Embarking on the road to recovery is an exciting time, but it can also be intimidating. The thought of returning to everyday life means at some point you’ll likely run into situations that may trigger your desire to re-engage with substances. The key is to intentionally prioritize sobriety when engaging in social activities in your area. The good news is, there are many opportunities for sober activities in Orange County.
Prioritizing Sobriety in Social Activities
Having a vibrant social life is important to your overall health and well-being. Humans thrive on meaningful connections with each other and feeling that they’re important to someone. The quality of your social connections is key in recovery. Socialization can enhance your mental and emotional health.
For many recovering individuals, building a social network that helps promote sobriety can be challenging. There are many ways to have fun at social events without substance use, but be aware of your triggers and how to deal with them if and when they come up in social situations.
Recovery doesn’t have to mean giving up your social life. It just means that you need to be mindful of socializing in the right places and with the right people to avoid your triggers. Events where drugs or alcohol will be present or hanging out with people who are actively using might not be the best things for you to engage with. Your brain may still associate these situations with pleasure and may bring up cravings.
You should always plan for managing temptation. This may include having a sober companion, informing your sponsor about an event you want to attend, or finding other sober activities that won’t be triggering.
Sober Activities in Orange County
If you are into art, there are many museums in Laguna Beach. The Coast Gallery regularly hosts art events. You can meet the artists and make new friends who share a common interest. The Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine, and the Laguna Art Museum are also nearby.
If you desire a more experiential, hands-on artistic option, the Potocki Center for the Arts offers a variety of classes for adults in the evenings. Some of the classes include jewelry-making and pottery workshops or classes on knitting, painting, calligraphy, and much more. Again, you will be part of a close-knit art-making community, which presents many benefits for your emotional and mental health.
If you’re into reading, the Mission Viejo Library will not disappoint. Aside from the obvious benefits of visiting a library, this one offers many evening programs, including book clubs, author presentations, and crafting classes. Meeting other book-lovers can be a great sober activity. You can discuss books you’ve both enjoyed and give and receive recommendations for new reads.
Do More Sports in Orange County
Recovery is a time to explore more adventurous activities. Consider picking up soccer or joining a hiking club. The Orange County Hiking Club, for example, is a nonprofit seeking to empower the community through nature. They lead year-round hikes and outdoor adventures that make use of the region’s beautiful landscape.
If you are a sports fan, now could be the time to hit the field. Pay-to-play and club leagues are a great way to meet people from different backgrounds and are easy to play. There are a number of pick-up soccer groups in Tustin and Irvine, with co-ed options for all skill levels. The Orange County Soccer Club is a fun way to experience the beautiful new Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine.
Giving Back to the Community
Another meaningful way to socialize is to spend time giving back to the community. Orange County has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. You can search online for nonprofit directories, and many of these organizations are looking for volunteers. If you have certain skills or passions you can channel into volunteer service, you can benefit the community as much as yourself.
Helping community organizations can give you more purpose and motivation in life. Being able to apply your skills to better other people’s lives can be deeply fulfilling. If you feel this is a fit for you, consider signing up for long-term volunteer opportunities with community organizations, like food banks, homeless shelters, or education assistance programs.
Planning Sober Social Activities at Home
Sometimes fun sober social activities can happen at home. Host regular sober dinner parties, like a backyard potluck with people in your support group, or plan a family game night.
When planning these social activities, there is much room for creativity and fun. For example, you might implement a weekly movie night with family and friends. Each week, let one person choose the theme for the movie and snacks. You could also gather your best girlfriends for a spa night at home. Starting a weekly yoga group is also a great idea. Recovery allows you to explore many options to find what fits your life, interests, and social circle.
Lack of socialization during recovery may lead to boredom and even relapse. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our staff believes in a holistic approach to addiction recovery. Our experienced mental health experts can coach and train you so that your social life does not have to suffer as a result of seeking treatment for addiction or mental illness. If you struggle with knowing how to rebuild your social life with recovery-supportive activities, Laguna Shores Recovery is here to help. We offer treatment plans such as detox, medication, 12-Step groups, and relationship skills coaching to get you on the right path to long-lasting recovery. We also offer outpatient programs you can use after finishing residential treatment. Schedule an appointment with us today at Laguna Shores Recovery. Call 866-934-5276, and we will be happy to talk with you about short-term and long-term planning.