While this year has seen an unseasonably wet and cold winter season across the country, summer is fast approaching, and that means outdoor patios, barbecues and even vacations to exotic locales. For people who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions, maintaining a sober summer can seem like a daunting task. Here are a few tips that can help you have fun in the sun without derailing the work you’ve done during recovery.
In fact, one study showed that walking as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to three years to a person’s life.
Get Some Fresh Air
Healthy coping mechanisms are necessary for helping someone maintain sobriety during recovery, and exercise is a common strategy. Whether you prefer beaches, mountains, trails, or parks, warm weather gives many people the perfect excuse to get off the treadmill and get outside. Plus, longer days allow people to take part in outdoor activities during the workweek, when many people can get together to play various outdoor sports or go for group runs.
Research shows that even activities that take minimal effort, such as walking, can be beneficial for people’s emotional state. In fact, one study showed that walking as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to three years to a person’s life. Furthermore, studies show that for people with addiction issues, exercise can even help reduce cravings and help them maintain a sober summer.
Donate Your Time
There are thousands of organizations, churches, or hospitals that need able-bodied people to help with such activities as setting up for events, passing out food for the homeless, or even playing with underprivileged or sick children.
Research shows that volunteering can help people relieve stress, improve their health and emotional wellbeing, and helps enable people to form rewarding relationships with their communities. Additionally, volunteering allows people to expand their professional or social networks, and they can even develop useful work skills completely different from those they use to make a living. Plus, most volunteering activities don’t involve alcohol or other things that can typically tempt someone in recovery, making it a safe place.
Lean on Your Friends…and Be One Too
Chances are your friends, especially your close ones, are aware of your commitment to sobriety, and it’s perfectly fine to ask for help during challenging moments. If they care about you, they’ll want to help you maintain a sober summer as much as you do.
On the other side, during the recovery journey, people often become friends with others who struggle with similar temptations, and studies show it can further reinforce your own commitment to sobriety to support someone else during trying times.
Press Pause When You Need To
While social gatherings have been shown to have immense benefits during recovery, temptation can often lurk just around the corner. For many addicts a critical part of treatment is focusing on the ability to assess settings and walk away before a situation becomes unmanageable. According to some experts, it helps many people to limit the time spent at gatherings expected to be especially challenging by setting a departure time.
Remind Yourself That You Have Done This Before
When cravings hit, many people in recovery cling to the amount of time they have remained sober. For them, each situation that passes without faltering is a credit to the hard work they’ve put in, and is valuable experience for what lays ahead during the next season.
Seeking a Sober Summer?
Morningside Recovery helps people of all walks of life to get a handle on a drug or alcoholism rehab. We offer a wide range of treatment options that focus on getting people sober for the long haul. For more information about how our innovative methods can help you, call us at 855-631-2135.
Our helpline is open 24/7 and our specialists will work with you to help find the treatment option that works for your unique situation, and so you can look forward to a sober summer of fun and relaxation.