One Effective Way to Maintain Sobriety during the Lockdown
It is simple, we are the busiest generation yet, here there and everywhere so being stuck in one place can drive us crazy if we let it, but these days it can be difficult for even the most organised amongst us to keep up.
But what now, now the pace outside your four walls has slowed down? And what if you have decided to quit booze or are trying to maintain sobriety? This just becomes another topic to clutter your mind as it spins with endless thoughts of booze and everyone else drinking in solitary.
What happens when we get back to normal and will we get back to normal? …… And it goes on…. What you might need is a clear out and some priorities so that you have the best chance of achieving or maintaining said alcohol-free lifestyle.
In a nutshell, you want to keep busy and a great way to do this is to de-clutter your life to help you keep calm and focused in order to maintain Sobriety, so here are some ways to get you started, but please don’t see them as jobs, instead get all Feng Shui:
De-clutter your House & Home
Personally, if there are things lying all over the place I can’t relax, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t got OCD (well maybe a tad) but sometimes I just can’t put my finger on why I feel uncomfortable, I just do. But I have worked out that often, it’s because my surroundings don’t have the right Feng Shui for me!
Check each room for general stuff that you don’t need or don’t like (you might be surprised) and get ready for the charity shop or the skip, and have a general tidy around as if you were doing some spring cleaning. Old letters from the phone company and the endless junk mail we receive, don’t keep it out on the side in the kitchen intending to shred it or burn it or stash it away just in case, sort through what you actually need and bin the rest. Same with the kids’ toys.
My goodness, any parent these days will agree that the amount of toys that seem to accumulate from nowhere is nothing but mind boggling and all we tend to do is chuck everything back in the box, only for the little people to drag it out, separate all the small bits and leave it all over the place for our Feng Shui to go nuts! No wonder we need an escape. Sort it.
Another beauty is our clothes. Don’t you want to go for a new outfit in your new-found sobriety? Or get something to mark your journey to maintain sobriety? If your anything like me, I keep clothes for ages and some of them are almost like a comfort blanket. It drives my wife crazy and every now and again its clothes culling time and hanging and folding is also a good idea. Hopefully you don’t find any lost booze stash but if you do don’t hesitate and get rid!
In summary, be ruthless (but fair) get rid of what you don’t need anymore and go with your inner Feng shui.
When drinking it’s likely that being organised took a back seat and being more organised sober sounds straight forward but believe me when I say I always used to struggle with this one and still do if I let my guard down. I would give myself that many tasks to complete that I would spend most of the time mulling over what I was and wasn’t doing without proactively doing any of them and letting my thoughts move onto alcohol.
Write a daily to do list and start with only 4 or 5 things on it, in other words, manage your own expectations and you will manage your time much more effectively. If you want you could even put times on tasks but again, be realistic. Your time is precious, and you don’t want to spend it all doing jobs so plan fun time too, even if it’s for when things get back to normal.
A more serious subject to get sorted and on top of is your finances. For this it could be that you need to consolidate debts or payments or even work out exactly what your outgoings are and what you are saving by not drinking. Honestly, I am not qualified to give advice on this but if you worry about money then seek advice from a financial advisor. Knowing where you stand is a massive load off and will help you plan too, as a new sober you.
Finally, if you don’t want to do something or simply don’t have time, say no and mean no. You just cannot do everything, even if you want to.
De-clutter yourself for Health & Wellbeing
Organising yourself better and de-cluttering is extremely beneficial for your health, helps to maintain sobriety and improves wellbeing in terms of a creating a more relaxed and comfortable you. But what about taking this further and looking for those thoughts or things that really bring you down or make you feel sad. Check out my Sobriety Top Tips or Dealing with the Aftermath of Quitting Booze. If there is something other than missing alcohol that makes you feel down, then ditch it. If this is a partner or spouse, then good luck, but I am talking more about the things that you cannot control.
Relationships are key to a happy life so consider this seriously and be open with your partner if something is bothering you (sometimes easier said than done) but I recommend you plan the best time. Finally, and I know you already know this, but exercise is good for your mental health as well as your physical health and it will take your mind off the demon. Oh, and put yourself first now and again!
If you are trying to change your habits in life it could be that it is required to get you on the straight and narrow and it certainly helps focus. What you need to do is make it flexible, so your head doesn’t cave in because you missed emptying the dishwasher bang on 0800, but more than its something to be done before you start working.
Mornings are key here to make sure you are set up and ready for the day, but also, in the evening it is always good to spend a couple of minutes planning for the day ahead. In addition, mealtimes can be a chore so try and plan a few days ahead or at least have the ingredients in because if your anything like me your bound to change your mind.
If you want to read more on how de-cluttering can positively impact your recovery and help maintain sobriety then check out this article.
Remember – Keep busy, keep focused, keep calm and keep sober!
All the best…. Darren