Three positive improvements to expect after one year of alcohol sobriety

Addiction | Recovery

You endure so many humps and hurdles during your first year of alcohol sobriety. But, within those challenges, you can soon begin to reap the positive changes that will soon be bestowed upon your life. 

While there’s a vast array of benefits that come with putting an end to consuming alcohol, it can be tough to envision a sober future in the early days of recovery. 

One year of sobriety is a huge deal, and your life as a sober person will no doubt look very different from your experience in active addiction. Here are three positive changes you can expect after one year of sobriety. 

Physical improvement

Alcohol abuse physically harms our bodies via weight gain and the accumulation of excessive belly fat. After a year without alcohol, you’ll probably find that you lose weight without even trying. Many people with alcohol addictions pack on the extra pounds due to the high-calorie content of alcohol and poor food choices that coincide. 

Additionally, it’s incredibly challenging to stick to a regular exercise regimen during active alcohol addiction. After one year without alcohol, you’ll have had the time and energy to stay active and maintain a successful exercise routine. This will lead you to improve your overall health and notice positive changes to your physical appearance. 

Did you know excessive alcohol use can also affect your skin? It can cause you to look tired and older than you are. Newly sober people may start receiving compliments about looking young, fresh, and well-rested; because their skin has finally been allowed to rehydrate.

Many people with alcohol dependencies will also develop sleep issues. After years of alcohol abuse, some people forget that their sleep patterns were normal and instead believe that they need alcohol to fight insomnia. Giving up alcohol can restore your natural sleep cycle and allow you to experience high-quality sleep that rejuvenates your mind, body, and soul. 

Mental health development 

Poor mental health and alcohol addiction often go hand in hand, exacerbating the other. Unfortunately, it may seem as if alcohol is the answer to managing and alleviating existing mental health symptoms such as anxiety and depression to the drinker. 

Quitting alcohol may have adverse psychological effects during the early days of withdrawal, which many of you may have already experienced. But, if you stick with sobriety, you’ll enjoy a more chemically balanced brain. Trust us when we say it gets easier to manage and may even alleviate any anxiety, depression and promote overall mental wellness. 

Abstaining from alcohol for an entire year will improve mental clarity and cognitive function, leading you to become a better decision-maker and perform at your highest ability. 

For those who believe they may have a mental health disorder, it’s vital to receive a professional assessment. A mental health professional can help you find alternative methods to manage symptoms that arise without alcohol. 

Relationship enhancement

Addictions make it difficult to be fully present for the people in your life. You may not realize how much your drinking has affected your relationships until you’ve quit for a significant amount of time.

After a year of sobriety, you’ll have the perspective to rebuild broken relationships by being honest and present for your loved ones. Many clients have the opportunity to make new connections with people who support their sober lifestyle in our network and beyond. 

You’ll be able to build those relationships on a genuine representation of who you truly are, which is much more fulfilling than perpetuating false friendships. You’ll find that you’re forced to let some relationships go throughout your journey, usually including toxic intimate relationships and friendships built on alcohol use. 

From rebuilt relationships to mental health development and physical improvements — our team at First Responder Wellness looks forward to helping you create a life of health, happiness, and continued success.