It’s important to reward yourself for your accomplishments during your recovery, whether for behavioral changes and/or milestones in sobriety. The purpose of rewarding yourself is to strengthen your resolve to keep alcohol and drugs out of your life. Rewarding yourself increases your awareness of all that you have accomplished.
Here are 25 ideas of ways you can give yourself a pat on the back for reaching certain milestones in your recovery.
Ways To Reward Yourself Without Alcohol Or Drugs
- Begin a “Success Savings.” Put $1 away for every day you have stayed sober or put $2 for each recovery meeting attended. You decide the amount of money you give yourself for the desired action. At the end of a year, take the money and use it towards a mini-vacation.
- Buy or make a special piece of jewelry. A bracelet, necklace, earrings or rings will do. Every time you wear the new item, you’ll be reminded of how far you have come since you have gotten sober.
- Begin a collection. It can be stamps, thimbles, spoons, dolls, action figures, sports memorabilia, etc. Each time you achieve a sobriety milestone (30, 60 or 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc.), go ahead and buy another item for your collection.
- Get a massage. It’s relaxing and will reenergize you from the inside out. A little pampering can go a long way.
- Get your hair styled, dyed, or cut. Try something daring. Have fun and experiment with your new look.
- Get a makeover with a professional. When you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside.
- Pamper yourself with a manicure and pedicure. If you need to watch what you spend, do it yourself at home.
- Have a night out at the movies with a friend you haven’t seen for a while. Self-explanatory. Who doesn’t enjoy a good night out at the movie theater, especially with someone you need to catch up with.
- Enjoy a leisurely morning at the park. Breathe and take in the fresh air. Feed the ducks. Watch the children play. Get in tune with the simpler things in life.
- Attend an art show, a gallery or your local museum. Check your local paper or news website for the exhibitions in your area.
- Be a kid again! Go to your local amusement park and recapture the “awe” that you felt as a child.
- Buy yourself a new outfit. If you are low on funds, go thrift store shopping.
- Redecorate a room in your house. Let your creativity flow. Let the room capture the real you. Don’t be afraid to go a little wild. If you don’t have money to redecorate, you can just rearrange the space.
- See your favorite sports team play live. Reward yourself with the best seats you can afford.
- Do something daring. Make it something you’ve always wanted to try. Go bungee jumping, hang gliding, parachuting, whitewater rafting, etc.
- Get a new tattoo (or piercing). Get something that’s uniquely you.
- Have a long, relaxing bubble bath. Light some candles around the tub and make it serene and memorable.
- Buy a new book. Schedule some uninterrupted time to read it.
- Sign up for a team sport such as softball, basketball or hockey. You’ll have fun and maybe meet some new friends!
- Rent a boat or Jet Ski. Spend the day soaking up some sunshine and riding the waves with family and friends.
- Go to a concert or theatrical event. Do this especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to see, and if it falls around a certain recovery milestone.
- Take a cooking class. If you can’t afford a cooking class, then look up a fun recipe online or YouTube a recipe and try it at home.
- Try an architecture tour or some other “tourist” activity in your own city. You’ll get a new appreciation for your hometown.
- Start a new routine when you get home from work. Instead of rewarding yourself with a drink when you get home from work, have some hot herbal tea, light a scented candle and read some recovery literature.
- Announce your accomplishments and sobriety milestones to others. Allow yourself to hear and soak in the congratulations! It is a big deal that you are in recovery and have changed your life. You deserve the praise.
Written by: Sarah F. Scott, CADC-CAS – Outpatient Counselor