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Sober Summer

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Sober Summer

Recovering addicts typically have a difficult time finding enjoyable activities to participate in that do not involve drugs and alcohol, trigger cravings, or take place in an environment that won’t compromise one’s sobriety. No matter the time, day, week, or month out of the year, individuals in recovery must constantly be on high alert and thoroughly examine their surroundings in order to avoid putting themselves in situations or around people that may instigate a potential relapse. This becomes significantly more challenging during the summer months, as the warm weather tends to make people more inclined to engage in activities that involve drinking and partying. The key to having a successful sober summer without the involvement of drugs or alcohol is to stay occupied. Individuals who experience a state of boredom are at a higher risk for relapse, and therefore keeping busy can prevent this. Fortunately for recovering addicts, there are a variety of options for enjoyable activities for them to choose from. Not only are these safe, fun alternatives to social gatherings involving drinking and illegal substances, but these options can also greatly benefit and further one’s recovery.

15 Tips for a Sober Summer

  1. Volunteering: There are several organizations, shelters, hospitals, and assisted living homes that could use a helping hand. Almost every city’s Parks & Recreation department needs help cleaning up and maintaining the local parks, trails, and beaches. Volunteering is a valuable alternative to choose from because it keeps you busy, makes you feel good knowing you are giving back, give you a sense of purpose, and it makes a difference in the community. Additionally, because there are a variety of types of volunteer work, you will always be needed somewhere, and you can try out different kinds and maybe fine something you truly enjoy.
  2. Get Active: Any form of exercise is vastly beneficial for your health, as well as your recovery. Going to the gym and working out can help you relieve stress and tension. When quitting a bad habit, such as drug or alcohol abuse, the best thing to do is pick up a good habit such as exercise. Running outdoors or hiking are also great activities for the summer, because it’s a great form of exercise, it gets you out in the sun and fresh air, and improves you physical, spiritual, and mental health.
  3. Start a Book Club: Some people think reading is boring and typically do not enjoy it, but oftentimes that is because they haven’t found the right book. Spend a day at your local library and research a genre that interests you. Find a gripping novel that you can’t seem to put down or a fascinating author. From there, start a book club with either friends or locals. If possible, try and start a sober book club with others in recovery. You may be surprised by how passionate you may become over a book or an author’s line of books. Having passion for something can distract you from the difficulties that arise during recovery.
  4. Have a Barbeque: Barbequing is all too common during the summer, but it is rare to find yourself at a barbeque that doesn’t have alcohol around. Host your own barbeque with friends that are sober, members from your recovery group, and your friends who will respect your “no alcohol” policy.
  5. Join a Local Sports League: There are gender specific leagues for adolescent teens and adults in almost every town or nearby. There also leagues for almost every sport you could imagine. You can join in on your own or with friends. This will keep you active, give you something to do, and allow you to have some fun.
  6. Join In On Different Recovery Groups: New people, new friends, new stories, new environment, and new support network.
  7. Get to Know Your City: Travel your city and visit places you have never been before. Check out local parks and trails, go to a museum, spend a day at the zoo, or visit an aquarium. Many cities have historical sites and landmarks, which could be interesting to see and learn about.
  8. Take a Yoga Class: Yoga is a great form of therapy, and is actually highly recommended for those in recovery. Yoga helps you meditate and find your inner self. You can find balance physically, emotionally, and spiritually in yoga. This has several benefits, including improving your health and furthering your recovery
  9. Host a Movie Night: Have your friends over for a movie night. Select a number of critically acclaimed films, old-fashion films, or newly released films that none of you have seen and spend the entire night watching each of them while enjoying a large bowl of popcorn.
  10. Go to a Comedy Club: This is a great alternative to a night out partying, as the focus is on the person on stage and not about drugs or alcohol. Spending the evening at a comedy club will keep you laughing and may even be a night you will never forget.
  11. Host a Game Night: Have your sober friends over for a night of fun games, especially board games. This is an exciting activity for the sober, and a fun night for all.
  12. Gardening: Gardening can actually be very therapeutic, and it also gets you outside in the sun
  13. Write: Some recovering addicts find it helpful to put their feelings and emotions into music lyrics or poetry, but even just keeping a daily journal can be very valuable.
  14. Attend a Sporting Event: Get together with some friends and go to a baseball game.
  15. Host a Bonfire: Nothing says summer more than a bonfire. Have a group of sober friends over and gather around a bonfire. This is a great activity for the summer, as it allows you to enjoy the warm weather and engage in conversation with friends. Bonfires can also serve as a new environment to host a recovery group meeting.

In addition to these useful suggestions for a sober summer, there is also outdoor activities such as going to the beach, kayaking, paddle boarding, going to a water park, camping, or attending a concert. It is important to stay active, be positive, and always plan ahead. Be sure to focus on bettering yourself more and more each and every day. Summer is much different for people who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, but a sober summer can still be just as enjoyable and entertaining.

Sources:

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