Whether you’re still in college or well into your career, summertime brings about a sense of freedom and relaxation. With lower levels of stress, it is the perfect time to focus on your recovery. But for some, the long days and countless parties can be challenging and can put their sobriety at risk.
This summer, keep these tips in mind so you can enjoy a safe and sober season.
Only you know what is best for your recovery so it is important that you go with your gut. If you know that you can’t go to a party where alcohol will be served without drinking, don’t go. If you know that old friends are a trigger, avoid them. Remember, no amount of “fun” is more important than safeguarding all the progress that you’ve made.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
As you know, who you surround yourself with has a tremendous impact on you. So be sure to soak up the sun with people who support your sober lifestyle. Between all the holidays and traveling it’s easy to become disconnected from your sober network, swap a meeting for a day by the pool or forget to text your sponsor because you’re too busy taking in the sites. And while you’re entitled to some fun, it’s crucial that you stay connected to those helping you stay on track.
One of the greatest things about sobriety is that it allows you to give back to others, and there’s nothing more rewarding than doing just that. Whether it’s sponsoring someone in your group, speaking at a local high school, or volunteering at a soup kitchen, giving back will keep you busy and away from temptation, and most importantly, help you stay grounded in your recovery.
Living a happy and healthy life is all about balance. Don’t spend your entire summer sitting on your couch alone but also don’t oversaturate your calendar with social obligations. Make time to see friends and family, time to work on your recovery, time to travel, time to give back, time to try something new, and time to relax. Partaking in a wide variety of activities will make your summer more fulfilling and enjoyable.
Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company
Summertime doesn’t have to mean crowded beaches and loud parties with people you barely know. It’s okay to spend time on your own. It is important that you learn to enjoy your own company. Take this time to rediscover things you enjoy, go on nature walks, or learn a new craft. Alone time is great for refreshing your mind, and you might also learn a thing or two about yourself.
And remember, if at any point you find yourself wanting to use or reach for a drink, reach out for help instead. Call a loved one, call your sponsor, call a fellow alumnus, or reach out to our alumni team. Know that as a Mountainside alumnus, you are never alone in your recovery.