July 4, 2018
Are you looking for ways to get outside and enjoy yourself but want to make sure you don’t do anything that puts your recovery at risk? Here are just a few things you can do this summer that will give you the vitamin D exposure you need
and the chance to grow stronger in recovery:
- Try a new team sport. In the summertime, lots of adult soccer leagues, softball or baseball leagues, and hiking groups gear up. It’s a great time to get into a sport you haven’t played since you were little or learn a new one. Plus, you’ll get to meet a lot of new people along the way who you know share at least one interest with you.
- Go for the adventure. For many people, their sole focus in sobriety is finding a way to replace the adrenaline rush they sought in active addiction, and there is no better way to get a quick fix than to go for some high-energy adventure sports. Try sky diving, go rock climbing or bungee jumping, take a ropes course—anything that feels exciting or even a little scary. If you want to start small and have some therapeutic guidance along the way from someone who understands your past trauma and/or addiction, seek out adventure therapy or outdoors therapy to get started.
- Find peace in the wilderness. If you enjoy yoga or meditation during the year, move your practice outside for the summer. Find a quiet peaceful spot and make it your own, or take the opportunity to find different spots of beauty around you.
- Focus on your health. While you don’t have to go crazy stressing out about how you look in a speedo or a skimpy bikini, the warm weather and the lighter clothes that go with it can be a reminder to make some healthful changes. With all the great summer fruits and vegetables being harvested this time of year, it’s never easier to eat nutrient-dense food, and the weather is a constant invitation to go outside and get moving.
- Take your therapist for a walk. When you meet regularly with your therapist, consider the option of going for a walk during your session. Getting out of the office can be conducive to refreshing your therapeutic goals and perhaps even trying some different styles of therapy.
- Meet your sponsor at an outdoor café. If getting outside is good for therapy, why not apply the concept to your meetings with your sponsor as well? Meet at an outdoor café or a park, head to the lake, or work on your car together as you talk.
- Journal in the park. Journaling and reading books on recovery can play a major role in helping you to keep tabs on where you are emotionally in your recovery and to continually learn and grow. Though this is a year-around activity, during the hot summer months, it can be fun to get outside and do your writing and reading at the park, pool, or beach.
- Explore the world around you. Your town probably has a ton of little things to do that you didn’t even know existed when you were in active addiction. Find the small farm stand that sells fresh eggs. Go strawberry picking or blueberry picking. Stop in at tiny restaurants that only serve breakfast. Really look around in that back room in the library that maintains your town’s history and then find the sites and see what they look like today. Join local meetups, or get on a bus just to see where it takes you. Volunteer at a struggling nonprofit or grassroots group you believe in. You never know what you will find or what needs you can fill that will help your community and help your recovery as well.
- Revamp your surroundings. Remember all those things that stacked up during the cold winter months that you thought would make a great addition or change to where you live, but you put it off thinking, “Nah, too cold for that.” Now is your moment. Build that bookshelf, paint those rooms, add a window box, plant a garden, or paint a mural on the fence. Do all the things you want to do to make your space more personal and reflective of who you are becoming in recovery.
- Open the windows. Both literally and figuratively, now is the time to open the windows, let the fresh air in, and give yourself the opportunity to clear out the cobwebs and expand your horizons in recovery.
How are you using the summer season to give your recovery a boost this summer?