Some recovering addicts find that summer is the toughest season to stay sober. It could be the number of cookouts and drinking that goes on. Or the long, lazy weekends on the water. It could also be the surge in energy that so many of us feel during the summer months. If you are new to recovery, there are ways to stay sane and avoid the nostalgic feeling of past summers.
Stay Connected to People
One of the greatest things about summer is the connection to our friends. Many of us use this time to catch up with friends and family. Building a schedule around other people allows you to soak in what summer is all about.
The nice thing about recovering in today’s world is that you don’t have to rely on friends and family only. With access to online support groups, chat rooms, social media pages and other communities, you are never alone. Look for local groups in your area that you can join, or talk to members in your 12 step group about their interests.
Plan a Summer Getaway
Another part of summer is taking vacations. People love planning and talking about them, and there’s no reason why you have to feel left out. Nowhere did it ever say that recovering addicts are too fragile to take a getaway. As long as you’re smart about where you go and who you go with, a vacation may be just the thing to lift your spirits!
Sober cruises and retreats are among the vacations you can take. Or, plan something with your sober friends and family. Camping and outdoor activities let you connect with nature and learn more about yourself. Visiting a small town and learning about its history can provide you with a new perspective.
Volunteer Your Time
If you need more activities to keep you busy, check out the volunteer opportunities in your community. Food pantries, women’s shelters, humane societies and more all welcome help and support from those in the community. You can meet new people, better understand your place in society and feel good about your work toward helping others. Volunteering is one of the most constructive ways to fill your time.
Stay Active in Your Community
Many communities offer a wide range of activities that residents can enjoy for little to no cost. Check out your local library and park district. Many offer movie nights in the park, late night swims, free training sessions, 5K walks, literature camps and more. This way, you can explore a wide range of activities, learn more about your community and meet new people.
It’s normal to feel some apprehension toward the summer. It’s a long season that includes unique triggers. Don’t get discouraged. Follow your continuing care plan, stay active with activities and spend extra time with those close to you. Before you know it, you will have a wonderful, sober summer in the books!