Having Fun in the Sun While Sober
The idea of a rich and fulfilling lifestyle is different for everyone, but often, it includes a strong mind and body, robust relationships with loved ones, achieving goals and pastimes or hobbies that help to make life worth living. Leisure activities can be one’s most valuable assets in recovery as they often counteract barren thoughts of the lifestyle lived previous to substance abuse treatment. Here are five ways to spend a sober summer of fun.
1. Sober Summer Sports
Physical activity is a crucial component in recovery. Not only does it keep the body healthy, it challenges the mind. Playing summer sports in early recovery allows one to connect to some of the things he or she missed during active addiction as well. Becoming part of a team provides an opportunity for recovering individuals to meet new people and enjoy the outdoor weather that is unique to the summer months.
There are several summer sports to choose from when trying to decide which one would be the most fun during the summer while in recovery. If you prefer the personal challenge of a solo sport try biking, rock climbing, swimming, surfing, kayaking, archery, windsurfing, golf or running. If you’re drawn to the comradery of a team, consider hockey, soccer, rugby, baseball or softball, football, Ultimate Frisbee, beach volleyball or water polo.
2. Summertime Sober Barbecues
Barbecues are a great opportunity to soak up the sun with friends and family. Have a chili cook-off or a grill masters competition. Play games or go for a swim. Alcohol doesn’t have to be part of a fun, memorable experience. Barbecues offer a unique opportunity to catch up with and get to know the important people in your life. These strengthened connections enhance a life in recovery.
3. Summer Volunteering for a Sober Lifestyle
The opportunities to volunteer your time are endless. Every community has needs for people who want to help. Food pantries, libraries, museums, political campaigns, youth sports, retirement homes, animal rescues, and national parks are just a small sampling of the opportunities available. Volunteer service is an extraordinary space in which to put aside your personal trials and tribulations and rejuvenate your sense of purpose.
Choose an area you’re interested in that needs some help. If you like horses, maybe a ranch that works with deaf children could use an extra hand. If you like sports, look into a special needs organization that needs some support. The volunteer possibilities are endless options for fun sober summer activities and are often more rewarding than many anticipate.
4. Abstinence Through Yoga and Meditation in the Sun
Yoga and meditation are especially beneficial in recovery as it is an extension of substance abuse treatment. The practice promotes overall health of mind and body through stretching positions and positive internal thought patterns, which teaches the individual to hone in on self-awareness and control breathing.
The benefit of yoga and meditation for an individual in recovery is that this practice strengthens one’s ability to manage thought patterns when they become disadvantageous, by transitioning them to more constructive ideas. Yoga can be learned through free online resources in the comfort of your own home to manage stress levels and quiet the mind; it’s especially rewarding in the warm summer sun.
5. Enjoyable Sober Events and Conventions in the Summer Months
Sober summer conventions are usually fun-filled days of sobriety that can include exciting speakers, workshops, entertainment, and social events. There are 12-step organizations that hold summer cookouts and comedy nights. Some groups host sober cruises and music festivals with plenty of other events across the country. Getting involved in the sober community is the best way to meet new people and build friendships that are best suited to a sober lifestyle.