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Mind Your ADLs: How “Treat Yo’ Self” Sustains Sobriety

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Mind Your ADLs: How “Treat Yo’ Self” Sustains Sobriety

Did you know that the expression “mind your p’s and q’s” may be related to alcoholic drinking? Though some doubts exist, a popular theory says that bartenders in 17th century taverns used to say this phrase to boozed-up patrons. It acted as a reminder to pay attention to pints and quarts consumed. But for recovering tavern patrons, minding your ADLs becomes much more important. The acronym ADLs stands for activities of daily living. In other words: ADLs are the means by which you treat yo’ self.

Mind Your ADLs

5 Ways to “Treat Yo’ Self“ in Sobriety


Step #1

Personal Hygiene: Your Friends Will Thank You Too

Comfort exists as a spectrum. It’s tempting to laze it up at the “wake up late, skip the shower, rock those sweatpants” end of the spectrum. That counts as treating yo’ self, right? But if that becomes your MO for most days of the week, your body loses its ability to pick up signals like bad smells, dirty clothes, and funky hair. Humans adapt to change pretty well, and this fact often bites us in the butt when we get too comfortable with bad habits like poor hygiene. It’s almost inevitable when we sink deep into our addictions—getting your next fix tends to throw hygiene out the window. And that behavior carries into early sobriety more often than not.

Contrary to the bad advice our sleepy brains often whisper in the morning, hot showers and freshly laundered clothes lend us a sense of heightened awareness and comfort throughout the day. And that encourages a sober lifestyle. We are constantly shedding skin cells, secreting oil and sweat, hosting colonies of germs in our mouths, and generating other types of dingy BO. It’s all natural and healthy. What isn’t natural is carrying all that dead skin, salt, and mouth bacteria around with you for others to enjoy—so treat yo’ self (and yo’ friends), wash up, and brush those pearly whites!


Step #2

Clean Energy: Healthy Eating, Cooking, and Meal Prep

Your body is a temple, blah blah blah. Except like… it kind of is.

Food is fuel. It affects the way our minds work, how our bodies feel, and pretty much everything we do. Going through detox is only the first step in cleansing the body to help it perform at optimum levels. YouTube is a great place to start learning practical ways to eat clean. Check out Fit Men Cook, TheLeanMachines High Protein Recipes, and Fit Couple Cooks for meal prep recipes.


Step #3

Financial Health: Save, Budget, and Build Credit

Substances provide temporary escape from pesky problems like money. But that escape also exacerbates those problems as they continue to stack in a ruthless cycle. It’s easy to brush financial responsibility off with something flippant like, “Money is the root of all evil.” Or maybe, “I was never taught how to budget, and I have all this debt, so there’s really no point.” Regardless of whatever financial baggage you may carry, money is a reality that has the potential to provide us with freedom and comfort.

Make a Budget

Microsoft Excel has some excellent templates for creating a budget. If you’re not sure where to start, The Balance offers an excellent 7-step guide for starting to create a household budget.

Divert Savings

Your ability to save will affect your future ability to handle emergencies, make big purchases like financing a car or home, and more. Nerd Wallet has good advice on how to start saving.

Build Your Credit

Money Under 30 is a great place to start learning how to build your credit. Just be sure that you’re thinking long term when you start making moves like opening credit cards. Don’t carry a balance!


Step #4

Spark Joy: Routine Tidying Promotes Zen

Let’s not lie and pretend that anyone likes cleaning. Because no one does. Now that’s out of the way…

We can all agree that a tidy space makes us feel calmer and cleaner. And that’s helpful for promoting a good frame of mind. So it’s worth finding ways to make mundane chores like cleaning (ugh) less arduous. When trying to find the will for routine cleaning, consider these suggestions:

  • Fuel Up on Coffee: Does this one really need an explanation?
  • Find a Podcast and/or Spotify Playlist: And only listen to it while you’re cleaning! I like to listen to Lore podcasts when I clean, and it provides a small incentive to hear more interesting stories
  • Set Reminders: Either on your phone or written on a whiteboard, wall calendar, or planner. Checking off tasks can feel rewarding in itself
  • Set Up a Reward System: If checking off your to-do list doesn’t do it for you, treat yo’ self to an actual reward when you’re done (maybe lunch at your favorite place?)


Step #5

High Five Your Higher Power

Whether your higher power is religious or something more vaguely spiritual like the ocean, it always helps to check in with them as one of your ADLs. A quick high five might suffice. Or maybe today’s trials call for a longer session checking in with your higher power. Whatever the case may be, you do you, and remember that your higher power is always there to pick up any slack you may be feeling.

If you’re in early recovery, it’s recommended to join an intensive outpatient program while residing in sober living. If you’re seeking a sober living arrangement in Orange County, one of our addiction specialists can help place you 24/7: 855-737-7363

Posted in Health and Wellness, Recovery