For most of us, summer is the perfect time for recreation, outdoor activities, socializing and relaxing.
Now that you’re sober and summer is upon us, your idea of fun will no doubt look and feel a lot different than it did in the past…and that’s a good thing!
Summertime Fun and Sobriety
For those in recovery – especially early recovery – summertime can also present a unique set of challenges.
In the past, some of your summertime activities may have been synonymous with destructive behaviors. However, changing your lifestyle for the better doesn’t necessarily mean you have to redefine your personal definition of “fun.”
Leaving Drugs Behind
So, if you’re looking for some new summer activities that will allow you to let loose, laugh and have fun without the fear of triggering a relapse, you’re in luck. Below you’ll find 9 awesome summertime ideas that double as excellent ways to celebrate your recovery.
- Go Camping, Embrace NatureHike the trails, breathe deeply over breathtaking vistas and sleep under magnificently starry nights. Whether you prefer “roughing it” or “glamping” (glamour camping), getting back to nature can be both therapeutic and a really exciting adventure.
- Join a Sports LeagueA little healthy competition can be both challenging and rewarding. Many sports leagues are organized by local communities and offer varying levels of competitiveness. Whether you’re an amateur or an all-star, participating in organized sports can be good for both mind and body.
- Travel and SightseeingIf possible, visit some of the world’s most acclaimed destinations. Take that one dream trip, create a new itinerary or just pack up and go without any concrete plans. No one to go with? Traveling alone can sometimes be even more rewarding.
Volunteering Feels Good: For those of us who are in recovery, helping others just feels good. We spent a long time stuck in the selfishness of addiction, so offering to lend a hand is a welcome change. Whether it’s manual labor or algebra tutoring, giving back out of the goodness of your heart is a great feeling.
- Volunteer Your TimeLook up volunteer opportunities in local newspapers or on websites like volunteermatch.org. From community gardens to animal care, you’re assured to find a cause that piques your personal interests. By donating your time to something personally meaningful, you’ll also inevitably meet many like-minded people.
- Try a New ActivitySurfing. Archery. Crossfit. Yoga. Kayaking. Mountain climbing. Fishing. Spelunking. Find a new activity (or many) to try out. Who knows? A new activity may easily become a new lifelong passion.
- Explore Your City or Home StateAlthough traveling the world may be enticing, it may not be realistic. That’s OK. Many times, we haven’t even explored our own backyards. Make a citywide or regional itinerary. You’ll be surprised how much you uncover.
The Dogs of Summer: Animal-assisted therapy is one of the most effective tools for recovering addicts. Emotional support animals have a profound impact on those who struggle with the lingering effects of trauma or emotional disturbances, while thousands have found hope and fulfillment through their work with dogs.
- Involve Your PetsWho says your trusted four-legged friend wouldn’t enjoy stand-up paddle boarding or an exciting camping trip? If these activities wouldn’t “work out” because of your pet’s (let’s say) independence, attending obedience-training classes may also be a fun, and worthwhile, summer activity.
- Explore Your Creative SideWhether it’s learning a new instrument, attending poetry workshops or taking pottery classes, summertime may be the ideal time to allow your creative juices to flow freely.
- Coordinate with Others in RecoveryMany local recovery groups hold special summertime events, such as cookouts, team sports and even organized trips. Summertime can still be, and still is, a season for recreation and relaxation for millions of us in recovery.
Additional Reading: When You Feel Like Quitting…Don’t!
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