Summer is that season of bliss. It’s like everyone comes out of the woodwork from the winter and spring to fling themselves full-throttle into warmer weather, barbecues, and endless days of enjoying the long summer sun. For people in recovery, it may be triggering to think about summer coming up. It reminds you of those days spent drinking, maybe using drugs, or it triggers past traumatic events. It can be a huge trigger for mothers who are sober and in recovery. If you are working, taking care of kids, or simply just trying to stay on top of your recovery game as a mom, there are some tips you might want to check out before summer arrives.
Stay Connected, Stay Sober
Being with your sober friends is going to be one of the most important things you can do for yourself. If you cannot get to in-person meetings, try online chats and support groups. Call some people and arrange playdates with other moms if you can’t get a sitter or get away from kids. There are people who are able and willing to help those who are in positions that make it hard to stay sober. Don’t isolate and segregate yourself from the community. Trusting other women is not easy, especially with your kids, but find a trusted place that you can go to or people who will help you. There is nothing quite like other sober women to help you stay focused on your goals.
You know yourself like nobody else. If you need to make different choices, be honest. You may want to do something you know isn’t good for you or your family, but you are struggling to stay on the straight and narrow. Reach out to women who enjoy sobriety and are further down the path. Ask them how they did it and continue to stay clean. If you are not sure how to do it, ask for help from therapists or seek treatment. Trust yourself to know when you are struggling and reach out before relapse is on the horizon.
Watch for Triggers
It might go without saying, but try to avoid trigger spots. In the early stages of your sobriety stay away from places and people that remind you of the days you drank or did drugs. Find a different place and sober friends to spend time with. It is hard to stay away from using when triggers are popping off everywhere. To stay sober means to cut some things out. If the kids are old enough, they deserve to know a little more about why. If they’re too young to understand, that’s even better. Just be sure you are confident that you are safe and not worried about triggers where you go this summer.
Set a Plan
Don’t go into a sober summer without a plan. Sit down and write out what you need to do so you can stay sober and sane this summer. If you are worried, spend time with a sober companion writing up what you need to do. If it is realistic, you will be safer than if you just try to make it without a plan. Think about your kids and family. Plan some fun activities to do, not just boring to-do lists. Get friends on speed dial and have sober buddies ready to go help you if needed.
If you worry too much about how to have fun, you’ll make yourself miserable. Sober motherhood is not about being perfect or right all the time. Just do what feels best for you now and try to stay away from triggers. You will enable yourself to go too far sometimes, but just know when to pull the reins back. Mistakes are not the end of the world. If you learn from them, you are much better off. If you have trouble with worries, focus on meditation or mindfulness. Try some of these methods to alleviate stress:
- Meditation apps
- Yoga online (free and easily accessible)
- Get a babysitter to go out with sober friends or alone
- Spend free time resting, journaling, and working on self-care, not always on cleaning and fixing
Everything in sobriety is about one day at a time. Family is important, so put them as a priority in your summer list. Get some playlists together, have a dance party in the backyard, and just enjoy life. Barbecue with family, enjoy life with friends who are sober and find new hobbies. Try some extracurriculars or write things down you want to do this summer. Whether it is your first one or one of many, try to focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot do. It is important to find a way to enjoy your days of summer and not think too hard about it. Just plan, be focused, and enjoy the warm days ahead. If you cannot rest, then speak to your therapist or increase your exercise routine. Ask for tools and tips to help calm your anxiety or talk about medications. Recovery is hard, but don’t let it steal your joy this summer. Ask for help when it is needed.
Casa Capri helps you recognize what you need to do to feel like you enjoy the summer with your family. If you are struggling with addiction or recovery, let us help. Call us to find out why we are the best treatment program for women: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon, Founder & CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, obtained her BA in Psychology and is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LAADC) specializing in women’s core issues. She is recognized as a leader in the field of mental health and substance abuse recovery where she has been an advocate since 2006.