Summertime is a favorite time of year for many, filled with BBQs, parties, and other types of social gatherings. For those who are living without drugs and alcohol, it may feel like summer is a time when temptation is all around, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is a list of just some of the things you can do during the summer, with less worry of relapse.
Know Your Triggers.
Everyone has certain triggers that make them feel more like indulging with drugs and alcohol. If the annual BBQ at your cousin’s house is always filled with excessive alcohol use and/or drug use, it’s probably best to steer clear. Try to avoid places or activities that will make you feel tempted to drink or use. Identifying your triggers will help you to discover what people, places, and situations are dangerous for you and help you to avoid them.
Find Sober Friends To Hang Out With.
Going to meetings not only helps to keep you accountable and motivated to stay sober, but it’s also a great place to meet like-minded people. Going to meetings are a crucial part of living a sober life. Find local AA or NA meetings and start making some friends and making some summer plans.
Make Sure To Have A Plan.
You can’t always avoid every event. If you decide to go somewhere where drugs and alcohol are present, make sure that you have a plan for while you’re there, and have an exit strategy ready. If you can, bring a sober or supportive friend of family member with you. Talk ahead of time about what your triggers are and what to do in case you’re tempted.
Find New Summer Activities.
If in the past your summers were filled with non-stop parties at the lake or weekly concerts with tailgating for hours, you may be wondering what you’ll do to occupy yourself now. Just because you’re no longer partaking in certain activities doesn’t mean that you’ll be bored and have nothing to do. Those who are in recovery believe fully in having fun…otherwise, what’s really the point of getting sober?
You can always find different events, trips, and other social gatherings throughout your local AA or NA community, especially in the summer time. When you attend meetings, the group members will announce the different events taking place around you, such as camping trips, dances, picnics, and sober retreats. And, when certain “special events” aren’t being held, there is still plenty to do with your sober friends, such as hiking, swimming, or even just going for a cup of coffee. When you surround yourself with people in recovery, we guarantee you will never be bored!
Spend Your Time Doing Things For Others.
Doing something for others can not only help to keep you busy but it gives you a sense of satisfaction unlike anything else. During the summer months, there are many opportunities available. If you enjoy working with children, consider volunteering at a summer camp, or volunteer with your local Red Cross chapter. For more ideas, you can go to volunteermatch.org and get matched with volunteering programs that pertain to issues that you care about.
Start A Long Project.
Keeping busy is a great way to keep your mind off of drugs and alcohol. Take this time to learn a new craft or skill, set and meet fitness goals, or complete projects around the house. Take advantage of the warm weather and install a deck or patio, or start a garden and harvest your own fresh vegetables. Even if you don’t have much space, you can plant a container garden. This will give you something to do daily for a few months, and the rewards are well worth the effort.
Take On A Summer Job.
There are many jobs that open up for the summer and that you can use to further your career, whatever that may be. If you don’t have an established career, this is a great time to explore your options and figure out what it is that you really want to do. It’s important to choose a job that won’t interfere with your sobriety. For example, maybe working at the community pool isn’t the best idea if most of the other employees drink or use together frequently after work.
Get away from it all! Visit family that you don’t get to see too often, or catch up with old friends. Think about places that you’ve wanted to see but drugs and alcohol held you back, and then go there. You don’t have to go on an extended or expensive vacation. You can go camping or hiking with a sober or supportive friend, or explore towns within driving distance. Plan a series of day trips and explore local spots that are new or that you’ve never been to before. Search the internet for things to do in your area and start planning.
Take A Sober Vacation.
There are many companies that offer sober vacations such as cruises, tours, festivals, beach getaways and all-inclusive resorts designed just for those who don’t want to think about using while they’re away. You’ll get to see new places and do new things with people who are also in recovery. Ask a travel agent or look online for the different kinds of sober vacations that you can take.
Cross Off Some Activities From Your Bucket List.
Make a list of the things that you’ve always wanted to do, and start doing them! Have you always thought about skydiving, or learning to water ski? Summer is the perfect time to start crossing things off of your bucket list. Join a running club or start training for a 5K, or take classes in your community or online to learn another language. No goal is too big or too small!
Contact Clearbrook Today
There are an endless number of things to do in the summer, and staying sober doesn’t mean that your life is over. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Soon, you will realize that things are more enjoyable without drugs and alcohol present. Events that were once hampered by a fogging, intoxicated mind, will now be remembered and enjoyed to the fullest with a clear and sober memory.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, help is available. For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing quality treatment to the chemically dependent person and has had the privilege of being witness to the miracle of recovery every day. If you are ready to take the first step toward the rest of your life, please contact our Admissions Specialists today. Recovery is possible and it starts here!