During September, Americans celebrate the federal holiday dedicated to workers’ social and economic achievements known as Labor Day. However, most individuals celebrate receiving a three-day-three-day weekend with an extra day off of school and work. While a long weekend may seem like a blessing, the truth is that long weekends and holidays can be a massive trigger for someone trying to stay sober in addiction recovery. Having additional unstructured free time can often be difficult for someone attempting to stay sober. It’s a good idea when developing an aftercare plan to include a plan of action to cope with holidays and holiday weekends. However, regardless of how much you plan, you may still feel like you’re missing out if all your friends that do not struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol have plans that include those substances. For example, you may be sitting home content, but then one of your friends posts a picture of them at a BBQ or pool party on social media, and you wish you could be there. Don’t let the fear of missing out interfere with your sobriety. Sometimes it’s better to skip the party to avoid being triggered into a relapse. Remember that tomorrow you will wake up hangover free and have maintained your sobriety another day. Just because you decided to skip the alcohol-infused pool party or BBQ doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time this Labor Day Weekend. There are still plenty of fun sober holiday weekend activities for you to participate in, such as:
Host a Game Night
Invite some people in recovery or friends who respect your recovery to play some games. You can do a poker night or play some classic board games. Make some delicious appetizers and order some pizza. Ask your guests to each bring a dessert and let the games begin. Hosting the party can also ensure that all drinks will be alcohol-free.
Catch A Movie
Who doesn’t love a good movie? Labor day weekend can be a scorcher so catching a movie is a great way to escape the heat and enjoy some air conditioning. Choose your favorite candy and get the most enormous popcorn money can buy. Grab some of your sober friends from your support programs and head to the show. You can go out for dinner before or after and make a night of it. Since going to a movie is probably not the way you would usually spend Labor Day back when you were using drugs or alcohol, it’s a good idea to change the routine.
Plan A Hike
Nature works wonders for sobriety. Do the research and see what trails are nearby and where each one will take you. September is a great month to begin to see some Fall foliage. Depending on the weather, you may want to get up early and get on your way. You can pack breakfast and plan to eat it when you arrive at your destination. Drink plenty of water and challenge yourself. Breathe in the fresh air, check out some incredible scenery and get your endorphins going. Grab some sober friends and get ready for an adventure. Hiking is always a good idea!
Enjoy the Day Off
You can’t take a day off from your recovery, but you can take a day off from everything else. Sometimes you need a day to do absolutely nothing, and that’s perfectly okay. A 3 day weekend is the perfect time to enjoy a day of nothing. If you usually get up early, sleep in, stay in your pajamas all day, and binge-watch a new series however you want to spend the day. You should do it. If you usually can only attend 12-step program evening meetings due to your work schedule, maybe you want to attend a morning session to enjoy the rest of your day without thinking about drinking or using drugs. Attend a workout class to feel good mentally and physically. If you feel uneasy about having a whole day off with no structure, then speak to your sponsor or family member and friends so they can assist you during this challenging time to help you avoid relapse.
Start A Project
If you feel uncomfortable having a day off with no responsibilities, give yourself some. 3 day weekends are a great time to reorganize. Clean out your closet and drawers, and make a donate pile of what you no longer need. Search through your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator and remove any expired items. The organization helps to reduce stress which is a considerable addiction trigger. You deserve this time off you have worked so hard for, but more importantly, you deserve your sobriety, which you have also worked hard to achieve.
Avatar Residential Detox Center offers a wide range of recovery and mental health services. Our mission is to enrich our client’s minds, bodies, and souls through evidence-based recovery options. Contact us today for more information about our treatment options at 973-774-7222.