Substance use disorders can develop quickly and have a profound impact on the life you once knew, changing everything from who you spend time with to where you go to what you do. Entering a women’s recovery program can help you to regain control of your life and remember who you wanted to be. It can allow you to refocus on what is important to you.
Some women are hesitant to enter a residential treatment program because they fear being away from family and friends for an extended period of time. They may worry about not knowing anyone in residential treatment centers or having any free time for personal enjoyment. But in recovery, you can connect with amazing women who become a part of your support system, and together you can learn to socialize in sobriety.
While in a recovery program – whether residential, outpatient, or sober living – it is important to build positive socialization strategies to build a strong foundation and reduce risk of relapse.
- Set up a ‘Leisure Time’ Schedule. Plan out each day so you know what to expect, have activities to look forward to, and don’t find yourself faced with long-periods of unstructured time. Too much downtime can lead to boredom and poor decision making.
- Remove Temptations. When overcoming a substance use disorder and especially when re-entering society sober, it can be tempting to attend gatherings where others are partaking in alcohol consumption. Luckily, there are many other healthier non-alcoholic options such as smoothies, juices, low-calorie carbonated beverages, fresh fruit water, or aguas frescas. Let the host and guests know about your sobriety journey, and more often than not, they will be happy to accommodate and support you.
- Learn to Say No (Politely). Learning to say ‘no’ is essential in addiction recovery, and something that is taught at Crossroads. Practice firmly and confidently saying “no thank you” and keep a few reasons in mind if need be. You can always say you’re not drinking to get healthier, you have an early morning, you’re on medication, or you’re simply choosing not to drink. Sobriety is something to be proud of. Figure out what works best for you and stand your ground in sober living.
Go with a Wingman
- The Travails of Going Solo in Recovery. The thought of socializing alone can bring about mild anxiety attack symptoms in some people. You may be concerned about remaining accountable and committed to your recovery, and how you’ll respond should temptation strike when you’re on your own.
- Why Bring a Wingman? Bringing a trusted wingman is a great strategy you may have picked up in your treatment program. Having someone by your side who understands and respects your recovery can be a great source of confidence and support.
- How Your Non-Drinking Friend Can Help Out. Having a sober buddy means you know you will not be the only one not drinking. They can stand beside you and say “no thank you” as well and give you someone to socialize with in sobriety without fear of peer pressure.
Explore New Hobbies
- Avoid Old Haunts. In women’s residential treatment, you’ll likely learn that returning to old places you used to hang out can be a major trigger. You may inadvertently slip back into old routines or habits which can undo all the hard work you have done in recovery. Instead, focus on finding new places and ways to have fun that don’t involve substances such as amusement parks, dance studios, or nature reserves.
- Amusement Park Adventures. Get your adrenaline pumping by seeking thrills at an amusement park. Ride roller coasters, enjoy the water park, and create lasting memories with friends you’re sure to remember now that you’re thinking more clearly in sobriety.
- Get Active with Friends. Enjoy the local surroundings and engage in physical activities with friends such as hiking, biking, running, yoga, or martial arts. Try new sports or hobbies you can do together and support one another while enjoying the world around you.
- Don’t Stay In For Winter. Looking for a way to connect with nature even when it’s cold outside? Enjoy some winter camping or winter sports like skiing or snowboarding. Immersing yourself in the great outdoors is a wonderful way to clear your mind and refocus on the life you want.
Addiction recovery doesn’t have to limit your ability to get back out into the world, have fun and enjoy time spent with family and friends. Being in a recovery center specifically for women can help you to build the strategies and skills necessary to manage your recovery while maintaining a social life as well. You can have fun while being mindful of your well-being and exploring new opportunities. Just keep in mind what you have learned along the way and don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it.
Crossroads helps women overcome addiction and co-occurring disorders while building their confidence and creating a sustainable lifestyle of recovery. Contact Crossroads today if you’re ready to remember who you wanted to be and turn your life around for the better.
[cta]Create healthier routines and relapse prevention strategies so you can feel more confident socializing in recovery through a women’s recovery program at Crossroads.[/cta]