Summer is an ideal time for relaxation and recreation; however, the season can present unique challenges for people in the early stages of recovery. If this is your first sober summer, you may not be sure how to avoid triggers and temptations while still managing to have fun.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to kick back and relax without jeopardizing your recovery. In this article, we’ll talk about some activities to enjoy during your sober summer:

Outdoor Sober Summer Activities

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the warm weather.

  • Try a sport: Organized sports are good for both your body and mind. Many communities have sports leagues designed for varying levels of experience and skill—whether you’re a beginner or an all-star, there’s bound to be a league that’s right for you. You’ll enjoy some healthy physical activity and meet new people at the same time.
  • Go camping: Getting in touch with nature is the ultimate sober summer activity.1 Not only are outdoor adventures exciting, but they’re also wonderfully therapeutic. Spend the day hiking a scenic trail, then return to your campground to gaze at the starry sky into the evening.

Activities in Your Community

Traveling may be part of your sober summer plans, but there are also plenty of opportunities for fun right in your own backyard.

  • Volunteer: Nothing feels better than helping others and giving back, whether you’re lending a hand at an animal shelter or tutoring kids in reading. If you’re not sure where to begin, browse online or ask around in your community—you’re bound to find a volunteer opportunity that’s meaningful to you.2 Not only is volunteering a terrific way to make a difference in the world, but it can also help you connect with like-minded people who share your values.
  • Take a staycation: If globetrotting adventures aren’t in your budget this summer, don’t despair; there are probably many places you haven’t explored in your own city or region. Check out some travel guides to your local area and think like a tourist. You’re likely to find quite a few new spots to visit this summer.

Trying Something New

Participating in a new hobby or activity is a surefire way to add excitement to your sober summer.

  • Take a class: If there’s an activity you’ve always wanted to try, why not sign up for a class this summer? You might want to try something physical like CrossFit or yoga, or you may prefer to learn a foreign language or take up pottery. When you’re in early recovery, activities and hobbies help you fill your free time and keep your mind off temptation. In addition, you never know which one of these pursuits may turn into a lasting passion.
  • Get creative: Has it been years since you last played the piano? Your sober summer may be the perfect time to brush up on your skills. Is there going to be a poetry reading at the local bookstore? Invite a friend to check it out with you. Finding a creative outlet is a great way to express yourself and keep stressful feelings at bay.

Your summer plans may look different now that you’re in recovery, but that doesn’t mean that your sober summer needs to be boring. With a wide selection of recovery-friendly activities to choose from, you can look forward to your healthiest, happiest summer yet.