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September 6, 2022

Struggling with Sobriety? Here’s How to Safeguard Your Recovery in the Summer

If you’re struggling with sobriety, you’re not alone. The summer can be a tough time for people in recovery. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, summertime can be a trigger for some. Whether it’s the increased temptation to drink at BBQs or the sense of loneliness that can come from seeing friends post photos of their vacations on social media, there are several challenges that can arise during the summer months. However, it’s important to remember that sobriety is a journey, not a destination, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy your summer without drinking or using drugs. At Inner Voyage Recovery, we’re here to help you stay sober and enjoy your summer.

Struggling with Sobriety: What Can Cause a Relapse

No matter how diligent you are in your recovery journey, there can still be setbacks along the way. The summer months are often home to these setbacks, and they could lead to a relapse if not handled correctly. There are some common factors that could contribute to a relapse, including stress, social pressure, isolation, boredom, and other unexpected triggering events. In order to handle these challenges that are often found in abundance in the summer, it’s important to discuss each of these triggers before finding healthy methods to cope with them.

Underlying Mental Health Conditions

Mental health conditions are often misunderstood. Many people think of them as simply bad moods or periods of stress that everyone faces. However, mental health conditions are real medical issues that can affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. On occasion, they can also cause physical symptoms. People with mental health conditions may feel the need to self-medicate to deal with their symptoms, which is why it’s important to find effective, healthy coping methods if you have an underlying condition.

Peer Pressure During Gatherings

It can be hard to resist peer pressure, especially when it comes to drinking or doing drugs. Part of the reason why peer pressure is so tough to resist is that it’s often subtle. For example, you might be at a party where everyone is drinking. Even if nobody is directly pressuring you to drink or do drugs, you might feel like you’re the odd one out if you don’t join them.

Peer pressure can also be more explicit too. For example, someone might offer you a drink and keep asking you why you won’t take it. If you’re not careful, peer pressure can lead to behavior that you’ll regret later. It’s important to remember that you always have the power to say no to anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, even if your friends don’t understand.

Fear of Missing Out

For many people in recovery, the fear of missing out (FOMO) can be a powerful trigger for relapse. After all, it can be difficult to watch others engaged in activities that you are no longer participating in, especially if those activities were once a central part of your life. The FOMO sensation can cause feelings of loneliness, isolation, and envy, which can lead to negative coping mechanisms such as substance use. 

In addition, the fear of missing out can also lead to impulsive decision-making and risky behaviors. For example, someone may decide to go to a party where drugs will be present in order to avoid feeling left out. However, this can quickly lead to a slippery slope that ultimately leads to relapse.

It’s important for people in recovery to find healthy ways to cope with the common fear of missing out. This can involve attending social events with sober friends, pursuing new hobbies, or simply taking some time for yourself. By finding positive outlets for the FOMO sensation, you can help prevent it from triggering a relapse.

Visiting a Triggering Location

It can be difficult to avoid triggering locations, especially if they are highly visible or easily accessible. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of visiting these places. For some people in recovery, visiting a triggering location can lead to a relapse. This is because triggering locations are often associated with past alcohol abuse or drug use. The sight, smell, or even sound of a familiar location can trigger intense cravings that are difficult to handle.

Additionally, these locations may also bring you into contact with familiar drinkers or drug users from your past. If possible, it’s best to avoid these temptations entirely by avoiding these places. However, if you need to visit one of these locations, it’s important to stay focused on your recovery and resist any temptations associated with them.

Boredom and Isolation

It’s easy to become restless and bored when you’re stuck at home day after day. For people in recovery from substance abuse, this can be a dangerous situation. Boredom and isolation can lead to a relapse, as people may turn to substances in order to ease their boredom or cope with their feelings of loneliness. It’s important to find ways to stay engaged and connected even when you’re not able to be around other people.

There are many online support groups and forums that can help you feel less alone, and there are also many activities that you can do on your own to help stave off boredom. It’s also important to reach out to your friends and family members regularly, even if it’s just an occasional text or phone call. By staying engaged with the world around you, you’ll be less likely to relapse due to boredom and isolation.

Healthy Methods for When You’re Struggling with Sobriety

Summertime sobriety can be challenging, but there are many healthy methods that you can use to cope with it. If you’re struggling with the temptations associated with summertime, remember that you’re not alone. Many people in recovery have successfully navigated these challenges. In addition, there are many resources and support groups available to help you through this difficult time. By staying focused on your recovery and utilizing healthy coping mechanisms, you can make it through the summer without relapsing.

Diet and Exercise

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, research has shown that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can play a large role in helping people stay sober. Eating healthy foods and exercising regularly can help boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and reduce stress. In addition, these activities help to provide a sense of well-being and self-care.

For people in recovery, taking care of yourself can be an important step in staying on the path to sobriety. Diet and exercise can help you stay sober by giving you the strength and energy to resist temptation. If you’re looking for good methods to stay sober, you should consider incorporating healthy eating and physical activity into your daily routine. At Inner Voyage Recovery, we believe that diet and exercise are so important that we actually provide health and wellness programs for our clients.

Spending Time With a Trusted Group

When you’re in recovery, it’s important to have a support system to help you stay on track. Spending time with friends and family can be a great way to stay connected and motivated. Friends and family can provide emotional support and practical help when you need it. They can also be a source of positive distraction from triggers and temptations. Plus, they can help hold you accountable for your sobriety. If you’re struggling to stay sober, consider spending more time with the people who care about you. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.

Engage in Outdoor Activities

Sobriety can be a difficult road to navigate, but there are many ways to cope with the challenges it presents. One of the most effective coping mechanisms is engaging in outdoor activities. Being in nature has been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body, and it can also help to reduce stress levels. In addition, outdoor activities can provide a sense of purpose and structure during times of transition. They can also help to promote social connection, which is an important part of recovery. By participating in outdoor activities, you can gain a sense of control over your sobriety and start to build a foundation for a healthy life in recovery.

Continue Your On-Going Treatment Program

It can be difficult to stay on track with your sobriety, especially when faced with challenges and triggers in your everyday life. However, continuing your treatment program can help you to cope with these challenges and maintain your sobriety. Treatment programs provide support and guidance and can help you to develop strategies for dealing with difficult situations. They can also provide a sense of community and connection, which can be beneficial during times of isolation and stress. So, if you are struggling with sobriety, remember that continuing your treatment program can help you to cope with the challenges you are facing.

If You Need a Recovery Center Near You, Inner Voyage Can Help

If you’re struggling with sobriety, remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources and support groups available to help you through this difficult time. At Inner Voyage Recovery, we offer a variety of programs and services designed to help people in recovery maintain their sobriety. From Partial Hospitalization Programs to Intensive Outpatient Programs in Atlanta, we provide individualized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each client. We also have a full-time staff of counselors and therapists who are dedicated to helping our clients succeed in recovery. If you’re looking for a local recovery center that can help you stay sober this summer, contact us today.

If you or someone you know needs any of our services

Please call us at 470-863-8259

Author

  • Emily Rowe, LMSW

    Emily Rowe is the Clinical Director at Inner Voyage Recovery Center. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work with 8 years of experience in clinical settings covering one on one sessions, family sessions, group sessions, crisis interventions and suicidal prevention. Recognized by leadership and colleagues as forward thinking, creative, empathetic, active listener and effective.