If you’re new to recovery and are stumped how to spend your summer without the usual partying and getting loaded, have no fear! We cultivated a list of sober activities which are guaranteed to generate more enthusiasm without the drugs and alcohol. What’s more, you can increase self-esteem in recovery, build valuable memories (hangover-free), create some variety, AND enjoy the liveliest season.
Read on for more tips for early addiction recovery. Then, we invite your questions, comments, or suggestions at the end.
1. Solo Activities
Despite the social nature of summer, you don’t have to always have someone glued to your side to appreciate summer. Being able to sit outside and enjoy a good book is one activity best done solo; whether you like the view of nature or people watching at a coffee shop, when the sun is out you can take a book anywhere. Also there is no faux pas in showing up to community recovery sponsored events solo, in fact it’s a great way to meet others (don’t worry if you feel a little awkward, everyone does!).
2. Paintball anyone?
If you’ve got a little cash (since you’re not spending it on drugs and alcohol anymore), going to the local family fun center or to a paintball location are great activities for summer. Have fun like you’re a kid, even if you’re a little taller, it’s impossible not to find yourself laughing behind the wheel of a go-cart or covered in the wreckage of paint-fueled war.
3. Farmers markets, fairs and swap meets
Trolling around these venues is always entertaining even if you don’t have much money to spend, there is plenty just to look at. Like the overabundance of garage and yard sales, you never know what you can find, and they are community focused, so there’s plenty of smiling people and slushy frozen lemonade.
4. Get exercise! (And get outside!)
This is one area where there is almost no limit to what you can do. There’s 5K’s if you’re interested in running (the mud run, the color run, the zombie run). Hiking, camping, bicycling, rock climbing (with a knowledgeable spotter please), skating, walking the dog (borrow the neighbors if you don’t have your own) tai chi in the park, the list goes on.
5. Get in the water!
Rent a canoe or go paddle boarding, surf or swim in the ocean or jump in the pool- one way to beat the heat is to enjoy water activities. Water parks are another fun activity if you have some extra cash and are up for the adventure, but be prepared for waiting in lines closely followed by possible screaming and laughter.
Sober activities can include things you used to do, but with the added benefit of turning out well. Pulling together recipes, an outdoor fire and getting together friends and family can be a wonderful and low-key way to enjoy a summer evening.
Whatever you do with your summer, stay connected and take a minute to be grateful for your recovery, and all the possibilities you have with freedom from addiction.