Healthy routines are a critical part of successful recovery from addiction. They keep your time occupied and prevent you from being distracted from your healthy lifestyle. However, everyone needs a break occasionally and a vacation is an important way to rejuvenate the body. While too much downtime for someone in recovery could lead to temptation and relapse, there are plenty of tips for vacationing happily without threatening your sobriety.
Change Your Definition of a Vacation
Vacations are designed to be full of spare time, and free time is often the worst thing a recovering addict can find themselves with too much of. Left with all this space, an addict can be tempted to turn to the vices that have always called to them. Instead of looking at vacation as a way to escape from your problems – that is, your addiction and recovery – see it as a way to strengthen your sobriety skills.
If you’re typically a beach and free-time kind of vacationer who likes to take each day as it comes, this is the time to change your plans to a slightly busier schedule, perhaps something that will have you falling into bed exhausted every night and excited for the day ahead. Some ideas:
- Partake in daily walking tours or carefully designed excursions that are planned out from sun-up to sun-down.
- Fill your schedule with relaxing activities but ones that still occupy your time, like massages, spa visits, or meditation sessions.
- Have an active vacation that keeps you moving with outdoor excursions, horseback riding, hikes, and shopping.
Hire a Travel Agent
Feeling overwhelmed trying to plan out your entire vacation when all you want to do is relax? Leave the business of vacationing to the professionals. Hire a travel agent, tell them your parameters, and see what they deliver. When you have access to an expert who knows the area where you’re headed, they will share the scoop on lesser-known goodies and pack your itinerary exactly the way you want it – you can even request that they prioritize alcohol-free activities.
Change Up Your Nightlife
For many people, vacation isn’t vacation until the day is done and they’re ready to go out at night. When you’re in recovery, things need to look a little different. You can still enjoy after-hours events, but instead of hitting bars and clubs where alcohol is plentiful, look for:
- Comedy clubs
- Murder mystery shows
- Escape rooms
- Theater performances
Some vacationers like to get off the grid, shut off their phones, and live a tech-free life for a few days. You can indulge yourself in this way, but try not to do it the whole time. When you’re in recovery, you want to stay connected to your sober community – whether that includes friends, therapist, sponsor, supportive family members, or that one Instagram account that really gets you and your daily struggle.
Find Meeting Groups
Having support when you’re away from your home base is important, and even if you’re traveling with loved ones, it’s good to have other people in recovery who can help you if you’re feeling tempted. Once you know where your vacation is taking you, scope out at least one recovery group that you can join at a moment’s notice if necessary. Your vacation and rest are important – but your sobriety is even more important.
Be Careful Who You Vacation With
If you have always traveled with a group of boisterous friends or family who make it a point to imbibe over vacation, reconsider your travel companions. One of the most important elements of sobriety is keeping temptations at bay. Vacation will already be one giant temptation – if all the people around you are partying, drinking, or doing drugs, your strength will be tested. And you don’t need that kind of pressure.
If you are newly sober and fresh out of holistic rehab, reconsider leaving home for your vacation and plan a staycation instead. You have certainly earned a rest after working so hard to be substance-free, but this is not an ideal time to break out of your newly established schedule. Work, exercise, meetings, and extracurricular activities have been carefully balanced to give you full and healthy days, so you stay occupied and not tempted by drugs or alcohol.
If you’re taking time off work, fill those hours with hikes, walks, and other exercise. Go to the movies, go on excursions you’ve always wanted to take in your area, fit in extra exercise sessions, or start a new hobby.
Learn more about holistic rehab and treatment from the therapeutic team at Beachside Rehab. Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss your individual needs and how luxury rehab can work for you.