Updated: Feb 8
Dry January Tips or Tools to Stay Sober in 2022
I can’t keep you sober this season. Your mom can’t keep you sober this season. Your husband can’t keep you sober this season.
It’s up to you.
But here’s what I can do.
I can offer you some of my tools - activities for staying sober - I use when I’m feeling vulnerable, having cravings, or feeling too many feelings and need an outlet that doesn’t involve escaping through numbing.
Here’s the list of tools I’ve used to stay sober from alcohol throughout 2021. These are in no particular order, although I did try to list the things I use most often at the beginning of the list. You can try one or more to see if they help.
Go for a drive with music turned up as loud as possible and singing without worrying about who can and can’t hear you.
Take a hot bath ideally with essential oils, epsom salts, candles, and whatever else you like. I find it easier to stay safe in a nice bath and it’s a great place to cry.
Walk vigorously (uphill, if possible) in the neighborhood.
Walk slowly on a trail.
Do some of your favorite yoga poses. I like a child's pose when anxious, a tree pose when I need to be more mindful or slow myself down to focus, a triangle pose for when I need help opening the chest area, and a good old downward dog to get the blood flowing.
TAKE A NAP.
Free write or free paint which means I don’t make myself follow a script or goal or vision, I just let the words or colours come. No judgement.
Call someone safe. This means calling or texting with someone who will not enable your alcohol or drug use. It’s a good idea to make a list of people so you know before you need it and to consult it regularly and try to grow the list, too.
Put in some probono or volunteer work whether it is a few hours in total or a few hours a week.
Make some food and sit down, pause, eat and hydrate.
Go shopping with the money you saved not drinking or doing drugs today.
Try reading more or taking up a new at-home hobby with the time you’re saving not being intoxicated.
Start crafting, gaming, taking lessons, cooking, learning something new. Keep going as you discover what sober you or more sober you does and doesn’t like.
Spend some extra time caring for your plants.
Watch a favorite movie or TV series.
Meditate or listen to meditation or sleep stories. I like the Calm app for this but there’s a lot of other options.
Speaking of apps, download a sober tracking app of your choice and use it. I use I am Sober and love the fact you can access a community of people going through their own sober journey when you need it and that it counts time saved from not drinking.
Remember that right now all you really have to do is stay sober.
Come up with some good quotes that you feel give you strength or help you stay focused amid temptations.
Celebrate your wins by letting yourself acknowledge it’s a big deal you’re not drinking! Bear in mind you’ll need to discover a few ways of celebrating without alcohol but this can be a really insightful and rewarding process all on its own.
Clean or pick a room to downsize, reorganize, fix-up.
Spend some time scrolling and pinning articles and quotes that speak to you.
Create a sober songs playlist. Listen often. Macklemore is a must.
Attend an AA meeting via Zoom.
Join sober support groups on Facebook.
Follow sober pages and listen to sober living podcasts.
Write down your reasons why you're not drinking or why you want to quit and how you would be benefit. I like pros and cons lists for this to because it's so blatantly obvious in the end that there's easily more pros than cons. Review this list as needed.