Traditionally, hordes of college kids have descended on beaches and vacation spots to celebrate spring break. However, people have started rethinking spring break because of COVID-19, and those in recovery especially need to reconsider their approach to spring break to remain safe and sober.
Clubs aren’t the only ones who gear up for spring break. Motels run promotions, bars stock up for binge drinking, and everyone else is looking to have fun and make a buck in the process. This often includes local drug dealers. This can amount to what is simply too much temptation for someone in recovery. Instead of the club scene and a week of drunken debauchery for spring break, here are some alternative ideas.
Can I Get Sober Over Spring Break?
While visiting an inpatient rehabilitation center might not be your initial idea of a good time over spring break, it could give you the chance to get yourself together. Many facilities offer alternative therapies such as yoga, nature walks, art therapy, or equine therapy so that once you’re past your detoxification, you can enjoy many spa-like activities to promote your healing and sobriety. The process may take a little longer past your break, but if it takes a few extra days to get sober, it’s worth it.
Visit a Health Spa
Speaking of health spas, why not go to a wellness retreat for spring break if you’re already in recovery? The alternative therapies can be very similar to what rehabilitation centers teach for stress reduction and self-care. Spend a week meditating, doing yoga, and getting massages to de-stress after a long semester of exams and research papers. You can go back rested and relaxed instead of tired and hungover.
If you’ve been to a rehabilitation center, you likely know that meditating or practicing yoga can calm you, which you probably really need after a stressful school year. Even if you don’t normally engage in such mental and physical practices, we all could benefit from a little more relaxation and self-care.
Get Back to Nature
Trade the loud music and sticky floors of the clubs for the fresh air and quiet of a camping trip. Reach out to some sober friends for a week-long getaway in the wild. Fill your time with hiking, campfires, and other outdoor activities. Make sure anyone who isn’t in recovery doesn’t bring alcohol and respects your sobriety and recovery process.
Nature and stillness are calming and rejuvenating, and even spending some time camping alone is a great way to disconnect from technology and the constant negativity.
Make a Difference
Another possible option for spring break is doing volunteer work. You can volunteer at places like the Salvation Army or a local soup kitchen. You can also volunteer to go abroad and take a short destination volunteer trip at some exotic locale. You could teach English in India or volunteer with a medical clinic in Africa. Some volunteer tours are involved with preserving the ecosystem or helping small villages become more independent by farming. Wherever you go, it could be a spring break to never forget.
Have an Adventure
Spring usually brings with it some warm weather and you can finally get outdoors again. Why not take your spring break to enjoy some white water rafting in Colorado, caving in Kentucky, or biking cross-country? You may even be able to hit a few more slopes at higher altitudes like the Rocky Mountains or head for some Southern cuisine, music, and exploring in a city like Savannah, GA before it gets too hot.
Explore the Otherworldly
You can partake in many ghost tours or paranormal investigations. Since you need keen senses to look for and listen for spirits, alcohol and drug use is not tolerated at legitimate events. Sitting in the dark waiting for something spooky to happen keeps you away from the bars since most of these events occur on Friday or Saturday nights until the wee hours.
Take a (Sober) Friend
Some of these places like to party like it’s 1999, or sometimes there is a well-intentioned friend who insists on bringing alcohol to the festivities even if it’s in a campground in the middle of nowhere. When choosing some kind of alternative spring break for yourself, be careful to choose the right friends to go with you. Select either those who are sober and in recovery themselves or those who will respect your need to have an alcohol and drug-free celebration.
Spring break doesn’t have to mean copious amounts of alcohol, drugs, or partying like the cast of Jersey Shore. Whether you’re sober or need to be, there are plenty of alternative ways to spend your spring break. You don’t need to be in recovery to enjoy a change of pace with a more meaningful and refreshing spring break than drinking heavily and laying on a beach all day. If you think you have a substance abuse problem, we can help. At Everlast Recovery Center we offer detoxification, rehabilitation programs, evidence-based treatment, and professional counseling. We also offer art therapy and yoga in our home-like setting at our Riverside, CA, location. We provide support and education on techniques to prevent relapse and continue to follow up in your recovery through our aftercare program. Spend a spring break getting sober or learning more ways to cope with stress without substances. You don’t have to do it alone. Call us at (866) 338-6925.