How to Enjoy Your Summer of Sobriety

Written by: Lynn Finnell, LMFT, LAADC | Reviewed by: Christian Small, MD

How to Enjoy Your Summer of Sobriety

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    Summer is finally here, which means it’s time to enjoy warm weather, plenty of sunshine, and the beautiful beach. It seems everyone is planning get-togethers, parties, and fun outings that are tempting to take on. However, one thing that might be on the mind of someone in recovery is how they can stay sober this summer and still have fun. Thankfully, you can enjoy long days and warm summer nights substance-free. This article covers activities you can do this summer while taking advantage of the abundant sunshine.

    Spend Time in the Great Outdoors

    Now that the weather is warmer, it’s a perfect time to enjoy nature. Spending time outside is very good for your mental health, and during the summer, it’s a lot easier to enjoy the peace and calm that the outdoors can give you. Reserve a campsite or go for a hike. Set up a picnic in the park with a friend or bring a good book. Read outside in a hammock. There are plenty of ways to enjoy nature without using substances. You might find yourself better connecting with the beauty of nature as a sober person.

    Plan a Sober Barbeque

    Warm weather means it’s time to break out the grill. People throw barbeques and outdoor parties during this season, but sometimes those gatherings aren’t substance-free. This summer, throw a sober barbeque with friends and family. Invite people to bring soda and a dish to share. This plan is excellent if you are in early recovery and maybe not ready to attend a party where people might be drinking alcohol or partaking in substances.

    Cool Off in the Water

    A great way to beat the heat is to cool off in the water. Plenty of places and activities allow you to take a dip, such as pools, water parks, beaches, and even sprinklers. Many of these places also have substance-free policies because substances and swimming don’t mix. Most are also family-friendly, meaning they don’t include bars or allow smoking cannabis.

    Take Your Work Out Outside

    Now that it’s warm again, you can start working out in the sun. You can take your indoor workout outside or pick up an entirely new workout routine. Yoga can be fun to try in the park. Swimming laps in the pool can be a great cardio workout. Kayaking can and surfing can be great ways to connect with water. Even simply jogging outside can be a great change. Make sure to wear plenty of sunblock and stay hydrated.

    Grow Your Own Garden

    Warm weather also means that it’s the growing season. Plant your own herbs and vegetables this summer and start a garden. Growing your own food can be incredibly rewarding and an excellent way to spend time outside in the sun. Gardening also allows you to have something to care for that takes time and effort. The time you spend in your garden can symbolize your time cultivating your recovery. Gardening doesn’t even have to take up a lot of space, which is especially relevant if you live in an apartment or smaller home. Start a garden on your porch or balcony, or even on your kitchen windowsill.

    Volunteer Your Time

    People often associate volunteer work with the holidays, but volunteering during the summer can be an excellent way to spend your time. Join a charity, volunteer for an animal shelter, or serve meals at a soup kitchen. Summer is when many of these places need volunteers, donations, and fundraising. Sign up to help once a week or join an event that needs helpers. Not only will you be helping those in need, but you’ll be happy that you did.

    Go on a Sober Vacation

    Summer also often means vacation time. Take advantage of those vacation days and travel somewhere new, or be a tourist in your home city. Sometimes a vacation can be associated with substance use, so you should try to go on vacation with a sober friend or family member. This time together can be a great bonding experience and the break you need from your busy life at work. Vacation can be a great way to create new memories, especially if it’s your first vacation after treatment.

    Attend a Substance-Free Festival

    Festivals are often associated with substance use, but there are plenty of substance-free or family-friendly festivals. Find a free music festival in the park, or go to a food truck gathering. There might be a carnival nearby or a county fair. Enjoy these summer-only events without worrying about the temptation to drink or use or feel uncomfortable around those who may be. 

    Summertime can be a great time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. San Diego is known for its hot summers and vibrant beach activity. Don’t feel like you need to sit this summer out in order to honor your sobriety. If you are in early recovery, make sure to take it easy. If you aren’t ready to be near alcohol or other substances, there are plenty of substance-free and calming environments that can help you feel good during the hottest time of the year. If you are worried about relapsing, don’t hesitate to lean into your support system, talk to alumni or contact your therapist. If you would like more information or ideas on enjoying a sober summer in the great city of San Diego, call Villa Oasis San Diego today at (323) 739-8673. There is plenty to do this season–you don’t have to miss out.

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