Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season

A decent chunk of people hate the winter season. For them, it’s mostly cold, terribly boring and lonely. Plus, all of the season’s cheer may just be a reminder of some of the things you’re missing. 

Does the winter season have to be melancholic? No! A few winter sober activities are everything you need to go through the winter blues. If you take these steps to avoid the winter chills, the whole season will be jolly, and you’ll enjoy all of it.

Generally, you may find it difficult to pass through winter, especially when you’re recovering from addiction. We know that you’re working very hard towards recovery, and you’re trying to avoid relapse. There are many activities that can help you with this process. 

Sometimes, if you can push yourself towards exercising more and getting more sunlight, that’s good. That may be the only thing you need to survive the winter blues. Other times, you may need more than that. Luckily, there are several sober activities for the holiday season that you may find helpful. It may be all you need to beat the winter chills.

You see, it’s one thing to recover from addiction, but it’s an entirely different thing to maintain sobriety during the winter season. Winter includes several holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Thanksgiving, etc. This means there are going to be lots of gatherings with free booze and possibly drugs. 

As a result, the winter season is synonymous with temptation and possible relapse triggers. In light of this, you’ll need extra support to manage your addiction recovery. This support may be in the form of professional addiction treatment services. In the same vein, you can boost your recovery by carrying out certain activities designed to help you beat stress and improve control.

To help you, we have put together top practical winter sober activities to beat loneliness and prevent relapse during the holiday season. But first, why does the winter season come with such a profound effect on addiction treatment?

Understanding Winter and its Effect on Sobriety

Seasons play a significant part in our mental health. Our rhythms, which dictate our sleep-wake cycles and our mood, are scattered in winter. There are short daylight hours, and it can also get dark earlier in the day. For most people, winter may lead to chills, but for some, it may lead to relapse, triggers, and even SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Generally, you may fight off some of these winter effects by spending quality time with family and friends. However, what happens to those with fewer people to hang out with? Well, with the proper knowledge of winter and how it affects sobriety, you can pull through.

Knowing how the season can impact your mental health and mood is the first place to start. This will help you develop a working strategy to take preventative measures. Just as you will want to winter-proof your home, you may need to set aside a plan for your winter. 

You may have to consider seasonal changes to your relapse prevention plan. This way, you’ll be able to stay away from triggers that may lead to relapse while maintaining your sobriety.

Winter and the Stages of Relapse

Well, there is always something about the gray, cold days of winter. Typically, they can bring about the blues in just anyone. If you’re going through recovery, you may find this time of the year a bit more challenging than a regular person.

Sometimes, you may experience a strong urge to self-medicate to get through the isolation. Other times, the boredom of winter may kick in forcefully. However, knowing what you’re facing and learning some simple winter sober activities will help you cope.

The less exposure to sunlight and colder temperatures during the winter months indeed doesn’t go away. It usually has a direct impact on serotonin and melatonin effects. This imbalance can develop into depression, inability to focus, lethargic feelings, etc.

All of these are symptoms that can lead to relapse during the winter season. The first step to preventing relapse is to understand that relapse is a gradual process. It doesn’t just happen. Usually, it goes on for weeks and months before you go back to your old ways — drinking alcohol or using drugs.

The goal is to help you recognize the early warning symptoms of relapse and to create coping skills to beat it. This has been proven to somewhat lessen the risk of relapse. 

Here are the three main stages of relapse;

Emotional Relapse

emotional relapse

During emotional relapse, most people are not thinking about using. They remember their last relapse, and they don’t want to repeat it. But their emotions and behaviours are setting them up for relapse down the road. 

Because you are not consciously thinking about using during this stage, denial is a big part of emotional relapse. These are some other signs of emotional relapse; they include: 

  • Isolating
  • Poor sleeping and eating habits
  • Focusing on other people’s problem or how it affects them
  • Going to meetings without sharing
  • Bottling up emotions
  • Not going to meetings

The common determinant of emotional relapse is poor self-care. Self-care broadly defines or comprises physical, mental, and emotional care.

One of the most significant escapes you may have is to teach yourself more about self-care and how it works. Typically, self-care is crucial to everyone’s wellbeing, but the need for self-care varies from one person to another. 

For some people, self-care is as simple as physical self-care, like a healthy diet, hygiene, and good sleep. For others, self-care is about overall emotional self-care. It’d be better if you made time for yourself, be nice to yourself, and gave yourself time and permission to have fun. 

The transition between mental and emotional relapse is not arbitrary, but the actual consequence of prolonged, poor self-care. When you exhibit poor self-care and live in emotional relapse for too long, you eventually start to feel uncomfortable in your skin. You may even begin to feel restless, irritable, and discontent. As the tension builds, you start to think about using drugs or alcohol as an escape.

A typical sign of poor self-care is: 

  • Tiredness
  • Staying hungry
  • Anger
  • Loneliness

Mental Relapse

Mental Relapse

When it’s about mental relapse, there is a war going on inside your mind. A part of you wants to use it, but another part of you is against the idea. As individuals go deeper into mental relapse, their cognitive resistance to relapse diminishes, and their need for escape increases.

