Whether you’ve got a big business trip on the horizon or you’re planning a relaxing vacation, travel can be a stressful experience for those in Recovery. Establishing a schedule, support network and sense of normalcy after treatment are vital to your sobriety. Anything that disrupts these foundational pillars can put you at risk for relapse.
Life doesn’t stand still, and there will come a time when you feel like you have to travel, whether for personal or professional reasons. With a few precautions, you can explore new places or visit unfamiliar locales and still maintain your hard-earned sobriety.
How to Travel and Stay Sober During Recovery
Whether you are newly sober or you’ve been in Recovery for a while, here are some tips for traveling that will help you stay on track.
Don’t Neglect Your Routine
Travel tends to throw your daily routine into chaos, and there’s a lot of spontaneity that comes along with traveling. Yet having a structured routine reminds you to center each day around your commitment to staying sober.
Incorporate aspects of your daily schedule into your vacation or business trip. If you work out every morning, go to the hotel gym. If you meditate or do yoga, find a spot on the floor. Do whatever is necessary to keep your Recovery as your number one priority.
Make Arrangements Ahead of Time
Simple steps like calling the hotel ahead of time to remove all liquor from your room or talking to your fellow travelers about the importance of your sobriety will go a long way to avoiding potential triggers.
Remember Your Basic Needs
When you’re sleepy, sleep. When you’re hungry, eat. If you’re feeling lonely, reach out to a friend. Addressing these basic needs will help you avoid filling that need in less desirable ways.
Bring Along Your Toolbox
Bring along some of the comforts of home as well as all your favorite resources that support your sobriety. This could include a favorite throw blanket or candle to add a personal touch to your hotel room. Pack some encouraging Recovery reads or download a playlist of music that encourages and relaxes you. All these can bring a sense of familiarity and focus to your journey.
Stay Connected to Your Support Network
While vacations and travel plans are often used to get away from it all, that doesn’t mean you should cut off your support network. These are the people who serve as the foundation of your daily sobriety and help you when you’re confronted with high-stress situations or triggers. Whether you attend an online support group or call your counselor every day or so, you’ll still feel their support despite the distance.
Schedule Some Downtime and Have Fun
Between worrying about potential triggers or the hustle and bustle of activities, be sure to take time to thoroughly enjoy yourself. See the local attractions. Experience some high-end cuisine. Try something new and exciting like snorkeling or hang gliding. Even if this is a business trip, schedule some opportunities for enjoyment.
Get Prepared for Anything Life Brings Your Way at 7 Summit Pathways
Traveling is stressful no matter who you are — but for those in Recovery, being fully prepared could mean the difference between sobriety and relapse. When you receive treatment at 7 Summit Pathways, our goal is to prepare you to face life’s challenges while still being able to enjoy your life to the fullest. Our innovative, holistic treatment modalities focus on the 7 Dimensions of Wellness, ensuring you receive an individualized approach to your Recovery.