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10 things that helped me on my sober journey

When I first started my sober journey, I didn't know what my life would look like or who I would be without alcohol. For two decades I identified as "the party girl". You know the girl who makes everyone take shots? The girl who has a beer bong on the boat in the summer time? That was me.

Making the decision to stop drinking after falling off the back of our golf cart, landing on my face, and having an out of body experience, I knew I had to change (read more about my story on the blog there is a part one and part two Drinking was no longer an option for me anymore after spending 2 years in therapy trying to moderate my consumption. It wasn't working and I couldn't get it under control no matter how hard I tried.

I spent January 2023 doing Dry January and learning about alcohol. That's when my mindset started to shift. I started by listening to Andrew Huberman's podcast "What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health". I highly recommend taking a listen.

When I learned about what alcohol does to your body, I was worried how much damage I caused after two decades of drinking heavily and blacking out.

That's when I realized, if I'm not going to drink anymore, I want to be as healthy as I can be mentally, physically and spiritually.

10 things that helped me on my sober journey:

1. Learning about alcohol

I spent a lot of time listening to podcasts and reading about alcohol and what it does to your body. I highly recommend reading This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life by Annie Grace. Every time I learned more about what alcohol does to your body, it didn't make me want to drink. I was always someone who valued exercise and eating healthy during the week but then on the weekends I would binge drink. I always felt like I was canceling out progress I made during the week. I felt so frustrated and stuck! Not to mention feeling physically drained and hungover from drinking on the weekends. Learning about alcohol was great because it helped me shift my mindset about drinking. Once I learned about the harmful affects, I couldn't unknow it.

2. Reframing my mindset

I took time to discover what my beliefs were around alcohol, where they came from, and if they were actually true. By reframing my mindset around alcohol, evaluating the positives and negatives I experienced with alcohol, this helped me change how I thought about it. I discovered that alcohol never made me someone I was proud of. My behavior and actions when I drank, always left me with shame and regret. As an alcohol-free life coach, I help my clients work through this process to overcome their struggle with alcohol. If you're interested in doing a free 20 minute discovery call with me, I would love to see how I can help you with your relationship with alcohol.

3. Journaling

Every morning I write down 3 things that I'm grateful for. This has helped me to focus on the good things in my life every day. I love using the 5 Minute Journal which can be found on Amazon The journal also includes a space where you can write a daily affirmation. A daily affirmation that I used in the beginning of my sober journey was "I am healing mentally, physically and spiritually. I am enjoying being sober."

4. Exercise

Exercise is one of the most beneficial things you can do to support your sobriety, brain and overall health. I love taking at least a 30 minute walk in the morning and doing between 30-45 minutes workout including weights everyday. My biggest advice would be to start moving your body 30 minutes a day with any form of exercise that YOU enjoy! It has to be something that you like so that you will continue doing it and be consistent. Creating new healthy habits during sobriety is key to your success!

5. Nourishing my body with healthy foods

When you drink, you are flooding your body with toxins and most likely unhealthy foods because lets be honest, drinking gives you the green light with those late night snacks. On my sober journey I started eating whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. I eliminated any and all processed foods because I wanted my body to start healing. When I drank, my stomach was always in pain. It felt inflamed and irritated. When I eliminated alcohol and started eating whole foods, it helped me to start feeling my best. I didn't feel 100% right away. It took me a few weeks and I certainly had a sugar craving when I stopped drinking. Give yourself grace and time. It doesn't need to look perfect but the sooner you start creating good healthy food habits, the better you will start to feel.

6. Drinking water

This one probably sounds like a no brainer but drinking a lot of water is really important for your body to flush out toxins and any lasting effects from alcohol in your body. Drinking one glass first thing in the morning (yes even before coffee) helps to create a good healthy habit. Let's be honest if drinking water isn't a habit yet, it can easily be forgotten. I usually aim to drink about a gallon of water a day. I know that sounds like a lot! Start with at least 8 glasses a day and focus on making it a habit then you can up your intake over time.

7. Sleep

Sleep is incredibly essential to our overall health. It's a time for our bodies to repair and regenerate. Drinking alcohol depletes us of sleep. When we stop drinking, sleep is key for our bodies recovery and healing process. Aim to get between 7-8 hours every night. When I started my sober journey, I really enjoyed drinking tea to help me relax before bed. It was also a really nice replacement from my glass of wine. Tea truly helps you relax and has many health benefits unlike wine. When you notice an improvement in your sleep, you start feeling better.

8. Forgiving and loving myself

I made a lot of mistakes and poor decisions when I drank. My behavior was crazy sometimes and unfortunately my husband got the wrath of it all. I realized that I didn't love myself when I was drinking because I didn't love that version of me. I was very ashamed and embarrassed of who I became when I drank. When I made the decision to be sober, I started to forgive myself of all the shameful embarrassing times of drinking. Alcohol would really affect me in negative ways and I had to learn and accept that it wasn't me. It was the alcohol that was making me that way. When working with clients, we do a beautiful forgiveness exercise to release any memories of shame and guilt so that you can move forward in life.

9. Giving myself time and space

When I first started on my sober journey everything felt new and different. I was creating new habits, learning and discovering why I didn't want to drink anymore. It was important for me to protect my space for a little while so that I could grow my sober muscle stronger (it was very weak in the beginning). I didn't go to parties where I knew there would be drinking until I felt confident that I could say no to a drink. I'm not saying you need to miss out on important events but your sobriety is important and if you don't think you can say no to drinks it may be more important for you to protect yourself. Ultimately that is for you to decide. I can promise you it does get easier! Keep going.

10. Having support

Whether it's a spouse, friend, family member, or sober group, having support is an essential key to success on this journey. In the beginning, sobriety can feel lonely at times and different because you're most likely one of the only people in your inner circle going through it and making the big change. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me for help and support. You are not alone on this journey and do not have to go through it alone. I promise to be your biggest cheerleader every step of the way and help you discover your best life! I'm only an email away! :)


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Hello, friend! I'm Ashley. I'm so glad you're here! Check out my blog to learn more about me.

I'll be sharing with you alcohol-free tips, fun drinks, and ways to thrive without alcohol. Enjoy! 

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