Navigating the Challenges of Summer Sobriety

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Navigating the Challenges of Summer Sobriety

July 4 is right around the corner, and for many of us, that means a day off enjoying the company of family and friends, eating favorite cookout foods and looking forward to fireworks displays. However, the festivities and relaxed atmosphere of summer can prove an especially trying time for those in recovery from a substance misuse disorder. Here’s a summer sobriety guide to help you make the most of the season, without relapsing into unhealthy habits.

Your Summer Sobriety Checklist

Here are some tips to help you protect your sobriety this summer.

1. Don’t lose sight of your goals.

It’s essential to occasionally remind yourself why you wanted to stop drinking or using. Revisit your summer sobriety goals, relying on your therapist or 12-step group if necessary to help you stay accountable. Why is it your priority to protect your sobriety?

2. Remember your triggers.

Cravings can strike anytime. Behavioral cues like going to a pool party where alcohol will be prevalent, or you’ll encounter old friends you haven’t seen in a while, can put you at risk of a relapse. Plan for ways you will react and respond to these triggers as they arise.

3. Take an active role in your recovery.

Your addiction treatment program will give you the tools and strategies you need to support your summer sobriety. You’ll have access to resources you can use if you find yourself struggling, including phone apps, a recovery checklist and other valuable materials. Don’t hesitate to use them when you need help.

4. Attend 12-step and group therapy meetings.

Summer may be a more relaxed time of year, but don’t use the laid-back, warm-weather vibe as an excuse to slack on attending meetings regularly. Even if you’re planning to go on vacation, look up local support groups in the city you’ll be visiting, or find an online meeting you can join while you’re away from home.

5. Bring a sober friend.

If you get invited to a party, concert or sporting event where you know you will feel tempted to drink or use drugs, don’t try to go it alone. Bring a friend who is familiar with your abstinence goals and who can help you stay committed to them.

6. Practice self-care.

Putting your needs first can help you avoid getting stuck in situations where you feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired – all of which are known addiction triggers. Set aside time to practice self-care every day. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy food when you are hungry and take time to breathe if you feel your emotions getting out of control.

7. Invite your friends to do sober activities with you.

From volunteering for a day to checking out a local carnival or street festival, there’s never any shortage of things you can do while maintaining your sobriety. Staying busy and living an active life are two of the easiest ways to fight off boredom and help you feel fulfilled.

Your Recovery Awaits

If substance misuse is holding you back, you don’t have to deny yourself the joys of living a rich and healthy life. At Seabrook’s accredited addiction campuses, you can fill your arsenal with new tools that help you break the cycle of addiction and learn to embrace life to the fullest. Contact us today for your pre-admission assessment.