Tips for Enjoying Life Sober & Staying Positive in Recovery
Many recovering people report a feeling of happiness in early recovery that is like being on a ‘pink cloud.’ While experiencing life sober can be the best feeling you’ve had in years, it’s often reported that the pink cloud fades with time and eventually you will have to experience whatever life throws at you even if it is when you are tired, discouraged, and not generally ‘feeling like you’re on a pink cloud’ any longer.
A good way to ensure that you will be able to overcome obstacles and experience life’s highs and lows while staying sober is to cultivate everyday happiness. Focusing on positive things and taking action are powerful tonics against boredom and frustration, which are major dangers in early sobriety.
To thrive in recovery, try new things and find whatever it is that speaks to your heart and brings you joy in order to make the most of each day. Here are some suggestions that might help you to find happiness in sobriety.
1. Stay informed about worldwide events. An understanding of current events outside of your immediate surroundings can help you remain grateful for the things you have. For instance, maybe you are dealing with the wreckage of your past either legally or from an employment or perspective. If you think about the fact that around the world people are risking their lives every day to escape a dangerous situation to merely arrive as homeless people in a safer country, it should help you maintain perspective that your problems will pass and you can be grateful to not go to bed hungry and for having a safe place to sleep.
2. Seek opportunities to volunteer. We’ve written at length in a recent blog entry why it’s good for recovery to “give back” to the community. Whether you volunteer in your recovery group or the community at large, you will be surprised at how happy and useful you can feel by giving back without being paid. You will meet new friends and have the opportunity to learn new skills and enrich yourself. Some groups and places outside recovery that can always use volunteers are:
- Homeless shelters and soup kitchens
- Animal shelters
- Convalescent homes
- Charitable organizations (ie Salvation Army, Goodwill)
3. Learn how to do something new. Maybe there’s something you’ve been talking about learning for years, but life was so chaotic that you never had your chance to try it. Now is the time to gift yourself with the growth and joy that comes from learning a new skill. It doesn’t have to be something big like going back to school to obtain a degree; it could be a hobby like cooking a new type of cuisine or a sport like yoga ore even joining a gym for regular exercise.
4. Be a good friend to others. Chances are there’s some people in your life who supported and cared for you even through your most difficult times. Why not show those people that you value and appreciate them by being a great friend to them. Nurturing any kind of relationship takes work but you can really make a difference in other people’s lives by being present for them through their difficult times. Or, take a moment to help someone else who is struggling in their life, perhaps someone you can sponsor in the 12-step community. There’s a lot of joy in being able to be a good friend to others through their ups and downs in life; it feels great to be someone that your friends can depend upon.
Also, maybe you have friends from the past who would be happy to see you again now that you’re feeling healthier and living in recovery. You could bring a lot of joy to people by reconnecting with them in recovery.
5. Always find ways to play. The world is an amazing place; full of wonder and there will never be enough time to experience all the wonderful possibilities for fun. It’s always good to look for new ways to have fun and reconnect to old activities that you used to enjoy a lot. Having fun with others, including animals, is a great way to retain a positive and playful spirit in recovery.
Contact NorthStar Transitions for Help Getting and Staying Sober
If you or a loved one needs help to begin recovering, call 888- 787-9377 to speak to a NorthStar recovery specialist. We can assess the situation and provide recommendations for treatment options. We are also able to verify insurance benefits to see what your policy covers. Contact us today.