Making the Most of Your First Sober Summer!
Committing to living beyond addiction is a life-long dedication that doesn’t pause just because the seasons change. The summer can be especially challenging for people who are new to the recovery journey, as it is often viewed as the season for partying and letting loose. For people living with substance abuse disorders, the temptation to deep dive back into hard partying habits of the past can be more intense during the summer. Staying above those temptations and on the path of sobriety is about learning to enjoy yourself without the aid of illicit substances. Make the most of your first sober summer, by:
Opening Up to New Experiences
When you’re transitioning into a sober lifestyle, stagnation is your greatest enemy. Sitting around bored or focusing too much on the things you can’t do any more only heightens the intensity of temptations, leaving you more vulnerable to relapse triggers. While you must recognize new boundaries in order to maintain long-term sobriety, your commitment to your new lifestyle also comes with an opportunity to explore new interests and experience new things. Summer is the perfect time to do so; explore yourself and your surroundings: uncover new passions, a new favorite bistro, opportunities to meet new people and create meaningful relationships.
RELATED: 5 Reasons to Spend This Summer Sober
This sober summer, look for local free or cheap events that can expose you to different cultures, the arts, or other things you’re interested in learning more about. Find some time to visit local attractions like parks and museums, or explore a bit further in your state or others. Expanding your repertoire of means to keeping yourself entertained and distracted from temptations.
Spend Your Summer Indulging- in Self-Care!
This is the summer of you! As part of your first sober summer, focusing on yourself and learning who you are without the crutch of illicit substances. While learning to enjoy yourself without a buzz or high is important, so is learning how to cope with life’s changes. Working through negative and even positive emotions during recovery can be a challenge, but learning to do so properly and beneficially is crucial to managing your new sober life.
RELATED: Acts of Self-Care: 25 Things to Try
Spend this summer learning methods of self-care that work for you and protect your mental health. Building a catalogue of self-care supplies you will the tools you need to combat relapse triggers and remain on the path of recovery. Try different forms of creative expression like writing or art; use physical activity to redirect the energy. Self-care is intended to recharge your mental and emotional batteries to help you remain solid on your chosen path.
What are you doing to make the most of your first sober summer? Comment below!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.