So you’ve done the work. You’ve gone to a rehab for your alcoholism. You’ve worked through all of your addiction issues, and you’ve addressed anything that needs to be addressed with the help of addiction professionals like therapists and counselors. So you’ve done your aftercare, and now it’s time to go back into the real world. How can you stay sober? Here are five tips that will help you.

Get rid of temptation.

Stop going to those bars you used to frequent. Stop hanging out with your old drinking buddies. Here’s a tip. If your relationship is based on drinking, you probably weren’t that great of friends in the first place. If anyone refuses to not drink around you, they obviously don’t care about you that much. Avoid events where there will likely be a lot of drinking, like parties, weddings, etc. It may not be an issue someday, but for now, it’s just easier to avoid. 

Find a support system.

This may mean going to meetings at AA and finding a group of people you really connect with there. This may mean calling a sponsor. This may mean getting involved at a church group. This may even mean calling your mother more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other people when you need help. 

Stay busy. Stay active.

Exercise. Go to the gym. Go for hikes. Go for walks. Try that new yoga class or Zumba or water aerobics. Learn an instrument or a foreign language. Join a book club. Join a discussion group. Do something – anything! Get on meet up groups online and just see what is out there.

Treat yourself!

Separate the money you would be spending on booze, and at the end of every month you stay sober, use it to buy yourself something nice. Get a calendar and mark the days you stay sober. Find someone to celebrate milestones with.

Find substitutes.

Do you miss beer? Try drinking a really nice root beer or ginger beer in the glass. Do you miss wine? Try sparkling grape juice. Margaritas? Try drinking smoothies. There are delicious non-alcoholic options for every drink that you might miss.

It’s important to remember that you can do this. It’s important to keep yourself in that same positive mind frame you were in once you completed your rehab program. All you have to do is stay positive. You can do it! You can stay sober!