Plan the Perfect Mental Health Getaway
If you are recovering from substance use addiction, you aren’t alone. In a single year, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported some 19.7 million Americans were dealing with substance use issues. Of those, 74 percent were additionally struggling with an alcohol use disorder. To celebrate your sobriety and help stay on the right track, consider taking a relaxing getaway to focus on your mental health. Find out how this can help your sobriety — and how to plan the perfect break — below.
Recognize the Importance of Taking a Break
Staying sober is an ongoing journey and requires effort every single day. A short trip allows you to unplug from daily stress and focus on self-care, which has been shown to be essential for successful sobriety. When you aren’t weighed down by your daily schedule of work, school, family, and friends, you have time to focus on healthy habits.
You can also use this time away from the everyday grind to explore new tools to support your ongoing sobriety. Mindfulness practices can be used to squash addiction cravings, for instance. Learning yoga or meditation during your time away from home is one way that you can make your relaxing vacation useful afterward, too.
Look for Stress-Free Destinations
Stress can spark cravings for drugs or alcohol. Avoid flying if possible, as airline travel can add stressors, such as having to go through airport security and deal with large crowds of people. Additionally, the inevitable waiting that flying requires — for instance when you’re stuck on a long-haul flight — can spark boredom, which may likewise lead to addiction cravings. Instead, look for locations that are within driving distance.
You can even consider a staycation. A city like Chicago has plenty of activities to offer, from restaurants to theater, shopping, musical entertainment, and more. You can save money by looking for a vacation rental in a neighborhood near attractions that interest you.
Treat Yourself to Relaxing Perks
When organizing your sober getaway, plan in advance. Keep busy with healthy activities to ensure you won’t be tempted to wander into bars or pubs. To keep costs low, look for fun options via Groupon. You can search deals based on neighborhoods, allowing you to stay close to your apartment rental and avoid the hassle of public transportation. Options in Chicago skyline sightseeing cruises, walking tours, and theater shows.
There are also many self-care offers available, including body, hair, and nail care. For example, with advanced organization, you could book yourself a massage during your self-care getaway. Research shows that massage helps to ease stress and anxiety and can play a valuable role in supporting addiction recovery.
Set Up an Emergency Recovery Contact Network
A support system is essential in any sobriety journey. These are people who give you an opportunity to voice your concerns and who provide positive peer pressure by encouraging you to stay sober. Make sure that you have at least one lifeline on call during your self-care getaway. If you find yourself struggling, it’s comforting to have someone to call. You can also look for a local Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at your destination.
A mental health getaway will be a valuable addition to your recovery journey. It acknowledges the progress you’ve made thus far and also gives you a chance to recharge, in mind and body, and return to your day-to-day life ready to continue on the positive path you’ve chosen. Take the time to plan your trip in advance according to the guidelines above, and you will enjoy a fruitful and stress-free holiday.
About The Author: This post is courtesy of Dylan Wallace. Wallace started his passion project, PreventionConnect.org, to offer those in addiction recovery an online support community to help them get and stay well. In addition to providing peer counseling services for fellow recovering addicts, he spends most of his free time creating abstract art.