Having fun while in your 20s and managing the temptations associated with exciting activities is a balancing act. To thoroughly enjoy yourself while remaining sober, you need to build a strong foundation, avoid old habits and find enjoyment in unexpected places.
When you take the right precautions and foster skills to stay sober, you can have a fun life with no regrets.
Building the foundation
A strong foundation of coping skills, a solid knowledge-base and healthy emotional regulation, you can overcome the urge to use drugs and alcohol in your young adult life.
For most people, a strong foundation can be built by attending a support group. Regular participation can help you hone these skills continuously. Even when you think you’ve done the work and temptations are a thing of your past, triggers will pop up again.
A support group can also give you the social support you need when there’s no easy answer to one of life’s challenges. When you come face-to-face with a new obstacle or sticky social situation, chances are one of your peers has been there and can help guide you through it.
The friends you make in a support group will grow with you over time and it’s likely that you’ll develop close friendships with some. These and others will make up your sober support system, which will be critical in your journey.
Avoiding old triggers
In recovery, one of the hardest lessons to learn is to avoid old habits. Sure, in theory, it sounds easy, but when the rubber hits the road we’re likely to turn back to old habits because they’re familiar, they’re easy and they’re fun.
In order to live life to the fullest in your 20s, it’s important to avoid the same downfalls you had prior to sobriety. This can be tricky when you’re a young adult, since people generally congregate at bars, clubs, tailgates and so on. While it may seem like these are the only places people your age like to attend, finding new spots for socializing is critical for maintaining sobriety.
While these places may be easy to steer clear of on a daily basis, sometimes visiting them is inevitable. You wouldn’t want to miss a friend’s wedding because there’s an open bar or skip your favorite band playing at a club.
If you’ve come to some stability in your recovery, consider attending these events. Just make sure you bring along someone who knows your struggles and can support you when the urge strikes. Think about handing your ID, credit cards and cash to a friend so there’s no danger of buying a drink.
You can also work to find new ways to hang out with friends that don’t involve drinking. Go for a group hike, hit up coffee shops, take a dance class, go axe throwing, volunteer, travel, go to an escape room or have a themed dinner party. The ideas are limitless, and you’ll have more fun doing new things, anyway.
Additionally, avoiding old friends may help keep you sober. If your social circles only seem to go out to bars and drink at home, it might be time to switch up your crowd. It will be tough at first, but your recovery is worth it.
Finding the fun in life
Sometimes the biggest block to long-term sobriety is a mental one. The thought of drinking can be alluring, especially when it’s been a while since you experienced the consequences of heavy drinking. Learning to put those thoughts in their place and focus on the present moment can make all the difference in your recovery.
Learning to find the fun in life has a lot to do with perception. Often, someone who struggles with a substance use disorder will need to attend therapy or counseling to help reverse negative thought patterns. When this treatment is successful, you’ll benefit from a renewed outlook and more hope than you had before.
You can cultivate wonder, contentment, joy and peace over the course of time. While there will surely be obstacles in your 20s, an addiction won’t be one of them again. When you’re sober, your state of mind will be completely refreshed. Slowly, people will start to notice your newfound mental wellness and see the amazing change sobriety has made in you.
Having fun in your 20s is within reach. There’s no reason to throw away your sobriety for it, either. With the right foundation and strong support, you’ll be there in no time.
Rehab After Work can help you get sober so you don’t waste your 20s battling a substance use habit. Spend the prime of your life living in freedom. Get connected with Rehab After Work today when you call (610) 644-6464 to pursue recovery.