Pool parties, patio barbecues, picnics in the park and, if you are in sunny Los…
Six Ideas for a Fun and Sober Summer
Summertime is fun time, right? For most of us this is true, but if you’re newly sober you may actually be dreading the lazy days of summer. When you’re in recovery, much of your focus is on avoiding a relapse, but you need to make time for fun, too. You can have your summer fun while sober, and making time for activities that are enjoyable will actually support your sobriety and help prevent you from relapsing. If the old you spent warm summer nights partying and drinking, the new you will have to find better ways to enjoy the summer. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start a book club. Reading isn’t just for the school year. Gather a group of like-minded individuals, sober friends if possible, and start a book club. You can choose the readings and pick light-hearted summer fare or even books related to addiction and recovery. You will enjoy the intellectual stimulation and the conversation and social time. Meet in a coffee shop or your local library.
- Start a new hobby. Research suggests that replacing your addiction with a new, so-called positive addiction is an effective way to prevent relapse. Of course, you have to be careful that you don’t turn your new hobby into an obsessive, behavioral addiction, but finding a new, positive way to spend your time can be fun, productive and rewarding. Try something you have always wanted to do. Become a runner and start training for a half-marathon. Take a class and become a knitter. Whatever it is that seems fun to you, try it now. Summer is the perfect time to experiment.
- Become a grill master. Summer is the season of grilling. Dust off your grill or get a new one and become a master in the art of grilling. Experimenting with new recipes will be fun, rewarding and also practical. Invite friends and family over for a sober barbecue and show off your new skills.
- Create a backyard garden. Gardening is so rewarding and practical. By creating a vegetable and herb garden in your backyard, you can grow your own food and spend less at the grocery store. To take something from seed or seedling and watch it grow into food you can harvest is a great reward. Gardening will also get you outside enjoying the summer weather and a little exercise.
- Join a team. There are many recreational league teams that form in the summer. Pick your sport and you can find a team to join. You don’t have to be a pro or even close to one. Most people are in it just for fun, to get a little fresh air and exercise and to socialize and meet new people. You can play softball, baseball, basketball or even join a community swim team. If competition isn’t your thing, get active anyway. Take up a non-competitive sport like hiking and explore your local parks.
- Have a staycation. Travel may not be on your agenda as you cope with your newfound recovery, but a staycation can be just as rewarding. Explore your hometown by checking out museums you have never been to, by seeing what activities your public library has to offer, or getting involved in summer events, like concerts in the park.
Getting sober was the first step; now that you’re in recovery, you still have a long way to go. Staying sober is tough, especially during summer when everyone seems to be partying and enjoying cocktails and outdoor bar seating. Keep yourself busy with these fun summer activities, and you’ll find you don’t need the booze to enjoy the season.