Staying Sober this Summer
Summertime means plenty of beach days, backyard barbecues, and summer fun—but it also means an increased potential for relapsing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that you can cope with potential triggers and safeguard your sobriety.
Common Summer Relapse Triggers
Unaddressed Mental Health Issues
Often those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction issues also struggle with a co-occurring mental health issue. With seasonal affective disorder (SAD) specifically, depression symptoms are related to a seasonal cycle, with symptoms peaking during a certain time of year. While most people living with SAD experience this peak during the winter months, others have the opposite experience, with their depression hitting an all-time low during the summer.
Unfortunately, when these symptoms go unaddressed, it can cause those struggling with addiction issues to turn back to their substance of choice as a form of self-medicating for a temporary sense of relief.
Parties & Social Gatherings
With the warmer weather, longer days, and time off from work or school—there also comes a barrage of parties and social events. For those who are choosing to lead a sober lifestyle, attending these events can be difficult when drugs or alcohol may be present.
Attending parties can lead to an unwanted relapse for the following reasons:
- Peer pressure to participate
- Feeling embarrassed to tell others you’re staying sober
- Overestimating your control over using
- Feeling tempted to use
Feeling Like You’re Missing Out
Another big reason people tend to return to drug or alcohol use during the summer months is feeling like they’re missing out on the fun others are having. When spending time with loved ones who drink or use drugs, it can make you feel isolated and uncomfortable, ultimately leading you to use again.
Healthy Coping Techniques
While the reasons many people find themselves relapsing can seem daunting, there are plenty of things you can do to enjoy your summer while maintaining a sober lifestyle.
Yoga & Dynamic Stretching
When you’re struggling with addiction, it is essential that you find new hobbies and activities that can help to quiet your mind and help you to feel centered. Incorporating yoga and dynamic stretching into your everyday routine is an excellent way to do just that.
Some of the many benefits of doing yoga to support the recovery process include:
- Reducing your stress levels
- Lessening feelings of anxiety
- Slowing your heart rate
- Regulates your breathing
- Fosters a sense of self-control
Spending Time Outdoors
When embarking on the journey toward recovery and wellness, spending time in the great outdoors has proven to be beneficial. Some of the many emotional and psychological benefits of spending time in nature include:
- Improving concentration
- Improving memory
- Building decision-making skills
- Mood regulation
- Decreased risk of mental health issues
Outdoor Activities to try this Summer
Try out some of these outdoor activities this summer to support your journey toward recovery:
- Bird watching
- Flying a kit
- Journaling or drawing in the park
- Outdoor yoga and meditation
- Going to the beach
- Watching sunrises and sunsets
- Listening to music
If you feel like you or a loved one may need additional support to support them along the road to sober living, reach out to a treatment facility to learn more information about the programs available.
Seeking Help for Addiction at North Georgia Recovery Center
The road to recovery starts with taking the first step. Let us walk alongside you on the path to sobriety and wellness. When you choose to get drug addiction treatment at North Georgia Recovery Center, you can rest assured knowing that you will be treated by licensed therapists in our state-of-the-art facilities. Every one of our team members is certified to address and effectively treat the issues that come along with addiction.