What is a Sobriety Toolkit?
Having a sobriety toolkit is an important aspect of addiction recovery. A sobriety toolkit is a collection of resources, tools, and strategies to help individuals stop drinking, maintain sobriety, and avoid relapse.
Who Can Benefit from Having a Sobriety Toolkit?
Whether you are thinking about quitting drinking, are in the early stages of quitting, or have been alcohol-free for a while, a sobriety toolkit evolves with you as you progress on your recovery journey. I still use many of the same strategies and tools I used when I first quit drinking to stay quit.
1. Support Group
Become part of a sober community. There are a variety of support groups, including AA. SMART Recovery, She Recovers, and a range of online resources and groups. Find someplace you like that you can attend regularly and schedule it into your calendar. Meeting and connecting with others you can relate with is an essential part of recovery. (NOTE: My GendHer® program, COMING THIS SPRING, includes a women’s sober community).
2. Contact Names and Phone Numbers
Make a list of people you can reach out to for support, such as friends, family, and other support people. Get the telephone numbers of the women you meet at your support groups and online meetings. When you are thirsty, reach for the phone instead of a bottle.
3. Non-Alcohlic Drinks
You will need to have a selection of drinks on hand to reach for instead of an alcoholic beverage. I was super thirsty when I first got sober and drank a ton of club soda. I also like Bottle Green Elderflower Flavoured Sparkling Water. Drinking out of a fancy cocktail glass is up to you, but I have always found that triggering and prefer to use a stemless glass instead. Herbal teas are also available for every possible ailment, mood, or flavour. I have a cupboard full. Ginger tea is a superstar when it comes to detox and inflammation.
4. Dark Chocolate
You will crave sweets when you first quit drinking because of all the sugar and simple carbohydrates that are found in alcohol. Of course, especially in the beginning, indulge. Chocolates. Sugary drinks. Desserts. Anything but alcohol. However, if you are an alcoholic, moderation is not your strong suit, and sugary drinks are also addictive. Gaining weight is a significant relapse trigger for women. Dark chocolate is a huge help when dealing with cravings and elevates dopamine and serotonin. If your dopamine and serotonin levels are low, you will crave sugar, alcohol, sweets, and bread.
Plan your rewards out. In the first week, have that chocolate bar at the end of the day. As you start feeling better and realizing the money you are saving by not drinking, this is your life. Find out what you like to do and go for it, such as a gym membership and exercise gear. Or a day trip to the spa. I still indulge in good face creams. Save up all your money throughout the year and go on a trip. (Some apps help you track how much money you are saving by not drinking).
Writing in your journal helps you process thoughts and feelings that begin to surface when you no longer have alcohol to numb out and stuff things down. Journaling can be cathartic and can also serve as a record of your progress. You can also write down things that make you feel grateful. Research shows that gratitude helps your brain heal from the effects of addiction. Begin with writing down three things to be grateful for at the end of each day. You will be amazed at the results.
7. Grounding Tools and Skills
Find a rock or special coin, put it in your pocket, and carry it around. Get into the habit of putting your hand in your pocket and noticing how it feels in the palm of your hand. When you have a craving or are mentally spinning out of control, notice how your rock feels in the palm of your hand. What is the texture? Is it cool to the touch? Or warm? Can you visualize it? Do this until the craving passes. You can also turn this into a visualization by taking a few breaths in and out and visualizing standing with your bare feet on a mossy forest floor.
8. Daily Inspirational
Find a daily inspirational online or at the bookstore and dedicate yourself to it each morning. Reading inspirational materials can be an important tool in addiction recovery, and reading something inspirational first thing in the morning sets the tone for the day. Addiction recovery can be challenging, and it's easy to feel discouraged. Reading about others who have overcome addiction can be particularly inspiring. Other inspirational materials include this blog, podcasts, and audiobooks that can provide the motivation to keep pushing forward when things get tough.
I recommend Beeswax candles. They are more expensive than other candles and require some babysitting. However, the benefits are worth it. Beeswax is 100% non-toxic, candles burn longer and neutralize any odours in your home. I also use my candle for candle meditation. It's simple. Light the candle and stare. Think campfire. A dark room works the best but isn't necessary. This simple and effective mindfulness practice helps your thoughts and worries disappear into the candle's light. I love it!
10. Detox Bath
You will need Epsom Salts, aromatherapy oil, baking soda, and candle. Before going to bed, especially if you are detoxing, I suggest an Epsom Salts bath. You will sleep like a baby. You can buy the salts at any pharmacy. Light your candle. Fill your tub with steamy hot water and add ½ cup of Epsom salts. I also like to add some bubble bath, a few drops of lavender oil, and a sprinkling of baking soda to the water to help make my skin feel silky and soft. The magnesium and sulfate from the salts are absorbed through the skin and help with anxiety, migraine headaches, inflammation, and flushing toxins from the body. If you are not a bath person, I hope you will perform this ritual at least once to experience how soothing and relaxing it is, especially if you have trouble with sleep. If you don’t like a bath or can’t have one, put Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender aromatherapy oil in your bathroom sink. Sit on the counter with your feet in hot water. Put your head down and an ice pack on your neck with a towel over your head. Soak your feet in hot water, inhaling the lovely lavender. Relax for 10-30 minutes. This is also an excellent remedy for headaches.
What are the Benefits of Having a Sobriety Toolkit?
1. Personalized and Individualized
A sobriety toolkit can be adjusted or added to as needed. The most important thing is to find what works best for you in maintaining sobriety. Because everyone's experiences and triggers are unique, a sobriety toolkit is often tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
2. Coping with Cravings
A sobriety toolkit can provide you with the tools you need to manage cravings and triggers, such as triggers, such as deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, or physical activity.
3. Helps Manage Stress
A sobriety toolkit includes activities and exercises such as journaling and self-care to help manage stress and emotional regulation.
4. Creates New Pathways in Your Brain
Addiction is ritualistic in nature. Learning new rituals, routines, meditations, and habits supports your brain and helps to accelerate your recovery process.
5. Reduces Isolation
Addiction is a disease of isolation. A sobriety toolkit includes resources and supports that can provide encouragement and motivation when needed, such as phone numbers of support groups, friends, or family members.
6. Keeps You Motivated
A sobriety toolkit can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals and why you want to quit drinking.
Having a well-rounded sobriety toolkit can help you stay on track and maintain your sobriety even in the face of challenges, adversity and temptations.
Need help dealing with an addiction to alcohol or other drugs? My GendHer® program is created with you in mind!
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