Summer is a vibrant and social season, full of many wonderful activities such as barbecues, festivals and vacations. However, summer can sometimes be a challenge for someone new to sobriety.
Memories of parties and other substance-filled events can sometimes cause an individual to reflect back on those times through rose-colored glasses, glossing over the harsh realities that came with having a substance use disorder.
For those adjusting to a new sober lifestyle, it can be difficult to find things to do that don’t involve either drinking or being surrounded by others who are drinking.
In this article, we’re going to share with you plenty of summertime activities that you can enjoy during recovery that are not only sobriety-friendly, but fun.
How to have a sober summer
Maintaining your sobriety during the summer months requires continuing the efforts that have brought you this far. This could mean continuing outpatient treatments like therapy. It could also mean prioritizing proactive self-care by tending to your mental health, learning to accept and process emotions in a productive way and developing healthier coping mechanisms.
In addition to these efforts, engaging in fun and fulfilling activities and hobbies can also play a role in sustaining your recovery.
It is entirely possible to have fun without using substances. Staying sober also enables you to stay fully present and experience events, gatherings and relationships on a deeper level.
Top sober summer activities
When the weather is warm, there are countless occasions and opportunities for sober-friendly fun times. Summer provides the perfect backdrop to use your imagination and find great new hobbies and activities to enjoy.
1. Enjoy the water
Grab a swimsuit and some sunscreen and consider surfing, kayaking, river rafting, stand-up paddleboarding or swimming.
2. Plan a barbecue
Unfortunately, summer barbecues and drinking often go hand in hand. By hosting your own barbecue, however, you can request that others don’t bring any and enjoy an alcohol-free event.
3. Go camping
You can go camping with others or alone, and it’s usually pretty inexpensive (depending on how much gear you want to bring). Bring a tent and firewood and find peace by immersing yourself in nature.
4. Set up an outdoor movie
As an alternative to a trip to the movie theater, consider going in with your friends on a movie projector, invite people to bring snacks, set up a bunch of chairs and blankets and enjoy.
5. Fuel old or new passions
Substance abuse is all-consuming, leaving little room for hobbies. This makes your newly established sobriety the ideal time to try something new or reawaken an old passion.
6. Try photography
Like camping, photography is a hobby that can be as simple or as in-depth and expensive as you want it to be. Whether you want to enjoy this as a hobby, side hustle or potential full-time career is up to you, but the options are endless.
7. Dive into fitness
We all have to start somewhere. If you’re looking to start exercising regularly, you don’t need to start with an extreme workout regime. You could simply commit to walking one mile every day. Daily movement is important for both your health and your recovery, and you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it.
8. Explore your community
There may be a multitude of local events you missed or were even unaware of while struggling with substance use disorder. Now you have the opportunity to attend these events for the first time.
9. Volunteer with people (or animals)
Whether you volunteer at an animal shelter or a food bank, make sure it’s a cause you feel drawn to — something you’ll not only enjoy doing, but that allows you to make a difference. Remember, your past doesn’t make you unqualified. In fact, you have the ability to empower others by drawing on your past experience.
10. Host a coffee crawl
Instead of a bar crawl, gather a bunch of friends, make a list of your favorite coffee shops, and spend a couple of hours sipping tasty drinks and exploring local attractions.
11. Join a sober retreat
One of the best ways to find a sober community is to go where they’re flocking together. A quick search for “sober retreats” will open up a world of growth-focused, fully sober gatherings with people who share your values and vision for a sober life.
Contact us for additional information
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction or is experiencing challenges in sobriety, our team here at Mazzitti & Sullivan is here to help.
Give us a call today at 1-800-809-2925 to learn more about how to make the most of sobriety.