Summer can be a difficult time to stay sober and sometimes even more difficult for those that are newly getting sober and attempting a life in recovery. At West Coast Interventions, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to stay sober in the summer.
Plan and organize your summer
We have probably along the way somewhere heard that, “if we fail to plan, we plan to fail”. We do talk about living one day at a time in recovery which relates to our emotions and staying sober for those 24 hours, but we can have a future plan for the summer to help us. This is where we need to try different things than what we did in our active addiction.
Stay away from triggers where possible
Triggers are what can tempt us to go back to our old ways and pick up a drink or a drug. Triggers are different for everyone, but knowing your own triggers will help you to stay away from them. Triggers can range from hanging out with people you did in your addiction, to family members, to certain places, to behaviors etc.
Always have an exit strategy when attending events
If you do plan to go to a BBQ or a pool party/beach party where you know there is going to be alcohol, plan your exit strategy – meaning have a plan to know when it is time to go. You can set a limit of 45 minutes, greet your friends/family and quietly leave.
Bring your own vehicle so you can leave when you need to
As noted above, having an exit strategy if very important. If you have your own vehicle, it is best to bring it so you can leave whenever you need to and not be relying on someone else. If you are using pubic transit know where the stations or stops are and be prepared to walk on your own.
Stay connected to your recovery support network
There are a number of ways to recover and maintain your recovery and regardless of what way you recovery a network on strong people in your corner is a necessity component of any style of recovery. Find your people and stick with them! The opposite of addiction is connection.
Create some coping strategies and routine
Meditation and prayer work for a lot of people. Creating a routine and being consistent with it will make a big difference. This can be things like daily journaling, exercise, using your creative side of your brain, such as some form of art and of course prayer and meditation.
Find new activities
For most of us when our addiction takes over and becomes our sole purpose for living, all of our activities and hobbies that we have participated in have now been replaced. This is a great time to get back to what you did before your addiction took over or look into new hobbies and activities that you were interested in but were never able to try.
Back to basics
Some days are harder than others and sometimes we just need to bring it back to the basics. This can mean simple things such as having a shower, a good meal, drinking water and going for a walk.
Be of service to others
The best solution to get out of our own heads to is to help someone else with something they may be struggling with. Call a friend and ask “how are you?”
Be kind to yourself
And most importantly, be gentle with your self. We can’t fix everything all at once. We didn’t be come addicts over night and we can’t expect to recover overnight, but we can stay clean and day at a time.
Please feel free to add you own ideas to comments on helpful tips to stay sober in the summer. If you are wanting some extra help, please contact us at 1-888-438-9991 or email [email protected].