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7 Tips to Stay Sober in Austin

Sobriety offers a new lease on life, but the opportunity does not come without challenges. Typically accomplished one day at a time, sober living may involve changing your habits, your hangouts, and perhaps even your friends. In the face of tremendous challenges, you need to make plans and build skills in order to thrive in your new life and avoid relapse. With adequate resources and the proper support, lasting recovery is possible—you just need to set yourself up for success.

For people looking to live the healthiest lifestyle possible, sober living is a choice that is becoming increasingly popular. For this reason, the range of available opportunities and experiences continues to expand. And while Austin is a city known for its music scene and nightlife, it is also a city that offers a variety of options for sober living. Knowing where to look for support and like-minded individuals can help you to establish yourself in a community that helps you stay sober in Austin.  

Finding Resources to Nurture Sobriety

Sobriety can be fragile, especially in the early stages. If you are actively maintaining your own sobriety or providing support for a family member or friend’s recovery, you must be proactive. By anticipating the challenges you or they will face in each stage of long-term recovery, you can make plans to ensure adequate support while also combatting temptations and triggers that could lead to relapse. 

It is important to acknowledge the chronic nature of substance abuse disorder and plan for life after treatment in order to mitigate any difficulties in the transition to post-treatment life. Having professional guidance is also critical as you plan for the future. As you complete addiction treatment, careful discharge planning can help you anticipate potential needs and set you up for success after you leave your treatment program. Aftercare planning should, at minimum, help you arrange for continued counseling and participation in a mutual support community such as Alcohol or Narcotics Anonymous or a 12-step alternative.

Sobriety is not an unusual lifestyle choice, and those committed to sober living need not feel alone or isolated. A growing number of adults who may or may not have a problem with substance abuse are joining those in recovery by choosing to live sober lifestyles. Partly driven by the desire to make better choices, health-conscious individuals are limiting or giving up alcohol altogether. Looking for fun and healthy options that are not toxic to the body has prompted a growing number of young adults to abstain from alcohol and drugs. Though some are tentative at first—perhaps only giving up drinking for the month of January—many find the advantages they gain motivate them to continue living a sober lifestyle.

7 Tips to Support a Sober Lifestyle

Living a sober lifestyle does not have to mean missing out. Setting yourself up strategically with strong community connections can provide a safety net to support you throughout your recovery. One of the greatest challenges for those in recovery is navigating the social scene, especially in a city as vibrant as Austin. Though well-known for its music festivals and colorful nightlife, Austin, like many geographic areas, has a growing list of resources to help you conquer the social scene while maintaining your sobriety. 

1. Practice Self Care

To support long-term recovery, it is necessary to focus significant energy on caring for yourself. Taking good care of your physical and mental health begins with establishing healthy habits. By emphasizing a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods, you will ensure that your body has all the essential nutrients needed to heal from addiction and thrive in sobriety. Likewise, exercise has been demonstrated to support neuroplasticity, the process that creates new neural pathways in the brain to replace those impacted by addiction. Finding an enjoyable way to exercise will not only strengthen your mind and body but may help you to build healthy social connections as well. 

2. Enjoy the Outdoors

From beaches and forests to caverns and waterfalls, there are many places to appreciate the natural environment in and around Austin. Grab a few friends and head out for a hike or a swim. One of the most unique, free outdoor activities occurs nightly just before sunset, March through October, when over a million bats emerge from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin as they head out to look for food. Enjoying our planet’s natural wonders is a good way to remind yourself of the many joys you can experience while pursuing a sober lifestyle.

3. Meet Like-Minded People

Cultivating a community of sober friends can be helpful, especially early on in your recovery journey. This should certainly include a mutual support group such as a 12-step or alternative program. Making like-minded friends might also be accomplished by looking for sober meet-ups in the area.

4. Sample Alcohol Alternatives

There are numerous interesting beverage choices for sober celebrations at home with friends and family—and the options are only growing. Nonalcoholic beers and wines have increased in both variety and popularity. The availability of zero-proof, alcohol-adjacent choices provides the opportunity to recreate and enjoy favorite beverages without remorse. Premium mixers and flavorful drinking vinegars (also called shrubs) offer additional options. Add in craft ice cubes and an herb or citrus garnish, and a delicious and intriguing mocktail is born—boasting all of the flavor and sophistication of a craft cocktail without the danger of relapse.

5. Enjoy Sober Evenings Out on the Town

Across the country, bars are increasingly catering to sober-living customers. Sober bars recreate a bar or nightclub atmosphere without serving alcohol. This means offering desirable options that don’t involve alcohol and respecting, or more accurately, elevating the decision not to drink. One trailblazer in Austin is Chris Marshall, founder/owner of Sans Bar. With live music and unique sober drinks, this creative entrepreneur has established a place where those who are living a sober lifestyle can enjoy the Austin nightlife without feeling like they are missing out.

As a recovering alcoholic and an addiction counselor, Chris recognized the struggle clients endured in their quest to find a place to have a fun night out while maintaining their sobriety. Even during the pandemic shut-downs, he was able to shift to an online model of business by holding sober virtual events. In this way, he has helped those in recovery to maintain a sense of community and avoid isolation during this difficult time.

6. Find Recovery Resources

To access a wealth of recovery resources in the Austin area, check out the collection available at soberaustin.com. This informational website has curated lists of addiction and recovery resources. These include many 12-step and 12-step alternative groups, sober community events, and transitional residences.

7. Maintain Expert Connections

With the chronic nature of addiction, there can be danger in complacency or overconfidence. For this reason, it is essential to maintain an open line of communication with your therapist or counselor. They can offer support and guidance, recognize signs of trouble, and help you get back on track after a relapse. 

Taking Steps to Stay Sober in Austin

Overcoming the challenges inherent in living a sober lifestyle after addiction takes concentrated effort day by day. But with expert help and a thorough aftercare plan, you can set yourself up for success in deliberate, manageable steps. By prioritizing your physical and mental health, establishing a supportive community, and maintaining a relationship with a professional counselor, you create a strong foundation for long-term recovery. As you slowly establish new connections and try new activities, you will build a solid—and fulfilling—sober life.

If you need expert help near Austin, the addiction specialists at New Choices Treatment Centers can help. Reach out to us with your questions online or by phone at (726) 888-7003.

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