The long-awaited summer season is finally here, and more people are looking for new ways to take advantage of the beautiful weather and longer days. But for individuals enjoying a meaningful sober lifestyle, whether for the first summer season or one of many along their recovery path, summertime can be uniquely challenging, as summer pastimes are often paired with alcohol and/or a serious party culture.
Long-term recovery is best supported by replacing the people, places and things that feed a person’s addiction with people, places and things that support their recovery journey. If you’re looking to get your fill of summer fun and adventure, or simply searching for some new things to do this summer, here is Recovery Center of America’s top ten sober summer activities:
Helping others feels good, it can even be cathartic for some. Visit VolunteerMatch.org to find a meaningful way to give back this summer.
- Join a book club
Lots of book clubs start up in the summer. Check out Facebook, your local library, or Google a summer book reading challenge for suggestions. Ask a few people at your meetings if they’d be interested in starting a sober book club to foster conversation, community, and intellectual growth.
- Take a class or get creative
Discover a new hobby or passion just by trying new things. Do a search online to see what kinds of classes or clubs are going on in your area. You could learn about things like metal working, glassblowing, computer programing, or model making, to name a few. Like art? You don’t have to be a painter or a poet to enjoy art and make some of your own. If you’re good with a camera, try photography. You could work with audio to mix music or create sound effects. Or even try DIY crafts on Pinterest for your home, office, or kids. There are so many ways to get creative!
- Host a sober dinner party
Dinner parties are fun no matter what! Especially when they’re outside with friends and family who support your recovery. There are so many options and formats for fun summer dinner parties, like: BBQ, potluck, catered, or even themed. Decorate the table, make place cards, put up some string lights and enjoy a night of summer and stars.
- Take up outdoor activities or a new exercise program
There are so many opportunities for neat things you can do outdoors now that the weather is at its best. You could prepare for running a marathon, which will give you good exercise and get you out of the house. You could also plan a hike, or a camping trip, or both! Growing a garden is also a great outdoor hobby that you can do right at home. Needless to say, sunshine is great for keeping your spirits and immune system up.
- Make an Instagram for your pet
Pet Instagrams are all the rage right now! It may sound silly but starting an Instagram account for your pet creates a hobby for you that’s all feel-good and zero stress. Plus, it’s great excuse to spend more time with your pet, which is always good for your mental health.
- Be a kid again
Remember all that fun stuff you used to do as a kid, like go-karting, carnivals, laser tag, amusement/water parks, the zoo, etc.? Those things still exist, and what’s better is: they’re still a good time. Think back to your favorite summer activity as a kid and plan an event around it.
- Get a new, fun source of income
Chances are, you’ve got a skill you’ve always thought could be profitable if you ever took the time to sit down and really try at it. Now is the perfect opportunity! Sell your homemade crafts, play your original music at open mic nights, start a YouTube channel, write movie reviews, start a blog, write a book—whatever it is you’ve been waiting to do but never had the time to invest in: get to work on it.
- Set a standing lunch date
Scheduling lunch dinner or even hang out times is a great way to keep in touch with friends or family members you don’t get to see often, and it’s something to look forward to every week. You could even take it one step further and have an activity that you do together on those days, like yoga, flea market shopping or going for a hike.
- Come to any of RCA’s sober fun events
Each of RCA’s facilities has a non-profit Alumni Center which hosts a variety of sober activities, including meetings or private events. Stop by any of our upcoming events, or if you have an idea for an event you think people would enjoy, host one yourself! Visit our Alumni Center website for a full schedule of upcoming events »
Sober fun is fun! We hope you found some new ideas for some summer fun.
By Dr. Deni Carise, RCA’s Chief Scientific Officer