Going on vacation is a great motivator to get away from everything for a time and just reset. Turn off social media (as much as possible) and set aside time for true self care. The benefits of getting away from it all are significant for people in recovery after treatment and into recovery. People in recovery can take steps to enjoy vacation while managing sobriety well.
The best time to go on vacation is not right after leaving rehab. You are still fresh from the experience, still detoxing, and not yet set in your habits that keep you grounded in recovery. Traveling to a new town, city, or even state, can feel like a great escape. It may also trigger a relapse if you are not ready. Vacationing too early can set back your progress, so think about when you might like to take a vacation and write it down as a goal. Keep it at the front of your mind and focus on how you can work your recovery program to get to a place where you will be ready to give a sober holiday a go.
Keep a Schedule
Boredom on vacation, for people in recovery, can be a huge trigger. There are less distractions on vacation and more things to see and do, but you may feel disappointed if you end up going on holiday and expect to leave everything behind. Triggers and cravings don’t disappear because you are on holiday. No matter how much there is to see and do, there are down moments on vacation where people find themselves at a loose end. Tips to keeping a schedule:
- Don’t overbook
- Don’t plan to just ‘sit around’ and do nothing for a week
- Find sober recovery groups nearby in case you need support
- Tap into mindfulness and holistic healing work while on holiday
- Plan a vacation strategy in advance to avoid huge gaps where you may get bored (and triggered)
- Take friends with who support recovery
Traveling to a new destination next door or the other side of the world does not guarantee less stress. There can be cancellations, delays, overbooked flights, and other issues which may cause stress and anxiety. Breathing exercises will help immensely, as can detachment from the situation while you talk through stressful, triggering events. The last thing you want is to feel like triggers are popping up every which direction in recovery. Some helpful tips:
- Don’t book at a resort where there is a lot of alcohol
- Try sober holiday destinations
- Spend time at retreat centers focused on holistic, healthy getaways
- Go to nature based vacation spots where you can be in nature (and hopefully away from too many triggers)
- Explore different ‘staycation’ spots near you and experience what it is like before going further away
Taking a holiday is a good self care practice. If you are open to it, you can experience a great, restful time, that helps you come back and feel ready to tackle what is ahead. If you are struggling with sober living, it may be time to check back in with sponsors and good friends about whether the time is right for holiday or if you want to reaffirm your strategy in recovery before you head out for some fun in the sun.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.