Summer time is supposed to be an easy, fun, and care free time right? Not necessarily. Summer can be a time full of potential pitfalls for those of us who are choosing to not drink or use. (Whatever the reason for making that choice). Summer is full of outdoor events, barbeques, concerts, fun at the pool, on the beach, hiking, biking etc. Most of these activities unfortunately tend to be activities we associate with drinking/using.
Summer also can tend to be a time of year where we have slightly more downtime, which can lead to boredom. (Another common trigger for use). For others, summer can actually be a stressful time schedule wise, whether it’s trying to juggle work and kids being out of school, fitting in all the fun outdoor things we want to do, etc. Stress also tends to be a common trigger for substance use. This can make summer a difficult time if we find ourselves in the position of not wanting to engage in those activities. This certainly doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get through summer without drinking or using however!
So what can we do if these warm summer months have us struggling to not use substances? One thing that can be incredibly helpful is to notice how we are thinking about these situations. If we are thinking thoughts like, “Man I’d usually be having a beer right now” at that barbeque, being aware of these thoughts, and acknowledging them, can be a very important step. If we can acknowledge those cravings, rather than suppress them, we will be much more likely to not end of giving into cravings and using as they slowly build.
Questions about anything recovery/sobriety related? Feel free to get in touch!