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The weather is warm and the sun is shining.
Sometimes people in recovery, especially those in early recovery, wonder if it is really possible to enjoy the summer without drinking their favorite drink or using their drug of choice. Actually, the opposite is true. Being sober enables a person to have a clear mind. They are able to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.
By being sober and present in the moment, you can remember the wonderful things that happened and the good times you enjoyed. Take a look at the following activities to get some great ideas for having sober summertime fun.
Celebrate with Good Food
Invite friends over for a barbecue and show off your grilling skills. Host a potluck dinner, have a pool party, go on a picnic, or host a game night and serve snacks and mocktails. Another fun idea is a theme-based dinner with friends. Choose a theme and have everyone bring a theme-based food item. A few examples of popular themes include:
- Favorite childhood food night
- Breakfast for dinner night
- Mexican food night
- Gourmet hot dog night
Learn a New Skill
Regardless of your age, it is never too late to learn a new skill. Find a class on something you have always wanted to learn or are curious about. Whether you want to learn woodworking, write poetry, or cook a gourmet meal, sign up and let your creativity flourish. These types of classes are often offered at schools, libraries, and museums.
Explore a Local, State, or National Park
Whether you take a backpack filled with healthy snacks and water and spend a few hours hiking trails or bike riding in a local park or take several days to explore and camp in a state or national park, getting back to nature is always an exciting adventure.
If you live in the beautiful state of Arizona, there are many parks in the Mesa area including:
- Desert Trails Bike Park – The trail system has jumps and scenic views.
- Lost Dutchman State Park – Enjoy desert hiking trails, wildlife, and camping.
- Montezuma Castle National Monument – The home of the Cliff dwelling ruins of the Sinagua people dates back to the 12th century.
Think Like a Kid
Enjoy having fun with friends and family and spend the day at a waterpark such as Arizona’s Hurricane Harbor Phoenix or Big Surf Waterpark. Whether you love the thrill of speeding down a high steep water slide or the relaxing feeling of floating down the lazy river, it is sure to be a day filled with fun and laughter.
Here are a few more fun ideas you might want to try to bring out your inner child:
- Play a game of miniature (putt putt) golf.
- Ride go-karts or go horseback riding.
- Play paintball or laser tag.
- Go bowling.
- Climb an indoor rock wall.
Plant a Garden
Planting a vegetable or flower garden is a rewarding way to spend time outdoors and connect with nature. Not only will you have fresh flowers or vegetables to enjoy, but your body will also benefit from the fresh air and exercise. If you do not have an outdoor space for a garden, plant a container garden and you can still enjoy the satisfaction of growing and nurturing your plants.
Have Fun In or On the Water
When the temperature goes up, have fun in or on the water. Swim or surf in the ocean, go whitewater rafting, snorkel in a lake, or float in a pool. Rent a canoe or kayak and explore a river. An extra benefit of spending time in the sun is the natural Vitamin D it provides. Vitamin D helps keep your brain positive and sharp by helping it to create positive neural connections.
Go to a Concert, Summer Festival, or Local Fair
Summertime is filled with lots of fun outdoor events and activities. Attend a concert under the stars or spend time browsing the booths at a flea market or swap meet. Enjoy all of the entertainment, music, and foods featured at summer festivals and fairs.
A Few More
Here are a few more ways to have sober fun in the summertime:
- Enjoy a favorite hobby.
- Create a playlist of your favorite summer songs.
- Relax in a hammock or lounge chair while you enjoy a book.
- Visit an art gallery or a museum.
- Learn a new summer sport.
- Volunteer your time to give back to your community.
If You Need Help
When you are sober, you see things from a different perspective. You can enjoy life, feel healthier, and be happier. Speak to a professional at Canyon Vista Recovery Center in Mesa, Arizona to learn how to begin the journey to recovery.