For many people, summer is the best time of the year. Warm weather, days at the beach, vacations… What’s not to love? But when you’re in recovery, especially early recovery, the pool parties and vacations of summer can be major relapse triggers. Here are some tips for enjoying summer without getting off track.
1. Plan ahead—If you know that you will be attending a party, barbecue, or other event that may be triggering, have an exit plan in place. Drive your own car so that you won’t get stuck there longer than you want to, or bring a sober friend along for support. If you are going on vacation, consider researching some self-help meetings that are available in the area, or use the online meetings that SMART Recovery offers to keep your focus on recovery.
2. Get outside—Summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming. Exercise is a great recovery tool, and the added bonus of warm weather can provide a quick and easy boost to your mood.
3. Practice self-care—In addition to exercise, make sure that you get plenty of sleep and eat well. Taking care of yourself physically makes it easier to stay focused on your goals and make healthy choices. Also, don’t be afraid to skip social events. If you are feeling overwhelmed or especially vulnerable, take some time for healthy relaxation.
4. Remember your goals—Recovery is all about putting your long-term goals ahead of short-term pleasures. Temptations will arise, but remember what is really important. Indulging may feel good in the moment, but it often leads to feelings of guilt and shame. Recovery will take some sacrifices but they will be well worth it when you are living a fulfilling, meaningful life.
What can you add to this list?
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