Alcoholism is one of the hardest diseases to cope with; it takes over your mental and physical health and, while you are the only one who can end your addiction, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. Without the help of trusted professionals and a safe, supportive environment, it can be extremely difficult to deal with the trials and tribulations of staying on the wagon, not to mention the negative impacts it has on one’s well-being. Therefore, we have gathered 6 tips to make dealing with alcohol addiction easier.

1. Journal

Journaling your thoughts is a great therapeutic exercise to help you cope with a lot of the stress and emotional weight of your decision. Trying to stay sober is going to be challenging, which is why it’s good to have a safe place where you can articulate your thoughts and gain some perspective. This will also help you find the words to confront your feelings and explain them to loved ones.

2. Confide in Your Trusted Circle

You absolutely have to establish a trusted circle of your family and friends when dealing with an addiction. You need to feel safe and have people you trust to help guide and support you. If you don’t feel that you’re surrounded by people who have your best interests at heart, this will gravely affect your condition. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who help you deal with your circumstances and offer support that eases the process.

3. Find Resources

Luckily, online resources are a click away and there to be taken advantage of. Finding trusted sources is great to find tips and reviews from professionals as well as other victims of addiction. This way, you’ll be able to pick a treatment program that suits your situation and you’ll find information to help you cope with withdrawal, social situations, and other pressures.

4. Find Local Support

While online resources are all well and good, it is highly recommended to continue to rely on local support after a treatment program. Whether you’re looking for a hands-on inpatient treatment program for severe cases or some weekly counseling to cope with sobriety, you must find the appropriate form of treatment to help you recover. According to the Greenbranch Recovery center, searching for local support is the first step to recovery; in some cases, it can also be the last step. Relying on a support group to help you handle alcohol dependency gives you a greater chance of success and reduces the risk of relapse.

5. Make Lifestyle Changes

A treatment program or outpatient support group will give you tips to help you commit to your new lifestyle. However, it’s important that you wholeheartedly agree to make these changes. You cannot continue to go to places that encourage you to drink or be around people that aren’t supportive of your sober journey. These lifestyle changes also include making healthy choices from what you eat to exercising as this will help motivate you to appreciate your health and make you want to stay away from anything that will trigger your addiction.

6. Set Goals

Setting some goals to help you celebrate milestones is a great way to incentivize these healthy changes. It also encourages a more positive outlook on the situation as many former addicts find themselves feeling deprived during sobriety. Little goals like planning a dinner at your favorite restaurant after being alcohol free for a lengthy period of time or investing in things that support a hobby or dream can help. This is because they help remind you of why you’re making this positive change and allow you to take pride in what you have accomplished. Be sure to make goals that support your new healthy choices.

The good news is that once you make the decision to seek help, you are already halfway there. The above tips have a lot to do with the resilience of the human spirit. If you take the step to find reputable treatment and build a solid support group, it will be easier to commit to your new lifestyle change. Dealing with an addiction isn’t easy, but it gets easier when you are surrounded by a safe environment that you can rely on, and have trusted resources to help you find the best coping strategies to help you stay on track. It is important to remember that there is no one right way to stay on the wagon. Relapses are common and the goal is not to be hard on yourself when you feel powerless to fight your addiction, it is to remind yourself that relapses are a chance to find new prevention methods and provide yourself with better self-care.