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A Successful Sober Summer

By: Carol Morriscey

A night-time backyard campfire, with wooden Adirondack chairs circled around—the perfect activity to wrap-up a sober summer day! A long hot week during the dog days of summer is colloquially punctuated with a backyard BBQ and cold beer, or a patio drink underneath a colourful umbrella. The culture of drinking during the summer can make it seem impossible to enjoy the sunshine without imbibing, making it a particularly difficult time for those in recovery from alcohol addiction. Yet, if taken the right way, the summer sunshine offers a wonderful opportunity to get outside and overcome the struggles that accompany alcohol addiction recovery. Soaking up the vitamin D and releasing some endorphins through moderate exercise are great tools to ensure a successful and sober summer! Below are some of our favourite ways to stay sober through the summer:

1. Hike

Trails snake across every stretch of Nova Scotia, and parks pepper each town, allowing for lots of options when looking for a place to hike. From a leisurely stroll through Point Pleasant Park to a more challenging trip through Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, no matter your fitness level or skill there is a place for you to get out and get some fresh air. Try making a schedule for the summer, with your “must-do” hikes and goals for length and speed to reach over the coming months.

2. Volunteer

Giving back to your community, and recognizing the enormous impact you can have within your community is a great way to reinforce your commitment to sobriety. Take the opportunity that longer summer days offer by choosing a place to volunteer. Whether it’s walking puppies at the SPCA, helping out at the Halifax Jazz Fest, or doing a community clean up, find something you’re passionate about and get involved!

A man playing softball in the park for a recreational team, getting involved in his community to support his sobriety following alcohol rehab. 3. Join a Sports Team

Test out your coordination by joining a new sports team like volleyball or softball. Recreational sports teams are a great way to get involved in your community, making new friends and developing important skills. And better yet, you’ll be able to get some fresh air and exercise while you’re at it. No matter what skill level, there is a team out there for you to try.

4. Try a New Class

During recovery from alcohol addiction, it’s important to find new activities which replace old habits. The longer days of summer offer a wonderful opportunity to learn a new hobby—and if you’re lucky you can soak up some sunshine in the process! Yoga in the Park or Pilates on the Waterfront are a couple of free, weekly classes to try out around Halifax. If you’re more creative, try a painting or piano class. In addition to learning a new skill, you’ll be building up your self-confidence, equipping you for a happy life, all year long.

5. Start a Book Club

There are few things as relaxing as lounging in the sunshine with an enthralling book, except maybe sharing that experience with a group of friends. Beginning a book club gives you the motivation to get through your summer book list, while bolstering your support group. If you need a bit of extra encouragement to stay sober, try reading books about addiction recovery and success stories. Call a couple friends, or reach out to other people in recovery, create a book list for the summer and get started!

A group of people doing yoga in the park at sunrise, a great sober activity for the summer!6. Attend a Refresher Weekend at Searidge Alcohol Rehab

Searidge Foundation is proud to offer refresher weekends to our alumni, as part of our extensive aftercare program. If you’re having trouble avoiding the temptations of alcohol this summer or would simply like to refresh the skills you learned through alcohol rehab, you are always welcome back. We will be happy to help you through the challenges you are facing, preparing you for many more sober summers.

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