6 Tips to Maintain Sobriety in the New Year

As the ball drops into 2023 and the last piece of confetti falls to the ground, people around the globe will take a moment for self-reflection and create goals for the new year. Whether you have overindulged this holiday season, are looking to increase your health and well-being, or are worried that your drinking has evolved into something you can’t control, abstaining from alcohol might be a part of your new year’s resolution. To help you kick off your Dry January or lay the foundation for a lifelong commitment, here are six quick tips on maintaining sobriety this New Year.

1.Identify your triggers: Take a moment to ask yourself some hard-hitting questions. How has alcohol served you in the past? Have you been using it to cope with anxiety about your workload? Has it taken the edge off an uncomfortable social situation? Perhaps it is acting as a band-aid for current or past trauma. A moment of self-reflection might reveal that alcohol use in your life is a maladaptive behavior that you engage in because you are missing healthy coping mechanisms. Homing in on your triggers and identifying replacement skills and strategies for dealing with daily stressors is key to maintaining sobriety. You cannot rely on sheer willpower to maintain recovery; instead, you must find a new way to address your triggers.  

2. Sober Supports: Keep in close communication with individuals who fully support your health goals. You need to tether yourself to someone or a group that can help you in dealing with “normal” life stresses without relying on alcohol. Before you take on a social gathering or other situation where alcohol might be a temptation, have a firm understanding of the stressors and potential triggers you might encounter. Talk openly with your sober supports about this so that you can be present and aware when the temptation to drink sneaks up on you. Plan ahead, communicate with your supports, and create an exit strategy if the situation is more than you can handle at the moment.  

3. Manage your mental health: Getting stuck in the past can invite depression and looking or worrying about the future can open the door to uncomfortable anxiety. Stay present and when you find yourself slipping into the past or future, make it a habit to remind yourself to bring your attention back to the current moment. You are where your attention is! Here are some ideas on how to make a habit out of being present:  

  • Focus on your breathing: Utilizing the “4-7-8 breathing technique” helps decrease anxiety and control emotions. The process is simple: breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold the breath for seven, and exhale for eight. Repeat.
  • Take a nature walk: Walking outside helps create a mind-body connection that eases anxiety and stress. Try tuning into your senses while you walk. Focusing on what we see, hear, smell, feel, and taste keeps us grounded in the present and distracts us when our thoughts take us to the past or future.  
  • Take a break from electronics: We lose too much of ourselves to mindless scrolling. Sometimes we must unplug from electronics to plug back into our real lives.  
  • Schedule a daily brain break: If these mindful moments are scheduled into your day, it is more likely to happen. So put these on your calendar or set a reminder on your phone.  
  • Explore restorative practices such as meditation or yoga:  While you can practice meditation anywhere, I recommend getting out into the sun as often as possible. In my experience, the power of light is extraordinary. The magnificence of the healing power of the light cleanses you, infuses you, inspires you, and transports you. When you struggle to stay present and accept the moment you find yourself in, go outside, raise your hands to the sun and become your own power station that needs to be recharged. Look up and into the sun, even for brief moments. Then, place your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly. Breathe in love and blow out the fear… in with love, out with fear. 

4. Replace old habits with healthy routines: We often think of new year’s resolutions as taking away something or removing something from our life. Stop smoking, stop eating junk food, etc. But if we never replace the things we are removing from our lives with positive alternatives, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Replace your drinking with a new healthy habit and stick to it. Routine, structure, and accountability happen 365 days a year. Getting and staying off track allows “old” behavior to sneak in and can take hold of you if you are not clear and present in your life. Stay true to recovery strategies that work for you and practice them daily.  

5. Higher Power and Reflection: Ideally, the “God of your understanding” must always be your primary spiritual relationship. A higher power can be a religious God or a spiritual representation of a higher power, e.g., Nature, the Sun, etc. Your Spiritual Self, your soul, needs care and connection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Keep that conversation and connection ongoing with your higher power, whatever that may be for you. Listen deeply to the messages sent back to you through prayer and meditation.

6. Help is a Phone Call Away: The case management services I provide for clients who are new to recovery are vital to establishing lifelong sobriety. In working with me, my clients receive personalized coaching that builds resilience and autonomy in recovery. By building a strong rapport with my clients, I can connect them to local resources within their community that will support their individual needs. My vast network of clinical and spiritual experts is personally matched to each client so that their recovery is treated holistically. Most importantly, I provide encouragement and connection through my role as a mentor and role model. My own experience with addiction and recovery grounds everything that I do. With over 23 years of recovery, I am a lightkeeper today. Unless you have lived in the dark, you don’t know what light is. Due to my experience, I now have the ability to reach into the dark and pull people out into the light. If you need assistance in your recovery efforts, please call 216-755-7545 to schedule a consultation.

January 2, 2023

About the author:

Jane Mintz

Licensed Professional Counselor
Concierge Clinical Strategist
Crisis Intervention Specialist

With Love and Light,

Jane Eigner Mintz, MA, LPC, is the CEO and Chief Clinical Strategist of her international consultancy firm, Realife Intervention Solutions, LLC, offering strategic direction for addiction, mental health, and life concerns. A veteran treatment provider and thought leader in the addiction and behavioral health industries, Jane developed The Field Model of Intervention, the first-ever clinical model of intervention now in use by practitioners and organizations across the United States and the United Kingdom. Best known for her work as a concierge strategist guiding clinically complex individuals and their families through crisis, she is also a noted industry consultant, educator, and speaker who has garnered international recognition. But it is her own experience with addiction and recovery that grounds all that she does, “I am a lightkeeper today. Unless you have lived in the dark, you don’t know what light is. I have the ability to reach into the dark and pull people out.”

leave a comment

Share post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *