Navigating Summer Stressors and Addiction
By Sonya Schweitzer
Summer is filled with sunshine, fun, and the promise of cherished memories. However, for individuals battling alcohol or drug addiction, this time of the year can include challenges. As schedules shift, expectations rise, and commitments multiply, addressing the potential stressors that may threaten recovery during the summer months becomes crucial.
In this blog post, we will explore navigating summer stressors and addiction. Here is a quick snapshot of the stressors we will discuss:
- Shifting Schedules & High Expectations
- Challenged Boundaries
- Unhealthy Eating & Drinking Opportunities
- A Casual Schedule & Lack of Structure
- Family Stressors
- Vacation Challenges
As you can see, the summer season provides many stressors to those on a journey through addiction recovery.
Shifting Schedules & High Expectations
Whether employed or unemployed, the summer season often brings a shift in schedules and a whirlwind of activities. Warm weather, longer days, kids out of school, and even social activities with friends and family can shift your schedule.
These shifts in schedule and high expectations can trigger feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism among individuals in recovery. Your job may be paused during the summer, or you are a seasonal employee. Pair that with kids out of school; your schedule is in flux for months. Navigating summer stressors and addiction is hard when your schedule changes with the seasons.
Some set high expectations at the beginning of summer. Seeing others enjoying summer fun might evoke a sense of failure, leading to low moods. The team of counselors at Samaritan Inns understands the importance of addressing these emotional stressors and provides comprehensive support to help individuals build a positive self-image and regain confidence.
Saying “No” can be difficult, especially with party and picnic invitations where alcohol is readily available. Attending such events can create challenges for individuals trying to avoid alcohol.
The temptation to give in and join others in drinking can be overwhelming. Samaritan Inns recognizes the significance of establishing healthy boundaries and equips individuals with the tools to navigate social situations. When you understand summer stressors and addiction, you can confidently decline alcohol (or drugs) and prioritize recovery.
Unhealthy Eating & Drinking Opportunities
Did you know that unhealthy eating habits often go hand-in-hand with unhealthy drinking habits?
Outdoor events and gatherings often involve indulging in both food and alcohol. For those with alcohol addiction, this can lead to a dangerous cycle of binge eating and drinking.
Samaritan Inns emphasizes the importance of adopting healthy habits, not only in terms of alcohol consumption.. Samaritan Inns helps individuals develop healthier patterns and regain control over their physical and mental well-being by offering guidance on mindful eating and providing access to nutritious meals.
A Casual Schedule & Lack of Structure
We discussed the impact of a casual schedule on summer stressors and addiction. It is also important to mention the effect of a lack of daily structure.
The absence of a structured schedule can increase alcohol consumption throughout the day. Samaritan Inns recognizes the significance of structure in recovery and provides a supportive environment. Those on the journey to recovery will establish healthy routines and fill their days with purposeful activities ensuring that idle time doesn’t become a catalyst for relapse.
As examples, let’s look at three Samaritan Inns’ alumni and how they added structure to their lives while on their journey to a sober life:
- Martelis joined his church choir and also studied to achieve education certifications. You can read Martelis’ inspiring story here.
- Sandra relied on being involved with her grandkids to avoid “the next drink”. Today, Sandra is a team member at Samaritan Inns. Learn about Sandra’s journey.
- And, then there is this quote from James: “Rules, parameters, and a ‘dag-gone’ inspection every day. It was tough but it created a lot of great habits that I carry today.” Listen to James’ story.
Structure, combined with healthy habits, create a path to recovery at Samaritan Inns. Hearing directly from our alumni is an inspiration to many.
Family Summer Stressors
For parents and caregivers, the summer break can bring added stress as they navigate childcare responsibilities without school structure. Balancing parenting duties with the challenges of addiction recovery can be overwhelming.
“Stressful life events combined with poor coping skills may impact the risk of addiction by increasing impulsive responding and self-medication. While eliminating stress may not be possible, we need to find ways to manage it.”—Psychology Today.
Balancing parenting duties with the challenges of addiction recovery can be overwhelming. Samaritan Inns acknowledges the unique struggles faced by individuals with family responsibilities. Our staff offers tailored support to help manage the stressors effectively, ensuring that the recovery journey remains a priority instead of summer stressors.
Not everyone can afford a summer vacation—often, being overworked and without time or budget to enjoy time off is a stressor. And vacations can often lead to additional stressors.
Summer vacations often involve encounters with alcohol in various settings. Being surrounded by the overuse of alcohol can trigger cravings and jeopardize the progress being made in recovery. Samaritan Inns understands the impact of these situations and equips individuals with coping mechanisms. We provide relapse prevention strategies to navigate stressful social situations without compromising the commitment to sobriety.
The Samaritan Inns Path to Recovery
Samaritan Inns offers a comprehensive three-phase recovery program designed to address the complex needs of individuals battling addiction. Through our Intensive Treatment Program, Samaritan Inns’ provides a holistic approach that combines healing services, structured support, and personal accountability.
By fostering an environment of compassion and empowerment, individuals are given the tools they need to rebuild their lives and overcome the challenges of addiction.
If summer stressors and addiction challenge you, contact us today.
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