Tips for Maintaining Sobriety in Summer
The summer months undoubtedly hold many advantages for those in recovery. Warmer temperatures and longer days make it easier to engage in physical and outdoor activities, and the extended daylight hours can continually brighten one’s mood. However, the summer months also hold some unique challenges that are important to consider.
Recovery isn’t something that changes based on any particular time of year. Even with summer’s unique characteristics, maintaining sobriety still demands constant maintenance. While taking advantage of the positive aspects of the summer months, it is still crucial to remain vigilant of the season’s downsides. It is essential to create a plan based on one’s self-knowledge in expectation of these unique hurdles.
Summer provides some unique hurdles for those in recovery. But the warmer months can also offer a number of boons that can aid each individual in continuing to develop their comprehensive coping strategies and best practices.
While longer days and more prevalent social gatherings can create new challenges, they can also provide opportunities to determine the most beneficial coping strategies for the warm weather and communal atmosphere of the summer season. Making daily plans for outdoor activity, social gatherings, and even new traditions and celebrations can aid in developing a new sober lifestyle that can transcend the confines of a single season of the year and continue to be beneficial year-round in the constant pursuit of one’s sustained sobriety.
Sober Celebrations and Gatherings
It is expected that both those in recovery and their supporters will want to get together throughout the summer months. While vaccinations and COVID-19 restrictions can make gatherings difficult for some communities, it is expected that many individuals will be looking for ways to satiate their own social needs and want to interact with others. Cookouts and sporting events can be reasons for gathering. Holidays like Independence Day often hold family traditions. While attending these functions hosted by others may lead to unintentional exposure to alcohol, hosting a sober party can be a great way to safely engage with friends and supporters and hone one’s social and life skills.
Not only can hosting one’s events, such as a Fourth of July celebration, inherently limit the number of guests and safely adhere to epidemic guidelines, but it can also ensure that any such functions are sober and devoid of alcohol or drugs by design. This control allows an individual to feel safe at their own party while surrounded by people who understand that such a function is a wholly sober endeavor.
Setting these parameters will mitigate the chances of a confrontation revolving around one’s sobriety by removing these stressors from the picture. It is also a great way to continue to deepen relationships on an intimate level, as well as practice life skills such as cooking and interpersonal skills. Hosting also requires responsibility and allows one to focus on others, which can distract oneself from triggers that might occur.
Keeping physically active is a significant part of the recovery process. Recovery involves holistically addressing one’s health, meaning that both the body and mind strive for a healthy and productive lifestyle. Harnessing the warmer weather can mean developing one’s coping strategies to include more physically active practices, such as walks, jogs, swimming, or even sports, into one’s recovery toolkit.
Engaging in these activities during the warmer months of the year can provide an individual with ample practice to integrate the activities into one’s daily routine. This regular practice can provide the necessary structure for effective recovery strategies that can then be adapted and developed throughout all seasons of the year.
These opportunities are especially pertinent during this time of the year. Longer hours of daylight provide a bit of extra time each day to fit these physical activities into one’s schedule, helping to continue structuring consistent and beneficial daily rituals.
Following Your Own Expectations
Summertime is helpful because it can provide for the necessary daylight and energy to allow an individual to explore their own interests uninhibited by the time of year. It is a time to explore new hobbies and schedules. However, with each and every person also changing their lifestyles with the seasons, it is still paramount that those in recovery continue to only move by their own volition. Only one’s expectation of themselves should be considered throughout this time. Others’ expectations of summertime fun or activities should not dictate the changes that an individual wants to make for themselves.
It is crucial to respect one’s limits throughout this time. Just because the daylight lasts longer doesn’t mean that an individual has to fill this time with outdoor activities or attend parties, and instead can still dedicate this time to indoor self-care practices.
Following one’s own expectations is an important exercise in agency over one’s life. While such a practice can be developed effectively through the summer months, this mindset is in no way confined to a single time of year. It is a time when an individual can explore how they want to continue to engage in their new sober lives but also can set their own standards for their needs and practices outside of the expectation or rhythm of others in their communities.
Maintaining your sobriety can be a difficult task at any time of the year, and the summer is no exception. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and are ready to take your first steps towards a transformed, sober lifestyle, Brighton Recovery Center can help you today. Our caring, trained professionals understand that recovery is a unique journey and can individualize your time with us to instill essential, year-round coping strategies. From detox and residential treatment to partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, your time with us can be tailored to fit your needs. Our beautiful campus can help you explore all of your recovery options and therapeutic approaches in a safe environment, from art, music, and movement therapy to yoga, meditation, and more. For more information on how we can help you, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member, call us today at (844) 479-7035.
Recovery YouTube Channel