Summertime is a time to relax, bask in the sun, and take a vacation away from the monotony of everyday life. However, if your regular routine changes in the summertime, you might face boredom. For people in early recovery, boredom is an enemy. Boredom can allow your mind to wander and sit in negative thinking.
While your friends from college or your colleagues from work are going to parties and get-togethers on the beach or by the pool, drinking an icy alcoholic beverage can be tempting. If this is your first summer in recovery, its important to recognize that although this summer may be different from summers past, it doesn’t have to be any less fun. Here are 5 fun sober activities to spice up your summer without a drink.
Host a barbeque with your sober support group.
Barbeques are a popular summer past time that often involve a surplus of alcohol. This summer, take some time to plan and host your own alcohol-free barbeque. Bring a few of your sober supports along with you to pick out some delicious food and help you cook while the rest of your support group converses with one another and plays backyard games.
A sober barbeque can be a great alternative to the traditional beer-filled barbeques that are so popular in the summertime. It gives you a chance to connect with your sober supports, have fun outside, and chow down on some tasty food fresh off the grill.
Volunteer at an animal shelter or soup kitchen.
Helping others and doing service is at the foundation of recovery. Not only does it help you get out of your head, but it can give you a sense of purpose and belonging. In the summertime, volunteering can be especially beneficial as it can help you combat boredom and give you an opportunity to try something new.
Volunteering can carry a variety of benefits. It can increase your social skills which helps mitigate feelings of stress, anger, anxiety, and depression. Whether you are working with animals, children, or the less fortunate, it simply feels good to help others and give back to the community. Doing something positive for others is a great way to spend your free time.
Take a vacation.
When you were actively using drugs or drinking, it’s likely that the majority of your cash was spent fueling your habit. However, now that you’re sober you may have an opportunity to take that vacation you have been dreaming about.
To help avoid temptation while on vacation, take a close friend with you and plan out an itinerary. You can spend time sightseeing, visiting historic museums, or relaxing on a tropical island. Vacations are better sober anyway because you will make memories that last a lifetime!
Learn a new instrument or art.
You know that instrument or activity you’ve been wanting to learn but never had the motivation to start? Well, what better time to learn than during your downtime in the summer. This day in age, you don’t even have to spend money hiring a teacher or taking lessons – you can simply purchase the instrument you want to learn or the art supplies you will need and check out some Youtube tutorials. Who knows – you might even find a secret talent hidden within yourself!
Music or art can also be beneficial to your recovery. Music and art therapies have been used for decades to help individuals tune into their emotions and express themselves in creative ways. Doing art can help you explore your inner feelings and foster self-awareness. It can also provide you with an outlet for coping with anxiety. Music, on the other hand, works in a similar way. Dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasurable experiences, is released in the brain when stimulated by music. This can help alleviate feelings of depression and loneliness.
Go on a spiritual camping retreat.
With the prevalent role technology plays in society today, it can be easy to get wrapped up indoors scrolling through social media when you are bored. However, spending excessive amounts of time on social media can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and isolation.
Instead, consider taking a digital detox by gathering up some sober friends and going on a spiritual camping retreat.
Grab your camping supplies and venture into the wilderness, prepared for a weekend of fellowship, meditation, and nature. Camping with your friends will allow you to enhance your relationships, get some fresh air, and cleanse your mind of the current social media trends. Integrating meditation into your camping retreat can help you enhance self-awareness and promote your emotional health.
Don’t let sobriety stop you from enjoying your summer. There are plenty of ways to have fun and stay busy without drugs or alcohol. If you are feeling nervous about summer in sobriety, give some of these fun sober summer activities a shot. You may come to find that summer is a lot more enjoyable when you are sober anyway!
— Cassidy Webb is an avid writer from South Florida. She advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Her passion in life is to help others by sharing her experience, strength, and hope.