recovering from addiction in the summer

The Role of Routine in Summer When Recovering from Addiction

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Summer is synonymous with spontaneity—impromptu barbecues, last-minute beach trips and late-night gatherings. While the season offers plenty of sunshine and relaxation, for those in addiction recovery, the lack of structure can present unique challenges. Maintaining a routine is crucial in recovery, because it provides stability and predictability—two elements that can greatly reduce stress and the risk of relapse. Here’s how you can keep a healthy routine during the summer months to support your recovery journey.

Establish a Consistent Daily Schedule

Even if your obligations seem lighter in the summer, try to wake up, eat and go to bed at the same times each day. A consistent sleep schedule is particularly important, as irregular sleep patterns can lead to mood swings and stress. Plan your meals for regular intervals; this not only helps in maintaining energy levels throughout the day but also keeps your body’s internal clock running smoothly.

Prioritize Daily Recovery Activities

Whether it’s attending support group meetings, therapy sessions or dedicating time for meditation and reflection, make these activities non-negotiable parts of your day. The flexibility of summer might tempt you to skip these critical components of your recovery, but their importance cannot be overstated. If you’re traveling or have guests, plan ahead to ensure you can still engage in these activities.

Incorporate Physical Activity

Exercise is a powerful tool in addiction recovery. It not only improves physical health but also boosts mood and reduces anxiety. Set a time each day for some form of exercise. Morning jogs, yoga in the park or even walking tours while on vacation are great ways to keep active. Remember, the goal is to stay engaged and grounded, not necessarily to achieve peak fitness.

Set Goals and Review Them Regularly

Use the summer to set short-term goals that support your long-term recovery objectives. This could involve reading recovery books, learning a new skill or improving a hobby. Regularly review your progress towards these goals; a review can be a great addition to your routine, providing both a sense of accomplishment and a clear direction.

Manage Free Time Wisely

Excessive free time can be a pitfall during summer. It can lead to boredom or feelings of isolation, which are potential triggers for relapse. Fill your schedule with fulfilling activities—volunteer, join a class or start a summer project. Engaging in community activities or recovery groups can also help fill your time with positive experiences and new friendships.

Plan for Challenges

Summer socials often involve alcohol or other substances. Planning ahead can help you navigate these situations. Have a response ready if offered a drink, bring your own non-alcoholic beverages, and plan an exit strategy if the event becomes uncomfortable. Knowing you’re prepared can reduce anxiety and help you stay committed to your recovery.

Stay Connected

Stay in regular contact with your support network. Share your experiences and challenges, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you feel overwhelmed. Regular check-ins can reinforce your commitment to recovery and remind you that you are not alone on this journey.

Summer doesn’t have to be a threat to your recovery. With a strong routine, it can be a season of growth and enjoyment. Embrace the warmth and freedom of the season, while staying true to the structure that supports your recovery. Remember, every day is a step forward in your journey, and maintaining a routine is your foundation on this path. If you need additional support this summer, reach out to Awakenings Treatment Center in Agoura Hills, CA.