How to Protect Your Recovery in Summertime
As summertime approaches and Covid-19 continues to subside, outdoor group activities will be more popular than ever before. As much fun as summer can be, it can also be one of the trickiest times of the year for people in recovery. That said, there is time for you to prepare now so that you make sure you can protect your sobriety and still have a good time. Learn more about our top tips on having a sober summer and how to deploy your relapse prevention skills.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Drinks)
When you come to a gathering with an ample supply of your favorite mocktail, you won’t feel triggered when you show up and only see beer, wine and bar beverages, and you’ve still got something in your hands to feel comfortable with your friends. By the way, Perrier and a sliver of fruit can look just like a cocktail if you prefer to maintain your sober anonymity.
If you maintain a steady stream of your favorite non-alcoholic beverages, this will make it turnkey to stay on-the-wagon, especially if you’re hanging around the beach, parks and such during this time of year. This will assist to remove just one more impulse that can get in the way if you begin to feel anxious and craving.
Always Have an Exit Strategy
ALWAYS make sure you have your exit strategy prepared. Remember, not too long ago you were probably one of the last to leave, and that’s the time when the problem drinkers spread their wings. If you have ever watched “normies” come to a party, they have one or two drinks, socialize for a time, and then leave. Besides, being around alcohol for too long can start giving you negative, triggering thoughts. It’s like the old saying goes “if you hang around a barbershop long enough, you’ll eventually get a haircut!” Once these thoughts start sneaking into your head, it’s time to leave. The best way to protect your recovery is to have an exit strategy already planned. Some examples include:
- Establish an innocent lie. When it comes to safeguarding your sobriety, telling a white lie is more than okay, and you should never feel shame for using one. Faking that you have an early day tomorrow, or another event to appear at that night are good examples. Lastly, you can explain to your host that you’re not feeling good. It’s typically not challenged by anyone.
- Just leave. When all else fails, leave on a dime, and don’t dwell on it. If you’re feeling anxious and are recognizing that staying longer could be detrimental to your recovery, you don’t owe anyone a justification. Just head out and send the host a note to let them know you had to leave unexpectedly. That way, there is no pressure to say goodbye or come up with explanations on your way out.
Get Involved with Outdoor Activities
One of the best parts about summer is that there is a whole host of activities you can take part in and try out. One of them might even become your new favorite pastime. Besides, you’ll generally find the non-drinkers gravitate to these hobbies more than the folks who want to curl 12-once beers. Some of these can include:
- Roller blading
- Paddle boarding
- Boogie boarding
Stay Close to Your Sober Supports
The most valuable tip for sober summertime fun is to stay close to your sober network. Make sure you are going to 12-step meetings, doing your aftercare program, checking in regularly with your therapist and hanging out with friends in recovery. As you know, many of these folks have sober time under their belts and can provide invaluable experience if you don’t know what to do. It’s going to be a busy summer and you would rather be living a life beyond your wildest dreams than heading back to detox and starting over.
Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.