The summer season brings many new opportunities for those exploring their sober lives. Both those who have navigated a dedicated detox and residential program or are continuing to manage their sobriety through outpatient care can be excited about the new opportunities available. However, that doesn’t mean that the season doesn’t also present a number of challenges for those in recovery. Being prepared for the stresses of the summer season is paramount for maintaining each individual’s hard-earned abstinence while building a new and fulfilling life in sobriety.

The Stresses of the Summer Season

Summertime brings entirely new lifestyles, with many awaiting the season with anticipation. However, for those in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD), the summer season can also present unique challenges. Being prepared to address these challenges alongside family, friends, other supports, and professionals alike can ensure that each perscan to approach the season with appropriate expectations and plans for maintaining sobriety. 

Challenges With Body Image

For many, the season can be a great time to get outside, go to the beach, and otherwise explore the outdoors. While getting outdoors is an amazing strategy throughout any stage of recovery, some may also feel anxieties about their body image with the images that are often tied to the season. Feelings of depression, anxiety, or self-doubt about a person’s body image can have profound effects on those in recovery, especially when coupled with the already challenging nature of sobriety. For some, this can even lead to feelings of further isolation, eschewing these otherwise great outdoor opportunities due to perceived images about themselves or harbored doubts. 

Pololu Valley with Patients
Hawaii Island Recovery | Excursion

Triggers of Social Gatherings

Others may experience the challenges of the summer season as more social events become prevalent. Being invited to picnics, cookouts, and other social gatherings can always come with a degree of stress. For some, this can manifest as social anxiety, especially if they feel that they would be asked about their sober journey by those with whom one is not ready to discuss such topics. Others may be caught off guard when attending an event that has drugs or alcohol present, introducing unnecessarily risky situations that may compromise a person’s sober efforts. 

The triggers of social gatherings can be especially difficult to navigate if this summer is the first one spent sober. Further, there may still be many traditions, expectations, and more tied to the previous use of addictive substances throughout the season. Distancing oneself from these expectations and creating new traditions is paramount for healthy and sustainable sobriety throughout the summer. 

Strategies to Stay Sober This Summer Season

Knowing some of the challenges for the summer season ahead can empower those in recovery to take dedicated action and create a plan to navigate the season safely. Hawaii Island Recovery is prepared to help empower those in recovery to facilitate their own continued success and help scaffold personalized strategies to support each person through their first summer season or maintain their hard-earned sobriety through effective rehab in Hawaii. 

Stay Socially Connected

Social needs are just as important as any other needs throughout recovery, and isolating oneself can bring unnecessary stress, anxiety, depression, and risk of relapse. However, that does not mean that an individual has to force themselves to go into unnecessarily high-risk situations. Rather, hosting social gatherings can nurture a new social life in sobriety. Hosting a cookout, gathering, picnic, or other social events oneself can come with the benefit of being able to control the guest list, inviting those that are understanding and supportive of a person’s sober choices, eliminating unhelpful individuals, and distancing oneself from previous cultures that may engage with such substances. 

Likewise, this empowers an individual to control the itinerary, keeping control of the schedule and ensuring that an individual is not exposed to unnecessary high-risk situations. This can further help those in recovery continue to maintain a healthy balance between social gatherings, self-care, and personal needs. 

Talk With Supports Early

Making a plan with supports before engaging in summer plans is paramount. For some, this can include escape plans if an individual does find themselves in need of support or removal from dangerous situations. Others may use this time to continue facilitating effective communication strategies and schedules to ensure that an individual never feels as if they have to overcome the challenges of the season alone. Both communicating with family and continuing to engage in effective outpatient treatment programs can all facilitate this communication with supports for the best approach to a sustainable sober life. 

Hawaii Island Recovery | Residence
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Use Nature for Recovery

Summer is the prime time to utilize many natural recovery opportunities. While there can be reservations about certain options, the summer season has a host of various opportunities to explore. For some, utilizing nature hikes can empower a healthier physical and spiritual life, while others may continue to build upon oceanic hobbies and therapies instilled at Hawaii Island Recovery. 

Even utilizing nature for other personal outlets, such as natural photography hobbies, artistic efforts, or exploring new hobbies or sports entirely can all celebrate a person’s continuing to transform life in sobriety. 

Staying sober through summer is a difficult task, and we at Hawaii Island Recovery are prepared to help you today. We understand that sobriety is a constantly evolving journey, with new stresses and challenges that need to be addressed, even if an individual is already maintaining sobriety. Addressing the summer season directly and creating an effective plan to navigate the season is crucial. Our unique approach to rehab in Hawaii is best equipped to empower those continuing their recovery journey to utilize the season to their advantage for their own continued recovery. From nature-based strategies and a community of peers, Hawaii Island Recovery can help you today. Learn how we can personalize your time with us at (866) 390-5070.