For many people in recovery, summer has a powerful way of casting it’s ”free spirited” and “uninhibited” spell, making it extremely difficult to abstain from drinking or using. Temptation is ever present at many summer activities, including bonfires, camping, beach days, BBQ’s, weddings and concerts and it’s lure can be very persistent and persuasive.
Well just like with any challenge in life, if you have a plan, equip yourself with the right tools and have a strong supporting cast, you will successfully accomplish your goals and fulfill your commitments.
Here are a few of those tools :
- Plan a balanced schedule of events in your summer calendar. There are many wonderful activities you can participate in that don’t have the presence of drugs or alcohol. Some examples are hiking, cycling, kayaking, going to the gym, spas and holistic retreats. Treat yourself in a healthy way!
- Stay in tune and pay close attention to your feelings. It’s very important to be honest with yourself and take the time to recognize whether or not you’re having difficulty coping. This will help you put into action your recovery maintenance plan to the best of your ability.
- Have an emergency contact or two. There’s so much value in having someone you can reach out to in a time of weakness and vulnerability. Their support can help realign and ground you being the difference in getting through it or relapsing.
- Avoid known triggers. Being around certain people, places or things can make it much more difficult to maintain your sobriety and often results in a relapse. Being sober around these triggers can feel unnatural and uncomfortable and quickly guide you on a path of poor choices.
- Give back to your community by taking time to volunteer and help others. This is by far one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself and those you help.
- Reading and writing. Reading is a great tool that allows you to escape into the world of the author or learn more about your interests. Writing is a great tool for expressing yourself creatively or putting your thoughts on paper which can be a great release.
- Meditation is a great way to help cope with mental stress and collect yourself when you’re feeling out of sorts. Mindfulness practice allows you to clear your mind and free yourself from worries and mental discomfort, helping provide perspective while navigating through your addiction.
Staying sober has it’s challenges in every season and takes hard work, commitment, dedication and perseverance to maintain. Just remember that it’s worth it, for your friends, family and most importantly yourself. Keep up the great work! Enjoy your summer!
Your friends at EHN Canada.