, putting it out in the universe and voicing your feelings is the initial step in the process towards becoming a better version of you.
Download some sobriety podcasts and start listening! When you feel the cravings hit, pound the pavement and pop in your earbuds.
Buy some Quit Lit books. Start reading about sobriety. I read everything from the science behind alcohol to other people's personal battles with alcohol. I felt inspired by the women who had come before me.
Stock up on some yummy snacks and your favorite dessert. Reward yourself in the evenings when the cravings hit.
Buy cans of seltzer, zero sugar gatorade and other sports drinks that will allow you to hydrate all day long. Some people like to have a new, special type of tea in the evenings to signify bedtime as well.
Avoid the routine that caused you to drink. If you always pour a glass of wine while cooking dinner - then order takeout or make your kids help with the dinner prep for a few days. Or jump on the peloton or take the dog for a walk around 5pm.
Start journaling about your thoughts and feelings. Even for five minutes a day. Reflecting on your feelings and progress is an integral part of recovery.
Consider some new hobbies to pursue in the coming weeks. Walking. Running. Fishing. Drawing. Watercoloring. Hiking. Needlepoint. You will find you have a lot more time and energy now!
Go to bed early if you feel like you just can’t take it anymore in the evening. Everyday will get easier.
Good luck and let me know how you are doing on your journey. Every day is a small step towards finding your success.