A proactive approach is vital to sobriety. As a family member of someone who’s recovering from substance abuse, you can take an active role in supporting your friend, partner or child in a new sober lifestyle.
Approaching the future in terms of weeks, months or years can be overwhelming. While it’s necessary to have a long-term plan for sobriety, the daily activities your loved one participates in can add up to a stronger sober lifestyle.
Sobriety-Promoting Daily Activities for You and/or a Loved One
1. Engage in Physical Activity.
A healthy body and relaxed mind help a person following treatment to stay sober. You can encourage physical activity or exercise by participating together. Get involved in a sport you both enjoy, or take bike rides or walks outdoors. The endorphins released during physical activity also help reduce stress.
2. Start Every Day Fresh.
Encourage your loved one to view each day as coming with a clean slate. Model this behavior by starting fresh each day and not dwelling on mistakes made on previous days. Expressing appreciation or thanksgiving for each new day is one way to set your focus.
3. Talk to One Another.
Communication is important to a sober lifestyle. Your partner or child needs to know there’s someone trustworthy to talk to at all times. Be that person by initiating nonjudgmental discussions, listening actively and setting aside time each day to catch up with one another.
4. Focus on Good Nutrition.
What your partner eats may not seem important compared to other concerns you might have about staying sober. But encouraging a loved one to eat a healthy, nutritious diet will help promote good health and energy. Prepare nutritious meals together, if you both enjoy cooking.
5. Maintain a Structured Schedule.
Structure is important because it helps a sober person avoid boredom and idleness, both of which might have been prior triggers for substance abuse. Plan with your loved one to help him or her find positive ways to fill gaps in the day.
Whether you journal together or separately, writing down feelings and thoughts is a healthy way to process them. You can make journaling an activity that precedes conversation or use it as a stress-reliever.
7. Attend Support Group Meetings.
The frequency of meetings a person needs to attend depends on his or her needs. If daily meetings have proven helpful, do your part to ensure your loved one can continue attending them.
8. Relax Each Day.
A structured, productive day can be important for a newly sober person, but they also need time to unwind and relax. Encourage your friend or family member to relax by doing so at the same time with preferred methods, such as reading, yoga or meditation.
Sobriety is a Process, Not an Event
Approach each day in a loved one’s sobriety as another step in the process. Your support as a family member or friend is very meaningful as he or she endeavors toward a sober lifestyle. The daily activities you engage in are likely to change over time as the individual’s needs in sobriety change.
But one constant will be the need for the ongoing support and encouragement that comes from family members and good friends. By playing a role in a loved one’s sober lifestyle, you can help him or her continue living a healthier, substance-free life.
Another great recovery option is a transitional living program to slowly adjust back into every day life while remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol.