Summer is here; the sky is blue, and the temperature is high. As COVID-19 restrictions ease and the beautiful weather creeps in, people will be planning barbeques, pool parties, and beach days. Summertime comes with socialization, which is often accompanied by alcoholic beverages and other substances. For those recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, summer can be a challenging time. However, there are steps you can take to ensure your sobriety remains a priority this summer.
Maintain Connection With Your Support System
Whether you are new in recovery or have been sober for some time, you can never have too many people who support you in your recovery efforts. This summer, take the time to stay connected with the people you have met in recovery. These people may be in the same situation and will understand what you are going through. Some support groups even hold events during the summer, such as beach days, for sober people to get together and have fun.
Bring a Friend
When attending a summer party or event, you can bring along somebody who knows and understands your situation. This person should support your sobriety and want to help you succeed. Ensure that the friend you choose will help you refrain from temptation and create a plan of action to leave early if necessary.
Host Your Own Event
Hosting your own party is a great way to take advantage of summer fun while also being in charge of the situation. By planning your own event, you have the opportunity to plan the guest list, activities, and venue. Organizing your own gathering is the ideal opportunity to practice sobriety in a social setting on your own terms.
In the early stages of recovery, avoiding triggers during summer may be a good idea. Avoid putting yourself in a situation that may be too difficult for you, and understand that recovery is a process. Sometimes social events may feel too tempting, but this doesn’t mean that will always be the case. This summer, instead of going to a party with friends where you know there will be alcohol or drugs, contact them individually to spend time together one-on-one or in a small group. You can plan a day at the beach or a simple coffee date where you know it will be easier to avoid triggers.
Be Honest With Others
If you find yourself having a hard time this summer, reach out to family, friends, and recovery support. Being honest with these people about any emotions or fears that arise can help you receive the support you need. Friends and family who want the best for you will support any decisions or feelings you have during the summertime. They may also be able to provide you with advice on how to cope with your emotions or ways to have sober fun.
Drink Something Else
If you find yourself attending a party this summer, fill your cup with a non-alcoholic drink. This way, you are kept occupied with something to drink and less tempted to fill your cup with alcohol. Having a drink in your hand also helps prevent others from offering you an alcoholic beverage. If you’re not sure what kinds of beverages will be available, bring your own non-alcoholic drink to enjoy (or even share with others).
Avoid Familiar People and Places
There are probably many people and places you associate with drinking or using. Just like it is crucial to surround yourself with other people in recovery, it is also essential to avoid the people you used to use with or the places you used at. Be honest with yourself and about the motives that these people may have. If you think you would be okay with these people or places but aren’t 100% sure, it is most likely not worth the risk.
Relax and Enjoy Summer
When you set your expectations too high, it can create unnecessary stress. For any plans that you may have for the summer, remember to let go of your expectations for the perfect experience. Summer comes every year and there will be endless opportunities for “summer fun.” The more expectations you place on yourself and the activities you engage in, the higher chance you have of hindering your recovery. This summer, try to relax and enjoy your time.
Be Good to Yourself
One of the most important things you can do on your journey in recovery is to be good to yourself. Treating yourself well is not only a tip that can help you maintain sobriety throughout the summer but can also be carried with you through the other seasons. Recovery is a lifelong journey and there will be obstacles along the way. However, just because obstacles arise does not mean you should get discouraged. Take your recovery day by day and work on uplifting yourself. In the most challenging moments, never forget that you are worthy of happiness.
As summer approaches and COVID-19 restrictions lift, many people are beginning to have summer fun. However, for people in recovery, this can be challenging. As your friends and family get back together in person for parties, the temptation to drink or use may arise. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you maintain your sobriety this summer. Consider maintaining connections, being honest, and avoiding triggers. You could also bring a friend, host your own event, drink something else and avoid familiar people and places. Most importantly, remember to be good to yourself and allow yourself to relax and enjoy summer. If you are struggling to stay sober this summer, Hired Power is here to help. Depending on individual needs, we offer Recovery Care Managers and Personal Recovery Assistants (PRAs) or sober companions who work one-on-one with each client to implement healthy changes as they transition into independent living. If you or your loved one requires professional help to navigate a successful, sober life, a Personal Recovery Assistant may be the service for you and your family. To learn more, call Hired Power at (800) 910-9299.