Ones of the most importaint coping skills and one of my biggest things lately is finding something to do that helps with cravings and helps to occupy my time. An activity to get my mind off from using. Recently, I have joined a gym i go every other day to workout, I also write poetry and write entries in my journal on daily activities and how I am feeling. What are some of the things others on here do to get your mind off cravings and keep your sobriety?
I go on long drives, check out restaurants I have never been to, and crank up the music so I can’t even hear my own thoughts.
Also use gaming to help keep my mind off using.
Music is a big one for me as well I agree!
get a dog:grin:
Creating Pinterest boards (food, English lit, interior design, quotes & citations), reading, Pilates/yoga at home, evening walks, creating Spotify playlists, long (telephone) conversations with friends, solo trips to the movies, long drives, attending Mass several times a week, colouring, DIY and pampering myself. All of the above make so much more sense now that I am sober!
I used to go for a morning run after drinking wine all night. Suffice to say I was slow, not really motivated and being greeted in passing by old age pensioners who ran much faster
I love to draw, sew, play cards, clean and organize, cook, and garden (there is something so healing for me about making something grow)! Anything I can create with my hands is good as my fingers need to hold onto something other than the stem of a wine glass!
Things that i do still today (7.5 months later) but that especially helped me personally in the beginning:
I am a very creative person. So i bought the sims 3 for my laptop and would spend hours building houses. If you like gaming i would suggest any game that you enjoy that can occupy your time. Its a good investment in my opinion because you buy it once then you have hours of entertainment so you save lots of money to cure boredom.
Reading. Particularly a website called quora. If you dont know what that is, its basically a 1000x better version of yahoo answers. I have always been the type to google random things that i dont know the answers to. You can read in depth answers to many different kinds of questions and give answers too. There are also lots of questions and answers on there relating to addiction/drugs/alcohol. They also have a big section on prison/prison life. Which for me was useful as i am on probation for dwi and cant drink and if i do i would have to spend time in jail. Pretty much anything I can read or watch relating to prison or jail to scare myself from drinking. Also there are lots of personal stories you can read on a variety of topics.
Also on another note of reading. Plan a trip to the bookstore or library. There are tons of books out there to explore. My favorite topics are psychology, self improvement, and philosphy, though i would really prefer to get into a good fiction series if i felt the need to “escape”. Sometimes its just fun to browse, pick up a book and skim through it. I have a book in my car but sadly i cant remember what it is called, when i go to work i will edit this answer. Lots of stuff in there i felt related to my journey sobriety.
Cleaning. Personally i like a clean house it just makes me feelw better and it also helps your brain to feel more organized. I need to clean and vacum my car but its just too dang cold!
Cooking. Learn to cook something new. Im not much of a cook but i have made home made cookies and brownies so far. It just gets pricey buying all the little ingredients if you dont normally have a lot of them on hand which is why i havent done a lot.
Other than that. I was mandated to attend outpatient rehab and AA classes for 6 months last year. Though it wasnt the funnest thing in the world it helped a lot. Look for an mhmr near you, the one i went to was income based so i didnt have to pay anything for my outpatient meetings. Even if you end up having to pay just know there are options that wont end up killing your bank account because i had no idea.
You can find any AA meeting at no cost!
Its customary to put a dollar or two in the basket, when you are ready.
No one is going to judge a newcomer that passes the basket.
Running, hiking with my dog, taking dog to different dog beaches and parks, yoga, lifting weights, reading, cooking, bike riding, meditating, journaling, hot baths, listening to podcasts, gardening (can’t wait for spring so I can plant my veggie garden), crafts, shopping. Want to try painting, going to church, blogging, starting a business.
Sewing, carving wood, and making stop motion videos.
When I see you talk about this I have a vision of you molding various clay figures and sculptures
Haha i do. We made one video where all the toys planted a seed and it grew into a huge beanstalk. Had to sculpt the stalk growing frame by frame.
So cool you are sharing that with your daughter
Lol, like old school TOOL videos…
You should post one some time if your Sweetie gives you permission.
Keep in mind that cravings usually last 20 minutes only.
What helps me when I get a craving is telling myself this feeling won’t last and I try to trick my brain to do other things.
I find grounding really helps.
I also find positive affirmations very helpful.
Use positive self talk (I’m safe, I’m worthy, this feeling will pass, I love myself etc etc)
Also becoming more aware of my feelings helped because once I have a name for them then I can do something about them.
Cravings used to drive me crazy before I became more self aware. I started to look inward and take a step back and name the feelings I was having (fear, anger, self pity, rejection, guilt) figuring out what triggered it. Patterns don’t stop unless you start doing something different.
Anyways hope that helped!
I love diving into the water in the harbour or beach with my snorkel and marvelling at all the different fishes. It calms me
Some stuff I did early on:
Play mindless Pou games. I got to level 80 something by 4 months and I have the most bitchin’ Pou ever. Instigated by detoxing with an awesome 8 year old girl who knows entirely too much about alcoholism at this point. I love that kid.
Walk. A lot. Because I couldn’t drive. Make every errand of your life take as long as possible to kill time and exhaust yourself. It is worth mentioning that at that time, I didn’t work. While walking I listened to sobriety speakers on YouTube or music or books on tape. My mind was a wasteland of apathy and I needed a lot of help figuring out what I wanted to fill my sober hours with. One thing at a time, I would pass something or hear something in my headphones to remind me or inspire me to do something that would then take up more time. In the beginning time takes time and you just have to put a lot of time between the now and the then while still doing your best to enjoy the moment. I also did all those things in bed and the bathtub while I was going through withdrawal before I was strong enough to leave the house.
What this yielded for me was that I liked to:
Work on my French and start learning Swedish on duolingo.
Fumble fuck my way through yoga home videos and laugh at the attempt.
Play with yarn.
Garden and laugh at the full on fails.
Socialize in my AA network.
Watch the sun rise and set in an effort to resynchronize with the earth.
Read unusual books.
Embrace being single.
Burning things under the guise of calling the activity cooking.
Puzzles. Both the tabletop kind and logic/math puzzles.
Online Cards Against Humanity and chess. I have killed a lot of time playing solitare and freecell on the computer desktop as well.
And so much more that doesn’t come to mind this second. Your list probably won’t look like anyone else’s and that’s ok. Just try stuff until something overrides early sobriety apathy and gets a small smile out of you.
One other thing i just thought of. When i first stopped drinking. I made it a point each week or two to go to the store and buy something nice for myself where the money would have otherwise gone to alcohol.
Small things. These were things like new makeup, lotion, hair accessories, a new shirt or pair of pants, etc. I still do this but not as often.
For me, i would go on a monday (off work on mondays), and would tell myself if i drink at all, i dont get to get myself something. So every monday for awhile there i would stop by walmart and get something small. I stopped doing this as often just because i wanted to save more money, but its an idea.
Just make sure in some shape way or form you are rewarding yourself for doing good. For me i got excited about my weekly visit to the store. It also helped that i made it a point to try to calculate a range of how much money i was spending on booze, that i could have spent for other things i wanted. You could even make it larger scale and save up for a vacation instead. Its really up to you.
I am out of work since Christmas (it was a temporary role but my ideal job ) so I have too much time on my hands yet seem to fill it!
I have 5 kids between 25 and 14 all still living at home so I’m rarely on my own. Between job hunting and studying I crochet, write and play games.
I also have the daily cooking, cleaning and washing to do.
But, one thing I am very aware of and need to get motivated about is getting up and out of the house! Any tips there would be gratefully appreciated!