Summer is a time for many to let loose and enjoy the sun. For those in recovery, the summer is loaded with pressures and possible pitfalls. Leaving your college support system for three months can be daunting. We’ve compiled several methods that can help you maintain your sobriety during summer break.
Maintaining Support System
Once you leave the support system you’ve developed at college it’s important to find a solid group at home. Finding an AA or 12-step program group that you can connect with is important to your continued recovery.
Stay in touch with those from your groups at college so you’re ready to jump back in when a new semester starts. We suggest creating a private Facebook group to stay in touch with members of campus recovery groups. Creating a group text message for those you walk the road of recovery with is another way to stay current.
Managing Your Time
Having excess time can be both advantageous and detrimental. Learning how to manage the amount of free time you may have during the summer can be key to your recovery. Finding a part time job will not only help you earn extra income but stay busy as well. Reach out to friends and family to see if they know of any openings with coworkers who will help aid in your recovery.
If you find yourself with extra time consider attending additional group meetings. It may seem repetitive but you’ll be using your time beneficially. Finding sober friendly activities is another great way to spend your summer. Hanging out at a local lake or playing a friendly game of pick-up doesn’t have to involve substances. If you surround yourself with the right friends and avoid poor influences, many activities can be sober activities.
Crate Plans for Yourself
Being prepared for anything is one of the foundations of many 12-step programs as you learn to live with addiction. Make an escape plan for summer activities just as you would for the school year. Know what you’re going to say and do if you’re invited to an activity that may push you towards a relapse. If the event is a necessity, bring a sober friend with you who will support you.
Volunteer during the summer months. This will give you a chance to not only help others but grow personally in a sober environment. Volunteer to tutor local kids, work in a community garden, or at a local charity. Non-profits will truly appreciate your efforts, a feeling that will help with your self-growth.
Enjoy the Summer Season
Lastly, take some time to enjoy the warm season. Take a hike, swim in a lake, or sunbathe. Practice self-care by just enjoying the nature around you. This could be as small as reading a book in the park or as big as planning a long weekend camping trip with several sober friends. The summer is the perfect time to pick-up a new hobby or skill. Use your three-month window wisely and you’re bound to return to school a stronger individual.