How To Prepare For Your First Sober Vacation: Three Hacks

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There are thousands upon thousands of people around the world who struggle with alcohol problems. It’s one of the biggest killers on the planet, and according to statistics, in the USA almost 100,000 people die due to alcohol each year.

The pandemic has only increased that, as people turned to it due to stress and anxiety, and the effects of that in the aftermath of COVID, has led to more people seeking alcohol treatment programs and more people visiting rehab. Many rehab centers have seen the impact of that, with The River Source, a Phoenix alcohol detox clinic noticing a significant upturn, particularly in women. 

That, of course, is encouraging, as people look to get their lives back on track. And after such a battle, many people seek out a vacation following that. It is a step into the unknown, and going on vacation for the first time sober can be difficult to navigate, with temptations and stresses having the potential for relapse.

So, how exactly can you prepare for your first vacation sober?

Focus on what you want, not what you’re scared of

Ensuring your mentality is right ahead of the trip is one of the most important steps to do. It can be easy to fall into a trap of fear, scared of what might happen rather than focusing on what you want to happen.

Create a clear plan for your trip, packing your day with activities and ensuring that you are sure of what you want from the evenings, with those hours among the most risky when it comes to struggling with cravings.

Be prepared for typical stress points

There will always be points during a vacation that we find stressful. Among the most obvious ones are boarding a plane, trying to navigate a new public transport system or understanding a different language.

What you need to understand, and be prepared for, is that these will undoubtedly occur, if not on your first vacation sober, another one. Therefore, it can be useful to create a list prior to your vacation on all the stress points you feel may occur, and note down how to best combat those. This can be really useful in the prevention of turning to the bottle in a time of crisis.

Stay in touch with your support network & stick to your routine

If you have gone through rehab or a treatment process to give up alcohol, then the chances are that you will have developed a support network and routine to help with your recovery. Just because you are away, that doesn’t mean it should stop. Routines are in place for a reason, and you should stick to them to stay on track. So, if that involves half an hour of yoga in a morning, or an hour’s exercise, continue to do that.

Alongside this, when at home, in any periods of need you’ll have a support network to guide you through difficult times. That should remain the case on vacation, and it can be useful to touch base daily for any encouragement you need and the knowledge that those people are still there if you need them, albeit just a little further away.

Don’t suffer in silence on vacation, reaching out could be just what you need to both staying on track, and having a fantastic rest of the trip.

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