By Stephanie Thomas
So, you finally kicked addiction’s tail. Go, you!
Maybe you spent the winter in hibernation, getting healthy and strong. But summer is here, folks, and it’s time to emerge from your safe space. Let’s soak up some sun and have a little fun, shall we?
And yeah, we hear you. Plenty of people think fun equals a drink in one hand and some kind of stimulant in the other.1 But you’re here to prove them wrong.
And we’re here to help with activities designed to make the most of this season without feeling the need to bring your old habits along. You ready?
There’s nothing quite like clear skies and vitamin D for brightening up your week. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Go for a hike. Look online for nearby state parks and trail maps. Then make plans for an early morning hike. You might bring friends along or download a few episodes of your favorite podcast to keep you company.
Take an evening stroll through the park. Great for easy-going chats and meeting the coolest dogs in your community, a nighttime walk is a wind-down that beats a wine down any day. Take your time strolling as you concentrate on appreciating the experience.
Attend an outdoor event. ‘Tis the season for festivals, outdoor concerts and farmers markets — all Instagram-worthy activities, if you ask us. Do your homework ahead of time. You might need to purchase tickets or simply bring some cash and a reusable grocery bag along.
Indulge Your Senses
OK, sure, you have five senses. But let’s focus on one of our favorites: taste.
Become a Friday-night foodie. Jot down a list of the best restaurants in town (think tasty, not expensive). Then designate Fridays as the day you eat like a king. Include an appetizer or dessert if you like — after all, you’re saving money by not drinking!
Invite friends on a taco truck crawl. Pile in the car and travel down the road stopping only to give another taco truck a try. Of course, it doesn’t have to be tacos (although they’re definitely delicious). You might do a pizza crawl, an appetizer crawl or even a BBQ sliders crawl!
Go out for ice cream. Cool off with your favorite flavor and a waffle cone to boot. Pair this outing with another activity or let your ice cream run stand on its own.
Think Like a Kid
If you really wanna have fun, you gotta copy the professionals: kids.
Go bowling. America’s favorite indoor pastime is now your throwback hangtime. You need basically zero skill to enjoy bowling. Heck, you can even throw up some bumpers if you’d like! Toss the ball, cross your fingers for a strike and celebrate when you get a spare.
Visit a water park. Pack your sunnies and your swimsuit and hit the road for a day trip like no other. You might face your fears on a steep, steep slide or spend the afternoon floating down the lazy river. Either way, we’re jealous we didn’t get an invite.
Take up (putt-putt) golf. A leisurely walk meets golf balls, hills and hurdles. Make bets with the other folks in your group and save your best tricks for the back nine. Loser buys shaved ice!
Who says all the fun happens in the great outdoors? Cool off with or without getting outside.
See a mid-morning movie. Yep, you’re breaking all the rules now. Ditch productivity in favor of a few hours in front of the big screen and a bowl of buttery popcorn. Bonus points if you avoid fighting the crowds to catch a new flick.
Go rock climbing at a gym. Time to get your sweat on. Challenge yourself to a whole new world of chalk, holds and crash pads. Let your adrenaline lead the way as you face — and conquer — your fears.
Play racquetball with a friend. The perfect way to connect and maybe laugh at yourself in the process. There’s a learning curve, for sure, but that’s what really makes new endeavors so fun.
Invest in Yourself
Taking time for you isn’t just important in recovery — it’s vital for sobriety as well.
Take a trip. Look at your calendar and your budget. Discover where you might make room for a quick (or not-so-quick) getaway. Head to the beach, explore a nearby city or spend a weekend in the mountains.
Create something permanent. So much of life starts fresh every day. This is good, yeah, but it can also mean the work we put in — on dishes or laundry, on relationships, on our health — must begin again. This summer, complete a project that’s lasting.
Spend serious time on your hobby. What do you love to do? Make those things a priority. Set aside a few hours each week to practice your hobby. Maybe you’ll play the guitar, go for long runs or take a class on photography.
1 Whitaker, Holly G. “What I Do For Fun (Now That I’m Sober).” Hip Sobriety, November 2, 2015.