From pool parties and barbecues to long beach days, there are many ways to stay active and have a good time during the summer season. But for those who struggle with alcohol addiction, summer can be full of potential triggers that can lead to relapse.
The good news is that there are many things you can start doing right now to support your sobriety, such as planning ahead and setting boundaries. Here are 5 top tips that will allow you to enjoy the season without putting your sobriety at risk.
- Avoid triggers
It can be tempting to spend time with familiar faces and places, but it’s important that the people you are spending time with fully support your recovery journey. If you’re going to see old friends with the intention of “testing” yourself—it’s wise to avoid that situation. And if you’re unsure of how things might unfold, know that it is completely okay to decline an invitation.
Maintaining your sobriety means reminding yourself that you—not your addiction—are in charge. That means you are responsible for doing all you can to ensure you place yourself in circumstances that support your recovery as much as possible.
- Host an event at your home
Organizing your own sober activities puts you completely in charge of the situation. Invite your friends and family over and host your own games night, dinner party, or barbeque. Spending quality time with loved ones is not only great for your mental health, but it will allow you to create new memories that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.
When inviting guests, specify that it is a no-alcohol event. Encourage guests to bring their own non-alcoholic beverages, or be the “beverage artist” for the evening.
- Spend time with people who understand your situation
When you surround yourself with people who are aware of and understand your situation, they can help you refrain from temptation and create a plan to remove yourself from potentially triggering situations when and if necessary.
Having a person who supports your sobriety and wants to see you succeed can make social gatherings less stressful. This person can be a sponsor, sober friend, family member, or anyone that you trust to have your back.
- Plan your exit strategy
You don’t have to stay until the very end of an event. If you feel things are becoming too triggering you can always leave early. Know what makes you uncomfortable and have a plan ahead of time.
For example, consider setting a time limit for a particular event and ensure you leave before it expires. This will provide the opportunity to remove yourself from the situation before you can become affected by any triggers.
- Make new sober friends
There are tons of people who don’t rely on drugs and alcohol to have a good time. Explore local Facebook groups or other social gathering sites such as Meetup to find fun and sober group activities you can join with others who are maintaining their sobriety.
While summer can be difficult for those with substance use disorders, it’s also an opportunity to create new memories that reinforce your commitment to lifelong sobriety, as well as find new friends who are also in addiction recovery. Be kind to yourself, have a plan, and take your sobriety one day at a time.
Discover Inspiration, Change, and Empowerment at Divine House
Addiction can affect every aspect of your life, robbing you of rich and beautiful experiences with the people you love. If you or a loved one struggles with addiction or mental health issues and are ready to begin with recovery, Divine House is ready to support you.
We are the luxury drug and alcohol rehab center of choice in Southern California, offering integrative and individualized treatment for substance abuse and mental illness at both inpatient and outpatient levels of care. Our addiction treatment programs include:
- Detoxification, where substances are eliminated from the body in a safe and medically supervised environment
- Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) providing specialized medication to ease detox symptoms as well as assist in long term recovery support.
- Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs available
- Treatment for mental health disorders including bipolar, depression, PTSD, and OCD
- Luxury residential treatment for those requiring 24-hour support
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders
- Gender-specific treatment
Our patients are supported throughout their recovery with our aftercare program. Patients work with our discharge planner and care team to arrange travel to meetings, opportunities for learning life skills, and much more.
Alumni of our alcohol treatment facility also benefit; by maintaining connections with past program participants, we are able to provide continued opportunities for relapse prevention education, social events, and meetings.
Divine House helps individuals overcome addiction and mental health diagnoses with highly individualized professional treatment. Call to learn more at (619) 304-6467.