Going on vacation is a great way to enjoy an adventure or just to relax and unwind. However, going on vacation can also be a bit stressful – in how much it costs, all the planning involved, the disruption to your schedule, and so on. If you aren’t careful, the stress can trigger you to use again, derailing the work you put in during your Gilbert addiction treatment.
It’s important that you work on coping strategies in your Mesa addiction counseling that you can use when you are feeling overwhelmed or triggered, such as might happen when you are on vacation. Here are a few other things you can do to protect your sobriety while traveling:
Just as you need to choose the right social activities and social group to avoid triggers that threaten your sobriety, so too, do you need to choose the right vacation destination. For example, it’s probably not a good idea to head to Las Vegas, where the booze are plentiful – and free. Nor would you want to take an adult cruise, where there’s usually a party atmosphere and lots of drinking.
Choose a destination that will allow you to enjoy yourself without triggering your need to use. For example, if you have your heart set on a cruise, choose a family-friendly cruise that will be focused on sober activities. Or go to a beach destination and plan plenty of outdoor activities, rather than drinking by a cabana.
When you have down time and are alone with your thoughts, or when you just aren’t sure what to do with yourself, you may get bored, become overwhelmed by your thoughts, or feel lonely – all of which can trigger you to use. You can minimize this risk if you plan out your vacation activities ahead of time. You don’t have to create a rigid schedule. You can create a tentative agenda each day, giving yourself a little wiggle room to change plans if you feel like it.
Planning out your activities will also reduce your stress. If you just play your schedule by ear, you risk showing up to things that are closed or canceled, finding out you need a special pass, learning that you don’t have enough money and so on. Planning ahead can help you minimize your stress, and therefore, minimize your triggers for using.
Even with the best planning, you may find yourself wanting to use. It’s important to remember the coping strategies you learned in Chandler addiction treatment, and to use them while you are away. It’s also important to have access to your supports, whether that means having a way to contact your friends or your sponsor while you are away or knowing where a meeting is in your area.
The more supports you have at your disposal, the more likely you will be to get through your temptation to use and to maintain your sobriety. Have a plan for multiple supports you can use if you end up needing them.
Traveling can be both fun and relaxing. But it can also be stressful. Flights can get canceled, rental cars can break down, hotel reservations can get lost, and you can even get robbed or just lose a passport. Even just being away from home and out of your routine can make you feel vulnerable and more likely to use. Utilize these strategies to help you enjoy your vacation and maintain your sobriety. That way, you won’t have to take another “vacation” in an addiction clinic in Scottsdale when you get back home.
Contact Corebella Health and Wellness if you need help overcoming your addiction or maintaining your sobriety. We work with patients in Glendale and Tempe at all stages of their recovery journey, whether they are just seeking addiction treatment for the first time, they need ongoing support and addiction counseling to maintain their sobriety, or they have experienced a relapse and need to start therapy again. We offer a range of therapies to help people struggling with different addictions. We are also a wellness clinic, and we help people to create healthier lifestyles. Services include nutrition counseling, hormone therapy, and more. Contact us today to learn more about our services.