Spring break. Almost by definition, this post-winter time off is an opportunity to let loose and celebrate. Many usually think of college kids convening on Florida beach towns or Colorado ski resorts to celebrate being outside, unscheduled, and free. Another common image conjured by the words spring break is one of alcohol consumption and drug experimentation. But for those who are in recovery, this version of spring break brings major challenges to sobriety. For many who have been through drug or alcohol rehab, whether at a secular or faith-based substance abuse center, spring break is a time to recommit to their recovery and seek advice about enjoying spring break sober.
Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge (PAATC) has been providing drug and alcohol treatment programs for sixty-plus years to college-age kids as well as older adults. Our staff can provide you with sober activities and counsel you about having fun while sober. It is possible if you’re willing to use some strategy and plan ahead. Reach out today to learn how you can have a sober spring break. Just submit our online form or call us at 844.442.8673.
Skills for Sober Living
If you are in recovery from a substance use disorder and have engaged in treatment at a drug or alcohol rehab center, you have probably learned some excellent skills to help you on your path. Before spring break or any situation that might challenge your sobriety, you may want to brush up on your sober living skills and double down on your commitment to recovery.
Some of the skills PAATC and other addiction treatment centers teach clients are:
- Recognizing triggers – The first step in avoiding triggers is seeing them before it’s too late. You should know what to look out for, such as the people, places, and activities that remind you of your drinking and using. You should also plan what to do to sidestep those temptations.
- Using a calendar – During treatment, you may learn to schedule your days to ensure no downtime can lead to drug or alcohol use. Do you know where your calendar is?
- Having a support group and using it – Prior to facing risks to your sobriety, like spring break, increase your attendance at 12-step programs. You’ll be able to connect with people who know your journey and have your back.
- Checking in with your mental health – Most people in recovery learn to know when their mental well-being is slipping. When your mental health is shaky, so is your sobriety. Know when to reach out to your therapist or engage in conscious self-care to buttress your mental health.
How to Have a Sober Spring Break
First, realize that fun and sober are not antonyms. You can have a wonderful spring break without compromising your sobriety. Second, there’s an easy trick to enabling spring break to be both fun and drug and alcohol-free – plan ahead.
Below are some things you can think about ahead of time and set up before you pack your suitcase.
- Confide in someone – Figure out who is going on the trip, staying at the vacation cottage, or involved in the plans. Who can you trust? Who knows about your recovery already, or is someone you feel safe confiding in? Having one person along with you who will understand your circumstance and support your choices is critical.
- Deploy your favorite sidekick – Even better than a confidant is a sober sidekick to go along with you at all stages of spring break. If at least two of you are enjoying the spring break plans while sober, a support network and compassionate companion are built-in.
- Stay in touch with your sponsor – Plan an accountability call every so often during your spring break trip to connect with your sponsor or counselor for support. Knowing you will have those calls helps plan the time between them.
- Attend a church service – If your religious faith is an anchor for you in your recovery, stay connected while you are on spring break. Find solace and affirmation in the comforting familiarity of your faith.
- Practice mindfulness – From attention to your breathing to meditation and yoga, simple mindful practices can help you bridge tense or triggering moments.
Support Your Sobriety at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
Whether you are looking for sober activities for daily life, enjoying spring break sober, or hoping to re-engage in rehab to secure your recovery journey, PAATC can help. Let us offer you the support you need in the season of spring break.
Having fun while sober should not be an elusive, unattainable goal. Everyone deserves to enjoy themselves and have fun, just as everyone deserves to live a substance-free life of wellness and balance. Let PAATC help you find your balance. Call 844.442.8673 today or use our online form to connect.