Summer is fast approaching. It is time to soak up the sun, enjoy the beach or the pool, and attend some barbecues.
While summer is an enjoyable time of year for most, there are some drawbacks. The recovering addict may have some reservations as summer can also mean more downtime and more drug triggers.
Staying Sober This Summer
Luckily our partial hospitalization program in Chicago center has some summer sobriety tips to help you avoid a relapse while still having fun.
One of the easiest ways to have a fun sober summer is to surround yourself with the right people. To avoid a relapse this summer, you want to spend time with people who are also sober or are not prone to partying and avoid people who you used to do drugs with. If you were a patient at our treatment center in Illinois, it means you are now a part of the Banyan family and our alumni recovery programs. These programs are designed to connect you with other people who have gone through treatment and are also trying to have a sober summer. Spend time with them doing activities like bowling, mini golf, watching movies, and exploring summer events.
Avoid places that you once frequented during your addiction or where substance abuse is common. These places may include bars, clubs, and music festivals. While we do not want you to avoid all of the places you once enjoyed, these environments can cause the drug cravings to come flooding in, especially if you have not been sober for long. It may be best to avoid them altogether until you are sure you have a better hold on your sobriety.
Spend your sober summer taking a trip. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the backdrop that began your addiction habits. Instead, go somewhere where you can get outdoors. Activities like hiking and meditating outside can increase mindfulness and improve your mental health. Whether you drive a few hours away from the city or you travel across the world, just getting away for some fresh air can be an important step to staying sober.
Stay in routine. During recovery, especially if you needed dual diagnosis treatment, you probably had a strict schedule and learned the importance of this routine in the recovery process. Now that it is the summer, you probably have more free time. Unfortunately, this free time may lead to some bad choices. Instead, create a new routine that includes good habits like addiction support meetings, exercising, meditation, journaling, and even a new hobby.
If you are still in need of taking that first step towards sobriety, at Banyan Chicago we may be able to help. Do not let your drug or alcohol use spin out of control this summer.