Formal evening meditations were difficult for me in early sobriety because my thoughts and feelings were so chaotic. But following a guided Yoga Nidra was structured yet soft enough to walk me through the noise and prepare me for sleep.
7. Make time for creative outlets.
1. Prepare a cup of tea.
Do you need help creating new routines after you quit drinking?
If you have the financial means, find some soft pajamas or splurge on high thread count bed sheets. Devoting care and attention to your sleep environment can help you feel more comfortable and even elated with going to bed. When I buy new workout clothes, I’m more excited about my workout routine, so in early sobriety, I invested in comfort and my bedroom area was a place I wanted to be.
Observing subtle changes in my backyard at sunset every evening calms me down. Looking out of the window puts me in the present moment, which is a big deal in early sobriety. Maybe you live in a big city where skyscrapers reflect clouds and capture purples and pinks in a totally unique way each night. Or maybe it’s loud in your apartment building and your neighbor plays an out-of-tune piano. Take it all in. Slow down and observe your environment each evening.
Learn a new recipe or take a cooking class online. The ritual of preparing something for yourself is a healthy replacement for drinking. But if cooking triggers you (I know many of us associate cooking with wine), maybe use the money you’re saving on alcohol to order a special take-out meal while also supporting a local restaurant that could use the help right now.
We so often succumb to cravings under the impression that we deserve a drink (or several). Ending the day with a drink can feel like a reward. But the reward alcohol promises is never what we receive if we examine our history correctly.
To make this work you have to start with the end in mind. How much sleep do you need? When are you waking up? When is it lights out?
You’re finally curled up in bed, Netflix streaming, exhausted,when you realize you forgot to take off your makeup. What’s one night? Seriously. The show drags a little and without fully realizing it you’ve been sucked into the late night instagram vortex. An hour passes and you can’t believe you’re still awake. “WTF I thought I was going to be early tonight?” Frustrated you shut everything off and close your eyes.
2.) Dim the lights at night
[Tweet “raise your hand if you love tea but have a mug graveyard by your bed”]
Somehow with herculean effort you plunge yourself into the ice cold air (seriously why is it always so cold when you wake up?!). And just like that you’re onto the next day, feeling like you needed coffee two hours ago.
We hear a lot about the morning ritual, for good reason. It sets the tone of your day. However, I’d argue, equally if not more, important than the morning ritual is the pre-morning ritual. Aka: the nighttime ritual. So underrated, so important and so flipping hard to be consistent with.