Go HERE to listen to the audio from our live training Create your sober toolkit – APOLOGIES we missed the first few minutes of the recording, but heres the important points;
A Sober toolkit is a great idea whatever stage you are at, finding those ‘tools’ those resources, physical emotional spiritual that you can prepare in advance.
In the olden days the tools we had in our toolkit, were what we thought of as a ‘reward’ – sugar, too much coffee alcohol of course! NOW my toolkit consists of a whole different set of stuff – breathing techniques, great AF drinks, supplements, treatments, massage EFT, walking in nature, (by the sea) yoga, dancing and lots more – Its all about the self-care!
Everyone can benefit from having a toolkit to create the life you love without alcohol – whatever stage you are at. Tools you can use both at home, and those items and ideas you take out with you. So create your ‘actual’ toolkit, i.e. where will you store the ideas, a notebook works, a journal – some people create a database or some kind of spreadsheet – then you can keep adding to it. You may also want to create a physical box, something beautiful that stands on your desk that includes lovely things like essential oils, crystals, a notebook a nice pen.
So let’s start with physical stuff – Diet and nutrition is massively important of course in the early stages of sobriety.
What will you prepare in advance?
Alcohol free drinks – if you’re at home what are you going to have in stock? if your default position was – get home from work, slump, open a bottle of wine or beer and blob out to relieve the stress of the day, the habit is ingrained. Ideally have a distraction in place, can you do a yoga class or go for a run at that time? Often when you do get in, your subconscious mind still wants a reward – so have something prepped, if you like alcohol free versions of drinks go ahead, or just a great grown up soft drink, whether that be Sparkling water, kombucha, one of the great new shrubs, whatever works for you, but pour it into a nice glass – I think we should reclaim the term glasses, why should it be called a ‘wine’ glass – needs a new name! (One of our training participants cane up with the name goblet!).
If you’re going out – ring the venue ahead of time to see what alcohol free drinks they stock, or take your own, Check out my interview with Laura from club soda ( in The Sober World) where she suggests taking your own little bottle of something to pimp your drink, you may also want to carry a little card, promoting the club soda guide.
Its not just AF drinks of course. Teas are great,but not just any old tea bags, treat yourself to a proper tea pot for when you are at home and have proper tea such as the Sing me to sleep tea from www.chucklinggoat.co.uk
TREAT YOURSELF to the best tea, coffee – whatever you drink – we all used to spend a fortune on alcohol but then complain about expensive tea and coffee!
Some of you tried the juice shot challenge, a perfect way to get fresh fruit and veg direct to your cells, For when you are on the go, you can now buy ginger and lemon or turmeric shots in cafes like Pret a manger, so make that a daily routine.
We won’t go into the details of nutrition and the arrival of the ‘sugar monster’ ( it happens to most of us when we ditch the booze) but If you have sugar cravings get yourself the best sugar alternatives you can afford. Dates are amazing (pop them in the fridge) Have I mentioned that before? !!!! Have great high percentage cacao chocolate 70 per cent minimum.
Make sure you prep your snacks, so often we mistake a craving for alcohol, for our blood sugar levels being out of whack, ideally eat regularly and have a bit of protein with every meal, and that can just be a handful of nuts and seeds.
Talking nutrition and supplements your brain chemistry can be out of alignment. See a nutritionist for personalised advice but speaking generally- B vits are good for everyone to take, L Theanine is great, and make sure you are topped up with Vitamin C and Omega 3’s.
Pack your bag
If you’ve got kids remember back to when you went on an outing, it was like a military effort prepping the bag, not just nappies, (thank god we don’t need those at least,) but the snacks, the drinks, the unexpected toy to distract them if they get fretful, ask yourself what can you take out with you that will help you out?
Some people have a little talisman, or a lucky charm that they sneak a quick look at when they feel stressed or pressured to drink. Louise Hay (founder of Hay House publishing) used to keep a mirror in her bra to remind herself to love herself! A bridge too far perhaps but self-esteem is important.
Bathe it away.
Don’t forget the joy of bath time, (not for the carry around tool kit of course) but great to relax. you can use Epsom salts himalyan salts or magnesium salts.
Essential oils are amazing, keep a bottle of lavender essential oil with you at all times, great for calming you down if you feel stressed. If I am travelling I take a bottle of ginger essential oil, you can just inhale a bit from a tissue, if you have a cold coming on, then tea tree oil is amazing.
You may want one of those counting apps – iamsober for example, keep track of your sober days and pat yourself on the back. Writing is therapeutic, remember to write in your journal or on your phone.
Money is a big one, part of your sober toolkit at home could be a glass jar or vase with actual cash in it, (that you would have spent on booze) when you’re on the go, look at your account which holds the extra money you have saved – really notice that money that would have gone on poison and earmark it for a selfcare treat.
For your emotional wellbeing toolkit
Breathing is your best friend, we all do it, but not necessary consciously! when you focus on the breath you calm down. Try the 16 second breath technique. Inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4 breathe out for 4, hold for 4 – remember to do it every time you go upstairs or through s certain doorway. It’s just 16 seconds to re-centre yourself.
For when you are out or working, mindfulness techniques work. We all know the power of a ‘tea break’ – take a tea break from life, walk a few steps, leave behind your worries as you go then breathe in …think good thoughts
Adopt your power pose!
Psychologists call it the cybernetic loop, it’s impossible to feel down when you’re looking up.
Most of us used alcohol to numb out, so ask yourself now that has gone – ultimately how will you deal with the tricky stuff – you must trust me you will become more resilient.
Prepare what you will say in advance to friends, conversation preparation is part of your toolkit You can tell friends you are driving, you’ve had enough alcohol to last a lifetime, you feel better without it…whatever works for you.
EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I’ve been a practitioner for a few years and love the way it helps to release old trauma and changes your ‘state’ emotionally. Watch the vid I recorded to show the basic tapping routine and we will do more of this in coming weeks.
Don’t forget the sober toolkit needs some inspiration
Quit lit is great – try and mix up memoirs and ‘logical’ factual books to keep you both educated and inspired ( see the reading list)
Don’t forget podcasts (all mine are here in the Sober club!)
Hypnosis audios such as the one in the mindset buzz courtesy of Ailsa Frank can be amazing for calming you and helping to get those positive thoughts ingrained
Above all it’s about preparation
What will help me to stay sober?
Let me know what works for you!!