It’s May – the start of a bright, shiny new month! With summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. Personally, I think an alcohol-free lifestyle is pretty damn cool at any time of year, but waking up without a hangover is extra special when the mornings are light and sunny.
If you’re trying to get back on track and you want to avoid becoming overwhelmed, make sure you keep things manageable by just focussing on this month. Concentrate on your goals for May and don’t start thinking further ahead, or worrying about forever. The f-word is not allowed! Now is not the time to wonder what you’ll do at Christmas or New Year or any other event that’s a long way into the future. Just focus on the here and now.
Figuring out how to make sobriety stick is often a case of experimenting with different tools and strategies – and sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. So with that in mind, here are 5 things to try this month that will support your sobriety and help you feel great!
Drink hot water and lemon first thing
When you’re thirsty and dehydrated, all sorts of things go wrong. You’re more likely to feel tired, eat too much sugar and crave booze. So whilst it’s tempting to start the day with a giant coffee, you will feel better if you rehydrate first (you can have the coffee after!) Remember to keep drinking lots of water throughout the day.
Play the movie to the end
When a craving strikes it’s all too easy to get caught up in the moment. Next time, imagine your drinking as a story. You’re at the start of the movie right now and you get to decide the storyline. If you choose to drink, how’s the movie going to end? Spend five minutes thinking it all through. What will really happen if you have ‘just one’ drink? How will you feel in the morning? Will it be worth it?
Keep a victory box
Eat a tub of ice cream (this is the most important step) then wash out the tub. Get some post it notes and a pen. Every day, for the next month, write down one thing you’re proud of. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. When we’re trying to do something that challenges us, we tend to remember our failings and forget the things we have done well. Reading through your post-it notes will give you a boost the next time you’re feeling down.
Track your progress
What gets measured gets improved on. There are lots of sobriety apps out there to help you keep track. I like this one, which not only tells you how long it’s been since your last drink, but it also works out how much money you’ve saved and how many calories. Very motivating!
Put mistakes into perspective
Success is not about doing something perfectly and without failure. It’s about having the courage to do it in the first place. If we only ever did things that we were sure we wouldn’t fail at, then we wouldn’t get very far. Try and see a slip for what it really is: a lesson learnt, a bump in the road. It’s a chance to review what’s working and what’s not – and then move on.
Now I’d love to hear from you…
What’s your number 1 focus this month? If you have any I-wish-I’d-thought-of-this-sooner tips or advice then please leave a comment below and let me know.
Thanks for reading. Have a lovely week!
I find that booking day trips or activities that I really look forward too at the weekend helps. I would have never had the energy to organise something new while I was drinking and if I did I would have been nursing a hangover, so getting to spend the day doing something I really enjoy makes me feel alot better about sometimes feeling a little flat in the evenings x
Great idea. Sobriety frees up quite a lot of time that was previously lost to drinking. Planning fun activities – and knowing you’ll have the energy to enjoy them – is a good way of staying motivated!
I’ve just started karate again after a break of 20+ years- I would never have done this if I was still drinking and I am loving it
That sounds amazing! I might have to give it a go…
I find that I cherish every day now and make plans to do things with people I care for. My life was all about drinking before, I didn’t have time for much else. Xx
I book expensive exercise classes during the evenings when I would normally pop the cork and unwind with a couple of glasses of wine. I schedule them just late enough that there’s not really enough time to do much other than drive home, take a shower, and get ready for bed.
Sounds really great! Enjoy your freedom 🙂
I would like some tips on wot to do that involves socialising in the evening. Because other than the pub I meet no one. My old passions were walking, dancing, horseriding I can no longer do any of them due to knee, foot and back problems. So all the verve sobriety brings for me feels a bit frustrating. I live in a small market town too so not much going on. Dot
Have u thought about taking up sketching, art, some kind of knitting, sewing type craft?
it’s difficult because I’m not passionate about it or any good at it but thanks for thinking of me
Hi, would it be possible for you to still go to the pub to meet friends but drink af? It might be tough for the first time but after that might turn out to be fine. Means you’re not missing out and you’ll probably find after the initial awkwardness you might feel it’ll be great.
When I can’t fall asleep I think of “24 Hours at a Time” and I make a mental list of 24 positive changes in my life from not drinking. Each day of sobriety enhances the list. It’s fun, insightful, and motivates me to want another 24 hours of this awesome positive life style….plus it helps you fall to sleep. 😉
What a great idea! Much better than counting sheep 😉
Kate, I found this on May 5th, right as I was contemplating a Cinco De Mayo party and I played the movie to the end. Going to skip it because I am feeling a little shaky on Day 5. Trying to get back on track and “celebrating” Day 5 of the “Getting Back on Track.” I love the message about the F Word and the tub of notes. Thank you.
No problem Kelly. You’ve got this. 🙂
my May goal is to enjoy my first sober vacation! It is a health vacation, but there is still alcohol available (weird)
Now that I truly believe booze has zero benefits, I am thinking it is fully possible for me to enjoy my trip without second guessing if it would be “more fun” if I had drinks. Can’t wait to add “sober vaca” to the list of sober achievements
Ha. I’ve been on similar ‘healthy’ holidays where they don’t serve gluten or carbs but they still offer booze! Weird or what? I hope you have a lovely holiday Jamie. I’m sure you will come back feeling fantastic and looking great.
Tonight will be the first time out to dinner since stopping drinking two weeks ago. There have been those thoughts of “do I really need to stop”, but I know the deep down in my gut.
So tonight will be cranberry & seltzer, will let you know how it goes!
Good luck Kathy! Have fun … and think about how great you’ll feel tomorrow 🙂
Today is my 66th day of sobriety! It’s been a stressful week at work,and my daughter and husband left this morning to get her settled for her summer internship. My “drinking mind” thought, I deserve to treat myself to a glass of wine. But knowing I wasn’t at my strongest (even after 66 days, there are weak moments) I didn’t stop at the store, ate leftovers instead, and sipped on a cranberry and seltzer with lime in a pretty wine glass, and reached out to all of you. I know I will thank my sober self tomorrow!! I am also planning to try a Pilates class next month!
Well done Kyle! Sometimes you just have to remind yourself that alcohol is not a treat. It doesn’t look after you in any way – you deserve something better. Love the sound of the pilates 🙂
I love ur blog! I’m a huge fan of mrsdisgoingwithout and have read every word she’s ever written. Have checked out others and like this. I’m 18 days af. Doesn’t sound like much but it’s not my first go at trying. Something is different this time. I feel it. 40 years of steady drinking. I’m really done this time. I know it and I’m going to keep reading your blog and all the comments for support. Thank you!