It’s the first day of August, and this is the month most people choose to take their vacations. I am no different and today is the first day of our family vacation to the Sunshine State. If you have been following our blog for the last year, you will have read (on multiple occasions) that maintaining a daily routine or schedule is the key to sustained sobriety. So why are we promoting you take a vacation when by definition, vacations are about taking a break from ourwork, our rigid schedules, routines and basically, our everyday lives? Will someone in recovery be able to relax and let go without the fear of diving back into the chaos of addiction and alcoholism? Are they afraid that they don’t deserve a vacation? Or that a vacation means a vacation from recovery or rehab? Will unstructured time result in a set back to their recovery? The answer is a resounding NO! Everyone needs and deserves a break and most counselors and treatment centres agree that a vacation can add great value to one’s overall recovery and rehab journey.
Vacations need not be expensive, (this is perhaps the greatest obstacle to those in recovery as finances are a big issue) but it does need to be time you put aside where you can completely disconnect from your work, hectic schedules, and the basic stressors of everyday life. “Staycations” have become quite popular in the last little while; with our hectic lives and the expense of going away, many people are opting to stay and vacation locally. Whether you chose to go away or stay at home, when you disconnect yourself from your everyday life many wonderful things happen. Your brain will stop frantically trying to process and respond to your hectic lifestyle and instead will quiet and begin to clear. When your brain is freed from every day pressures it will be able to function more effectively. How? You will be able to consider situations differently, or from a different perspective; the solutions to various problems that have plagued you come more readily apparent; your creatively in general will become more enhanced. A reboot of sorts occurs, by taking a break from your crazy hectic life, you will come back to it with not only an new energy, but with the ability to better deal with the ups and downs of day life—a critical skill for someone in recovery.
Another mental obstacle the recovering alcoholic or addict has to overcome is that they deserve a vacation or a staycation if you will. It is no secret that recovery is hard work , those in recovery are hesitant to take any time off for fear that this will lead to relapse. This need not be the case. Recovery is about being able to work towards achieving a balanced life, and this includes the balance between work and leisure. We also want to add at this point, recovery is not only hard work for the alcoholic and addict but for the loved ones in their lives as well. A vacation is the time for everyone to not only de stress but to reconnect; we all deserve time off and away from our everyday lives. It is time we all viewed vacations as a positive, normal, healthy practise rather than a decadent selfish indulgence.