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Planning a vacation after walking out of rehab: Ten things you should note

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Let’s take a look at the ten things you’ll want to know.

If you are on the verge of finishing up rehab, then you’ll want to read this. If you are considering going into rehab and want to plan for the future, this is also for you. Either way, congratulations on making it as far as you did.

There are those out there that will take that step to say ‘yes’ to alcohol addiction recovery. Many won’t even budge even after several suggestions. Those who continue will begin their journey that can take them weeks, even months.

During their treatment, they plan for the future. A life without alcohol or substances. If you are looking forward to life after rehab, what better way to kick it off than a vacation you’ll never forget. Let’s take a look at the ten things you’ll want to know.

Think about the destination
Where do you want to go? Someplace where it’s warm and sunny? What about a city you’ve never been to?

There are so many options to consider. You can be happy knowing that you had the chance to visit a place that makes you feel alive. Even better, it’s a good feeling knowing that you are living a sober life.

Activities will keep you busy
If you are looking to keep busy, go to a place where there is always something to do. When you are doing something fun and exciting, you want to be caught in the moment. Not only that, it will get your mind off of things such as alcohol (and wanting that drink whenever things get stressful).

Speaking of stressful things, traveling can be a challenge. Let’s talk more about it in the next point.

Stay in contact with your sponsor(s)
Even when you are away from home, you can keep in contact with your sponsor(s). That’s because they are part of your support system that you can access while you’re somewhere around the world. The reason for this is that they are a phone or Zoom call away.

We live in a time where technology gives us many options to keep in contact with someone. It should also be noted that the time difference between you and your sponsor is important. You could be a few hours ahead or behind them.

This will come in handy whenever you need to get in touch with them. It might also reduce the worry of waking them up late at night when you are dealing with a challenge to your sobriety.

Find ways to stay healthy
When on vacation, it’s always easy to have fun and let loose. Yet, this is how alcohol and drug use starts. So it may be a good idea to find other ways to have fun.

This includes exercising on a regular basis. Spend part of the day in a gym getting your usual cardio and weightlifting session in. When you do, you’ll feel a lot better and you won’t feel the need to challenge your sobriety.

If you are currently in rehab, this may be part of your plan. The sooner you work out to feel healthy and preserve your well-being, the better. 

Practice mindfulness whether at home or away
When you are in the middle of rehab, this may be a good time to practice mindfulness. Because it may play a huge role in your life after sobriety. You can take the time to meditate a few minutes per day and be aware of what you are doing.

You can practice breathing and observation to build your awareness. If you are feeling stressed out, take a moment to breathe through your nose and out the mouth. Be aware of why you are being stressed, which can lead to the desire to relapse.

Who are you going with
Are you traveling by yourself? Or are you going with friends or family? It’s important to consider your options when you are planning a vacation while maintaining a sober life.

If you are going by yourself, you don’t want to forget about your support system. If there is a local meeting at your intended destination, feel free to stop by and attend (if it’s while you’re in the area). This will help you get to know the people who are dealing with the issues you had.

Set boundaries for yourself
If you are traveling with other people, you want to set boundaries and let them know what they are. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if they are making a trip to the bar or if they offer you a drink. Your sobriety is your priority and you want to keep it that way.

Find better ways to treat yourself
Alcohol or drugs are not the best treat. But you can treat yourself in the best ways. Eat dessert or check out a show you’ve always wanted to go to. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that will make you feel good.

Make it your reward for a job well done. Especially when it’s the journey you traveled on before your vacation. How sweet can it be?

Be aware of temptations
Yes, you will notice temptations are all over the place. You may be in the ‘line of fire’ and it may be a challenge to your sobriety. The best thing you can do at this point is retreat and go as far away from it as possible.

Temptation is to be expected. But how you deal with it will be up to you. We’re hoping it’s the right decision that seems like a no-brainer (and that’s distancing yourself from it).

Always take good care of yourself
Don’t shirk any responsibilities you may have that are part of your daily life. The same can be said regarding your treatment. If you do relapse, it’s important to be kind to yourself and have a plan in place if things do happen.

In the meantime, enjoy your vacation and do what you can to take the best care of yourself possible.


Photo by Ezequiel Garrido on Unsplash

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