02. Early Sobriety Self Care Practice
How can you set yourself up for success in early sobriety?
Let’s talk self care.
Listen to the sober support audio above to get started.
If you’ve been going through life pushing yourself in every way, over-scheduling, putting your head down to get through your endless to-do list, feeling like there’s never enough time in the day – overwhelmed, over-worked and over tired – you’re going to do what you’ve always done…
Drink to check out and tolerate your life and your schedule.
Self care will feel like something you don’t have time for if your life looks like this…
- You satisfy the needs of your boss, your coworkers, your partner and your kids – but not yourself.
- You strive to meet every need, fulfill every request and meet every obligation.
- You come home from work and try to make home made lunches, help with homework, do the dishes, finish the laundry and reply to work emails once the kids have gone to bed.
- You take your personal days to volunteer at your kids school rather than recharge.
- You take care of the house, the groceries, the laundry, doctor appointments and sports schedules in between business trips and conference calls.
- You do everything for other people and put yourself last.
- [And then you drink way too much every night to check out and feel anxious, tired, stressed and behind the next morning.]
Something has to give. You Can’t Keep Living This Way.
And right now what’s giving is you.
It’s your health, Your Happiness and your sanity.
You’ve been drinking to put up with the way you’ve set up your life. And that needs to stop now.
Self-care and taking care of your own needs is absolutely critical if you want to get out of the unhealthy cycle of drinking, and wanting to quit drinking, and being determined to stop and then drinking again.
If you want to quit drinking you need to take care of yourself - first.
You can't afford to get overwhelmed, resentful, angry, tired, too hungry, too lonely.
You can't afford to start thinking "this is all too hard".
And that means you have to slow down and start some serious self care. Today.
You need to...
- Give yourself a break, take a night off and ask for help.
- Go for a walk at work, get yourself the latte, buy yourself flowers.
- Get the massage, hire a babysitter, say no to the volunteering opportunity.
- Take a nap and a bubble bath and go to bed early.
- Get takeout, let the kids watch TV, read a book.
- Be alone, let things go, do something that makes you happy.
I promise it won't always be this way. but it is for now. And it's Ok.
you officially have permission to give yourself a break.
You won't be able to quit drinking if you don't change the way you've been operating when you were drinking to get through the day.
When you take on too much and over schedule yourself and do things you don’t want to do - you will feel that you need to drink to tolerate it all.
Flowers are better self care than wine. With zero headaches.
Make Yourself Happy. Without A Bottle.
When I quit drinking, I had to implement a new self-care practice. I asked myself, every morning “How Can I Take Care Of Myself Today?”.
In this sober support audio message I talk about why this question works as a new morning ritual. This simple question covers a lot of ground.
- It immediately kicks your mind into self care as a primary goal.
- It makes you do a quick physical body scan. How do you feel? Are you tired? Stiff? Anxious? Restless?
- It makes you do a quick scan of what you have planned, the day ahead, with the purpose of finding some self care windows in your schedule.
- It’s important to acknowledge how you feel, including emotions you’re not 100% comfortable with, so you can take care of yourself BEFORE you’re diving into a drink to numb overwhelm or ignore what I’m feeling.
There is always a way to do a small act to take care of yourself each day. One small thing to take care of yourself. You’re prioritizing making yourself feel good.
Psychology Today does a really good job of describing, in practical terms, what self-care means.
Self care means finding a way to decompress throughout your day, not just when you leave work. What is it you do to rest your mind during and after a work day? What helps you tune out the noise?
Self care means knowing who you are and your limits. Self care means recognizing when you are doing more than you are used to handling and trying to figure out what can be done to slow down.
Self care means making sure that you’re well fed. Do you eat well—does what you eat provide the energy you need to function? Do you take time to eat meals at work and do you take time to have snacks when your body requires intermittent food during the work day?
Self care means taking time to get to know you better. Self care means learning to recognize your own temperament and trying to prepare for your personal limits.
Self care means identifying what you enjoy doing and what’s fun for you and make a serious effort to integrate it into your day or, at the very least, your week. Make it a habit to plan something to look forward to everyday and that doesn’t have to be complicated.
Self care means knowing how to debrief from a day’s work. That might mean walking home from work to clear your head, driving in silence or listening to music to help transition from work to home.
Self care means feeding your spiritual self. That might take the form of meditating, praying, communing with nature by a walk in a park, observing a sunset or sunrise, practicing gratitude, reading or listening to something inspirational.
Self care means giving some thought to changing a difficult work situation. We know best what we need and what we can deal with. Is there anything that can be done to make your work somewhat less stressful? Think about whether changes can be made to your work environment. Are you okay with where you sit and do your work? Are you working unsustainable hours and is their some end in sight? It might be a matter of approaching a supervisor with things that you think may make your work more pleasant such as changing where you sit or changing whether you take an earlier lunch or later start time.
Now, I know you’re busy. I know you have a million things on your schedule. But it’s important that you start thinking…even with that schedule, what can I do to take care of myself?
Because if nothing changes – nothing changes.
And you want to stop drinking. You don’t want to feel this way anymore.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to start…
- Can I call a friend on my drive to school? Do I need compassion, a heart to heart conversation or a laugh?
- Can I make life easier on myself tonight – can I pick up take out sushi or an easy dinner, instead of cooking myself?
- Do I need to prioritize projects at work and push out some deadlines? Not everything can be done at the same time without losing your sanity!
- Can my kids go to another house for a few hours this weekend so I can get some self-care down time?
- If not, can I reach out to see if a babysitter is available in a couple of days? [A few hours of babysitting may be cheaper than the wine you drink each week – and better for your body and mind.]
- If not, can I ask my partner to cover a few hours so that I can take a long walk and listen to a sobriety podcast, or book on tape, and sit in a coffee shop by myself?
- Can I stop by the desk of a friendly person at work to say hello?
- Can I read a book instead of watching TV, working, [or drinking wine!] after getting the kids to bed?
- Can I go to bed early, listen to a sleep mediation, and get up early for a quiet hour alone in my home?
- Can I stretch or meditate?
- Can I eat something with protein so I’m not starving during the witching hour?
- Can I add flowers to my shopping cart at the grocery store instead of alcohol? Essential oils? Hand cream? Bubble Bath? Ice Cream?
These are all small acts of self care.
I hope as you listen to this message you’ll think of quitting drinking as the ultimate act of self care.
Because it is. You’re about to take care of yourself better than you have in a long time.
If you’re interested in one-on-one support, guidance, accountability and resources through private coaching, I’d love to talk to you. Contact me for a free 30-Minute Discovery Call. No pressure. We can chat to see if coaching is a good fit for you.
About The Author
I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach who works with successful women who are ready to get out of overwhelm and create lives they love.
I also work with women who are reevaluating their relationship with alcohol and have decided that drinking isn't working in their lives anymore.
You can find more about my work and private coaching, as well as additional support resources at hellosomedaycoaching.com.