Early sobriety can be a difficult time for many, simply because learning how to live a different life is no joke. It doesn’t matter how bad a person wants to stop drinking or using, or how much they know their life will be better when they get sober, making changes is hard to do no matter how positive or healthy those changes are.
Willpower alone will not help a person change either. Even though there are some people on this earth who seem to have all the willpower in the world, the truth is that willpower isn’t an infinite source … for anybody.
Some people think that willpower is like a muscle and gets stronger the more they use it. The reality, however, is that willpower IS like a muscle and it fatigues and gives out from overuse!
What’s more important isn’t how much willpower someone has, it’s how they use it.
A person only wakes up with so much self-discipline each day. This is why “white-knuckling” sobriety doesn’t work very well, if at all. Eventually, the person caves because it’s just too damn hard.
However, if they’re using their willpower reserves in a smart way, they can have plenty to lean on when a craving hits.
Don’t wait until a craving hits to pull out the self-control to keep yourself from drinking or using. Set your entire day up for success by purposefully and mindfully keeping your stress levels as low as possible throughout the day so you don’t end up emotionally and mentally worn out, stressed, and revved up and looking for a way to escape.
This is where a solid morning routine comes in handy!
Easing into the day instead of hitting the ground running helps keep the stimulation from the outside world to a minimum and likewise starts the day without much stress. Here are some things I do for my morning routine:
I don’t look at my damn phone! Yes, my phone is my alarm clock. Other than that, however, I stay off screens in order to allow myself to wake up slowly and without the overstimulation of social media, emails, texts, etc. Overstimulation from technology is just as stressful on us as anything else. Take a break from screens and stay off them for a few hours after you wake up.
Morning reading. Waking up and reading before the rest of my family wakes up has become a treat I look forward to. I love sitting back and reading with my cup of coffee in the morning in complete silence. I’m not even a morning person! However, I have come to LOVE this quiet time that’s just for me. (The screens still need to be off, okay?)
Meditation. I cannot stress enough how important meditation is to my recovery. Even as little as 5 minutes a day would give anyone great benefits. Meditate for as little or as long as your morning allows. The effects are accumulative. (You can use your phone for a timer here, but other than that, the screens still should be off.)
Breakfast. Eat breakfast! Keep the screens off. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and eating a healthy breakfast will help keep your glucose levels stable, which in turn helps with stress and overstimulation. Keep the screens off still!
These are just the first few things I do each and every morning without fail to ease myself into my day and set myself up for success to stay sober. Remember, the idea is to keep the overstimulation and stress to a minimum throughout the entire day, so starting the day slow and easy is the perfect way to go.
What would you do for your morning routine? What do you do right now? Let me know in the comments!
Building the dream life you deserve is the next step.
Grab your copy of the Happy, Sober, and Balanced Workbook today to get started. Think of it as a vision board for your sobriety!