Rejuvenate Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
Most of us think of holidays as breaks from our ‘normal’ life that might see us travelling away from home or abroad. Depending on our life circumstances, we book them around school holidays and/or our work calendar. We might have something specific in mind that we would like to do or a place we would like to visit. Generally, holidays are viewed as time away from the routine of everyday life, having fun with those closest to us, and returning home rejuvenated. However, the organising of a holiday and the period leading up to going away can be stressful.
For those in early recovery, life is planned around maintaining freedom from addiction. As such, taking a holiday can seem like a frightening prospect. The choosing of a place to stay, the packing, the travelling from A to B, the pressure to have a good time, and, most significantly, the prevention of relapse. There are many sober ‘firsts’ in recovery – first sober Christmas, first sober wedding, first sober date – which we cautiously consider to ensure we have enough support. Holidays need to be treated with the same care as a break from everyday life isn’t a break from recovery.
What Are Sober Holidays?
A sober holiday is a well thought through retreat that is curated to ensure the protection of your sobriety whilst you partake in all the wonderful things you enjoy during time away.
The planning of a sober holiday involves structuring your time so you can continue the actions that help keep you sober such as attending meetings and staying connected to your recovery community to prevent isolation. Planning also involves thinking about who you are going to go on your first sober holiday with. Travelling with those who you trust, have a strong connection with and understand your sobriety can mean the difference between having a great first sober holiday and feeling triggered into relapse.
Who Are Sober Holidays For?
A sober holiday might be of interest to you if you have just left treatment, are in early recovery, have never travelled without acting out addictively, or have some sober time under your belt but find travelling difficult.
Planning a holiday in advance ensures you travel to safe places with safe people and are supported around anything that might trigger a relapse or emotional disturbance. Triggers whilst on holiday might be airports and flying, new environments with unfamiliar smells, sights and sounds, language barriers, jet lag, and/or the unknown more generally.
Your recovery creates a bridge to all areas of normal living which includes holidays. A sober holiday allows you to enjoy the luxury of time away as many others do, whilst staying sober.
Catch Recovery Sober Holidays
CATCH Recovery is curating a series of retreats for people in recovery so they can be guided and helped to find the right sober holiday for them.
Our first collaboration is with New Life Portugal, a wellness retreat and mindfulness centre offering a combination of meditation, yoga, counselling, coaching, complementary therapies, and fitness in the breathtaking natural environment of Serra Da Estrela, Portugal.
The staff at New Life Portugal are informed and prepared to offer support if you’re newly sober from compulsive behaviours, looking to reduce stress, heal from burnout, or want to find help with anxiety and depression. New Life Portugal is also a destination to learn about meditation which is a recommended and powerful healing tool of recovery.
If you are interested in discussing a holiday at New Life Portugal or receiving help arranging a sober holiday, please do contact our friendly CATCH Recovery team. We are here to support you in living a full life free from addiction.