Fun in the Sun While Staying Sober
You hibernated at home all winter—purposely separating yourself from all the usual temptations.
You didn’t go to bars when your friends asked. It wasn’t that hard to say no because it was cold outside and you didn’t want leave your warm house.
But now, it’s getting warmer. The trees are blooming. The sun is out and the days are getting longer. Suddenly, you have a longing to sit on the porch with a beer or two. Or, maybe you remember the times that the weather was warm and you went to the park to get high with your friends.
Spring and summer have a way of bringing back memories we thought we had left far behind. This can put newfound sobriety at a risk.
Making Summer Fun
You shouldn’t have to miss out on summer activities just because you’re in recovery. In fact, the opposite is true: you should have more fun in summer when you’re in recovery.
Instead of missing out going to the pool with your daughter because you were high, this summer you can have clear, happy memories of being at the pool with your daughter. Instead of staying indoors and nursing a hangover, you get to go outdoors! Instead of yet another season passing by in a hazy state, you can actually embrace your life in summer.
Recovery isn’t something that keeps you away from things you love. It frees you to do the things you love.
That being said, sometimes recovery takes sacrifice. Maybe it means you don’t go to your friend’s annual camping trip that inevitably ends with drunken debauchery. Maybe it means you don’t go to your old summer haunts. That’s okay, because this is a chance to find new things that you love to do.
Sober Things to Do in the Summer
Spring and summer are about new beginnings. This is your chance to change your lifestyle and find new activities. For example:
- Explore a New Part of Town. Find a new coffee shop. Support a local business by finding a new boutique or store in your community. Go to a museum or a park that you’ve never been to. Go to the places that you’ve always wanted to explore, but never did in the winter.
- Have a Cookout. Cookouts and barbecues are often associated with drinking and indulgence, but there are so many wonderful aspects of a cookout that don’t include alcohol or addictive substances. A well-grilled steak, anyone? Or how about watermelon, roasted marshmallows, summer salads, bratwurst, berries, ice cream, and popsicles? Of course, there are non-food joys at a barbecue as well: the smell of a campfire, hanging out by a pool or lake, and watching fireflies.
- Join a Sport Team. Athletics not only have the health benefit of exercise, they also get you outside. Plus, a group sport provides group bonding and community, which is essential in recovery. There are even recovery-orientated sports teams which means you can build a support network while getting Vitamin D, exercising, and having fun.
- Garden. Did you know there are health benefits to gardening? The combination of being in the sun, aerobic exercise, and putting your hands in the Earth is very soothing. Gardening gives you something to work for and the satisfaction of seeing the results of your work. Plus, you get beautiful flowers in your yard or fresh tomatoes to put in your salad.
- Attend a New Recovery Meeting. Even if you have a fantastic support system and wonderful recovery meeting to attend, it’s never a bad idea to switch things up and attend an additional meeting. You can hear different people’s stories, which can give you a new perspective on life and recovery.
- Volunteer. It may seem counter-intuitive, but often when you are struggling with life (i.e. mood, depression, feelings of shame, or other emotions that come with recovery), the best medicine can be helping people. You can combine volunteering with any of the above activities. Do you like gardening and know a lot about it? Volunteer at a community garden or look for places to teach others to garden. Do you love sports? Volunteer to coach a team. Do you feel passionate about drug and alcohol recovery and want to help others? Host a recovery group or check-in group.
The possibilities are endless when you start to view summer as a time of opportunity.
Using Outpatient Treatment to Stay on Top of Your Recovery Goals
Victory Addiction Recovery Center’s outpatient program provides an intensive, yet flexible treatment option. Sessions meet at night, which allows you to continue working or go to school as you work toward sobriety. Licensed staff give support to individuals and families of those struggling with substance abuse to address the deep issues of addiction recovery.
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