10 Ways to Strengthen Your Recovery This Summer
Summer weather is upon us, and while some embrace it and head outdoors for the summer months, many in recovery find that the weather can be a trigger for cravings for drugs and alcohol, especially if their addiction history is peppered with stories of doing drugs at music festivals or heavy drinking at games or barbecues. For correctional officers working in prisons that are rarely heated and cooled comfortably, summer can be stressful.
The good news is that, in recovery, you have the opportunity to create your own new traditions that are based on sobriety, and summer is no exception. Here are just a few things you can do to enjoy yourself and strengthen your recovery when the weather is warm:
- Create a summer-specific recovery goal. If there is an area of your recovery that could use a tune-up, the summer months are a good time to identify a new goal and get started. You could focus on one area of your past that continues to be troublesome, work on a current situation, and/or revamp a treatment plan that is helping you to manage a co-occurring mental health disorder.
- Embark on a summer “bucket list” plan. Do you have some things you have always wanted to do but found impossible during active addiction? Now that you are sober, what is stopping you? Pick something on your bucket list and make it happen this summer.
- Get sober friends together for travel. The summer is a great time to hit the road and take a trip, but it’s important when you are in recovery to have the sober support you need to avoid relapse along the way.
- Host a sober event. If you are not finding a ton of sober events near you, why not have one yourself? You can throw a sober barbecue, celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, or head to a concert with a group of other sober individuals who are similarly looking to have a good time without drugs and alcohol.
- Go camping. Heading up into the mountains or out to the lake may be a great way to beat the heat and take a break from your day-to-day routine this summer.
- Take on a part-time job. There are tons of seasonal jobs that open up in the summer, making it a great time to take on extra work and make some progress toward paying off debt or building savings that will help you to ease financial stress in sobriety. Just make sure to budget and invest the extra money wisely!
- Go solo. Who says it has to be a party to have a good time? While a sober support network is important, so is your alone time. The summer is a great time to go for sunrise walks, read and watch the sunset, or go for a swim on your own to clear your head.
- Bulk up on your 12-Step meetings. Meetings tend to slim down during the summer as more people skip to spend time outside. Make sure to jump around and try out some new meetings to keep your recovery intact and your support system growing.
- Start a new holistic therapy session. Ever wanted to try tai chi? Do acupuncture sessions? Practice yoga? Now’s the time.
- Journal every day. As you go through the summer, journal how you are feeling and what you do every day so you can chart your progress as you grow and change.
How will you strengthen your recovery this summer? If you are living with an active addiction or find that you are unable to manage your use of drugs and alcohol despite your best efforts, American Addiction Centers can help. We offer:
- Individualized treatment plans
- PTSD assessment and evaluation
- Specialized therapies to facilitate progress in managing trauma-related symptoms (e.g., Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy)
- Therapists and providers who specialize in treating first responders
- Reintegration assistance
At American Addiction Centers, we are here to help you recover from your substance abuse issues and get back on track at work and in your personal life. Call now for more information.