The Secret to Maintaining a Healthy Social Life After Deciding to Quit Drinking

Decisions have added weight after going through rehabilitation. The priority you put on these decisions will determine the scope of your recovery period. To avoid a relapse, seeking out healthy social circles is the key.

Distance Yourself from Triggers

There are emotional triggers that will make you want a drink. Once you figure them out, it becomes much easier to avoid. Common triggers are people, relationships, and stress. During drug and alcohol rehabilitation, overcoming your weak points is a part of the process.

People can unintentionally make you feel inadequate during normal conversations. When every other conversation with a specific individual causes this problem, you have to speak up. Let them know you’re uncomfortable with a specific subject. If they refuse to acknowledge it, move on and remove that trigger from your life.

Short-term and long-term relationships have a big impact on your life. Breaking up with someone makes your future look bleak. When finding someone new fails, a sense of hopelessness sets in. The answer to resolving this problem is to ‘fully’ break up with someone. Staying in contact and reliving happy memories will give you false hope. Staying away from a former relationship trigger prevents bouts of drinking for the future.

Stress can sometimes be related to time, or the lack of it. Time management is the best way to avoid this trigger. Having a plan means that you’re in a better position to complete your tasks. There is no need for fancy scheduling, and it helps create a good habit. When you’re productive, stress tends to take a backseat to everything else.

Try New Destinations

A change of scenery is a refreshing way to open a new chapter in your life. Seclusion works for some, while bigger destinations work for others. Find a spot that agrees with your new path in life and take advantage of the amenities. The best thing about new destinations is that it opens the door to meet new people. Instead of worrying about old memories, you’re making new ones with better emotions. Making friends can be hard, so a new destination is a good jumpstart for your social life.

Enjoy Old Hobbies

Make a list of the things you enjoyed that were taken away by alcoholism. If you have the time, those same hobbies are still available to be enjoyed. Even something simple like playing with your dog can work miracles for your mental health.

If it’s a sport that you’re returning to, physical fitness may be a small barrier. Don’t let it discourage you from playing yourself back into shape. A specific exercise regime is not required to enjoy a sport. Keep it simple and fun, and save the serious commitment for a later date. While you’re enjoying the sport, meeting new people becomes a natural part of enjoying it.

Keep An Open Mind

When adversity strikes, you need to hit back twice as hard. Having a friend or loved one by your side means that you’re never alone. Stay mentally healthy, and a relapse will never be an option. 

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Last Updated on June 2, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD