Summertime in the Midwest is perhaps the most difficult season to maintain recovery; our party-hard culture is evident in so many of the signature summer activities for which our region is known: tailgates, hitting any of our beautiful beaches, cookouts and music festivals. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your sobriety this summer.
- Stay connected with your support network. Especially if you’re away from home this summer, it’s important to stay in contact with your support network, wherever that may be. If you’re heading out on vacation, search online for meetings or other recovery events in case you feel like you need to check in.
- Make plans… lots of them, including exit plans. Being able to plan ahead allows you to develop expectations and mentally prepare for whatever’s next. If you start to feel triggered, be sure you have an exit plan in place. Sometimes that simply means a friend to take a walk with or having your own vehicle to head out when you feel the need. Moreover, if you know you’ll be around people drinking alcohol, it’s helpful to either figure out your non-alcoholic beverage options or bring your own so you don’t feel tempted.
- Get active. One of the best parts of a Midwestern summer is being outdoors. Get out there! Here are a few recommendations near our program in Milwaukee:
- Hike Lapham Peak in the Kettle Moraine State Forest or any segment of the 1200-mile Ice Age Trail.
- Rent a kayak or stand-up-paddle board (SUP) at the Urban Ecology Center (free with a $30 annual membership!) or the Milwaukee Kayak Company
- Visit the low-key beaches at Doctor’s Park or Grant Park
- Farmer’s Markets! They’ve become widespread in the last few years with at least one organized in a community near you. Some of our favorites are the Fondy Farmers’ Market, the West Allis Farmers’ Market, the South Shore Farmers’ Market and the Shorewood Farmers’ Market. Or, if you want to make a day of it furnished with the best hot cheesy bread you’ll ever taste, head out to the Madison Farmers’ Market on the Square – it’s one of our area’s most robust! Check your neighborhood’s webpage for more information.
- Take your bike out on the Oak Leaf or Hank Aaron State Trail to explore a different perspective of our region.
If you or a woman you love is struggling to establish or maintain recovery this season, call the experts at Shorewood House at (414) 977-5890 to learn more about how our program can help make life feel a bit less chaotic and more manageable. Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is possible and it begins here.