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A sober summer strategy brings countless opportunities to enhance your sobriety and relish your recovery. Whether you are new to recovery or firmly in long-term sobriety, explore summer experiences and activities that set you up to engage in the best that summer has to offer and improve your overall health and wellness.

Dive into Recovery

The recovery community hosts a lot of events during the summer months, including 12 step conventions and cookouts. Dive into your recovery by engaging in local sober events and making new friends that enhance your recovery. Host a sober summer cookout for your friends in recovery, or pack up the car for a road trip to a sober festival. Create some new summer traditions for yourself, friends and family. Plan a day with sober friends at a pool or waterpark.

Focus on Fitness

Is that diet and gym routine still on your to-do list? Why wait for January? Summer is the perfect time to develop an active lifestyle, to play outside and relish a diet full of fresh fruits and veggies. Start with a healthy eating and nutrition plan that will fuel your fitness – and recovery – success. Read our tips on how to “Feed Your Success.” Frequently, sober organizations plan 5Ks and other fitness challenges during the summer. You can help raise money for treatment and recovery while getting fit.

Simplify Your Space

Summer is the perfect time to simplify your life. Clearing the clutter has become fun and fashionable with helpful tips and best practices developed by experts like Marie Kondo. Stay out of the heat and get organized. Make a manageable schedule for the summer and stick to scheduled days and times for washing the car, yardwork, cleaning out the garage and organizing your closets.

Explore Your Community

Make a list of area attractions and festivals to attend during the summer months. Keep it fresh by including visits to museums, art galleries, amusement parks and everything in between. Also keep a schedule of fairs and festivals that travel through your community. Art fairs, craft shows, even culinary experiences like ice cream festivals and farmer’s markets bring people together to learn and connect over culture and community.

Expand Your Skills

Checkout your local community college or vocational school for a list of summer, evening and weekend courses. Many educational institutions and community organizations offer summer courses to anyone seeking to learn a new skill or perfect a hobby. You can learn how to speak French, make artisan bread, grow the perfect tomato or even tackle home improvements. Some even offer quick courses in real estate, CPR, photography and website coding.

Play Ball

Join a sober sports team. Put together or join a sober softball, volleyball or kickball team. Hone your stroke at the driving range and participate in a golf tournament to raise money for treatment or recovery organizations. Sail or kayak around your local lake, strengthen your swimming skills, ride your bike on a picturesque trail or around town. Whether solo or on a team, sport activities are an invigorating way to spend the summer.

Practice Peace

As the summer sun shines, the flowers bloom and the birds chirp away, empower your recovery by starting with a meditation practice focused on gratitude. Begin your day in gratitude. Reserve five minutes each morning to offer appreciation. Keep it simple or more profound, but make sure to start each morning in thankfulness and set the tone for the day. As you build your routine, expand your meditation practice. Be sure to include practices that strengthen your connection to your higher power.

Remember that recovery provides the opportunity to enhance your summer experience in entertaining, powerful and hopeful ways. Make every effort to leverage your ongoing support community and recovery plan. It will empower you to have some sober summer fun while staying focused on your recovery journey and avoiding relapse.

Explore Valley Hope’s blog for extensive resources and information for loved ones, families and the recovery community.

Do you need information on other recovery subjects? If you have a related topic you would like covered, please submit your ideas to recovery@valleyhope.org.

If you feel like you need help immediately, the Valley Hope team is available 24/7 at (800) 544-5101. If you or a loved one are ready to stop drinking, take an online assessment and begin your journey to a healthy, happy life in recovery today. Get help. Find hope.

For more information on addiction, treatment and recovery, please visit valleyhope.org or for help 24/7 call (800) 544-5101.