Never has maintaining an ongoing connection with your sober support system been more critical than now. Our daily lives are currently being shaped by physical distancing guidelines, causing those in recovery to revise their usual sober activities somewhat. What your own sober support system looks like is entirely unique to your personality, preferences, and recovery needs, but most likely includes attending recovery meetings, seeing an outpatient therapist regularly, and cultivating meaningful sober friendships through social activities. Lately, all of these healthy actions have had to be adjusted somewhat.
Coming up with some sober activities that are safe and currently available might take a bit of thinking outside the box depending on your region’s social distancing policies. Here are 5 sober activities that will enhance your life while also reinforcing sober support efforts:
Exercise is one of the most protective actions we can take for our recovery. No other action benefits all aspects—mind, body, and spirit—of our being like physical activity does. Prioritize outdoor activities, as these are particularly beneficial by combining fresh air and sunshine with physical exertion. Exercise can improve your physical health, your mental health, and your sleep quality—all good for recovery efforts. Connect with some sober buddies and explore outdoor activities that are still available, such as cycling, hiking, kayaking, or swimming and improve overall wellness.
Boredom poses a substantial risk to recovery and should be proactively avoided as much as possible. Now with our options for recreation, socializing, or even work more limited, we need to avoid falling into bad habits. Remain productive by filling your days with new DIY home projects, a new hobby, some online classes, or partner with a sober friend and start a new business together. Productivity helps keep boredom at bay while building self-esteem and confidence, all which bolster recovery.
Although these are serious times, it is important to make room for some entertainment and joy in life. While somewhat reduced, there are still plenty of fun activities available to us. Why not take up stand-up paddleboarding or surfing? Check out some sober Meetups and join a cycling or running club, or even a virtual book club. Take some online cooking classes. Go rock climbing. Take your family to a drive-in movie theater—they are enjoying a renaissance. Have a physically-distanced outdoor barbeque. With a little creativity it is absolutely possible to enjoy the summer season while remaining connected to your sober support network.
Learn how to relax.
There is no doubt that stress levels have been high for months now. Learning ways to diffuse stress and regulate your emotional response to triggers is key to maintaining sobriety. With so many streaming videos and apps available there is no reason why you cannot enjoy a deeply relaxing meditative experience right there at home. Explore online yoga classes, which offer different levels of expertise and styles, and find the best fit. Meditation apps or downloads can transport you to an imaginary landscape, featuring nature sounds or relaxing tones to further enhance the experience.
Be of service to others.
Even with the physical distancing guidelines it is still possible to seek opportunities to participate in service activities. There are ample local volunteer opportunities to participate in within the community, such as helping serve food at a soup kitchen or distributing goods at a food pantry, or even walking dogs at the local shelter. If live meetings and sober functions are available in your region, volunteer to help out. Seek out ways to give back, as being of service feeds the soul.
Enhance sobriety by renewing your commitment to be physically fit, to serve others, and to be a productive member of society. Even physical distancing restrictions can’t deter you from achieving a successful recovery when your heart is in it!
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer both inpatient and outpatient programs, holistic addiction treatment, drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to heal each individual with respect and dignity, and reflects on our ongoing commitment to meet new challenges. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.