These are some of the signs of mental relapse:

  • Craving for drugs or alcohol
  • Thinking about people, places, and things associated with past use
  • Minimizing the consequences of one-time-use or glamorizing past use
  • Bargaining
  • Lying
  • Thinking of schemes to better control using
  • Looking for relapse opportunities
  • Planning a relapse.

At this stage, most people start to think of scenarios in which it would be acceptable to use. A typical example is when people permit themselves to use while on holidays or on a trip. It is a common experience that airports and all-inclusive resorts are high-risk environments for those in early recovery. 

Another form of bargaining is when people start to think that they can relapse periodically, perhaps in a controlled way, for example, once or twice a year. Bargaining also can take the form of switching one addictive substance for another.

Occasional, brief thoughts of using are expected in early recovery and are different from mental relapse. When people enter a substance abuse program, they often say, “I want to never have to think about using again.” 

It cannot be very comforting when they discover that they still have occasional cravings. They feel they are doing something wrong and that they have let themselves and their families down. They are sometimes reluctant even to mention thoughts of using because they are so embarrassed by them.

Clinical experience has shown that occasional thoughts of using are normal in therapy. They do not mean you will relapse or that you are doing a poor job of recovery. 

Once you experience addiction, it is impossible to erase the memory. However, with good coping skills, you can learn to let go of thoughts of using quickly.

Physical Relapse

Physical relapse is when you actually start using again. Once you have had one drink or one drug use, it may quickly lead to a relapse of uncontrolled use. 

Most physical relapses are relapses of opportunity. They occur when you have a window in which you feel you’ll not get caught. Part of relapse prevention involves rehearsing these situations and developing healthy exit strategies.

When you don’t understand relapse prevention, you may think it involves saying no just before using it. However, that’s the final and most challenging stage to stop, which is why most people experience a relapse. At this stage, you already need addiction treatment in Canada

The best point to stop addiction relapse is the mental stage. If you remain at the point of mental relapse for too long without necessary coping skills, you are more likely to turn to your old substance abuse ways to escape the turmoil. In the next section, we’ll discuss safe winter activities that can help you get a grip during the mental relapse stage.

Related article: Top Sober Activities For The Weekend

Top Effective Winter Sober Activities

The winter season can be trying. Here are some sober activities to do in winter — if you want to beat the chills. These activities are drug/alcohol-free, will boost your addiction treatment, and are not cost-intensive.

Enjoy Free Sunlight

One of the biggest triggers of the winter blues is the limited amount of sunlight available during the day. In winter, the days are significantly shorter, and many of us go to work in the dark and return home in the night, limiting our exposure to sunlight. 

Finding time to bask in the sunlight has several health benefits, particularly when it comes to mood and mental health. Sunlight triggers the release of serotonin and several hormones in the brain that can elevate your mood. On the other hand, darkness causes the brain to produce melatonin, which contributes to increased drowsiness. 

Taking in some sunlight at least a few times each week can help improve your mood. If you’re inside at work during daylight hours, or it’s too cold to spend extended periods outdoors, or there just aren’t many sunny days in your city, an alternative may be using a “lightbox.” 

During light therapy, you will sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. This device gives off bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Light therapy affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and is also known as promising light therapy or phototherapy.

Enjoy a Gift Drive

There are often gift drives at local businesses, religious centers, and community organizations. It can be a fun and heart-warming experience to go out shopping for a child. Plus, you’ll know you’ve made a big difference in someone’s holiday—spreading some real seasonal joy.

Visit Santa

Why not? Just the experience of going to see Santa Claus — whether you sit on his lap or not — can bring back all kinds of fond memories. You can bring your nephews, nieces, kids, or join a family you’re close with. Say hello to Santa and enjoy the whole Santa fun with others.

Listen or Read to Motivational Books or Podcast

Motivational books will spur you towards achieving your goals. We call them motivational books because they encourage you to not give up on your dreams. Do not underestimate how far these books can push you towards achieving your goals.

Your main goal now is to beat the winter chills and make it through the cold without relapsing. With that in mind, find a motivational book that fits your purpose and bury yourself in it. Don’t just read — try to practice the things you learn in the book.

If you’re too busy to read words, listen to audiobooks. Reading motivational books is a sober activity that can help you beat the winter chills. It can also become a hobby that will help you in other areas of your life. Read books, not just as a sober activity for the winter but also as a hobby for life.

Get Yourself an Exceptional Gift

Since you’ve decided to go alcohol-free this holiday season, give yourself a nice reward. Perhaps you’ve worked hard to make some significant changes this year. Show yourself that you’re proud of all the effort you’ve put in. You can even wrap it up nicely and put it under the tree for yourself on Christmas morning!

Exercise Daily 

Exercise Daily

When you’re dealing with a case of the winter blues, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. Due to the increase in melatonin levels, you may have trouble finding the motivation to exercise. While aerobic exercise will undoubtedly yield the most benefit, any physical activity has significant advantages.

Walking at a fast-pace for at least 35minutes every day has been shown to offer a significant boost in symptoms of depression. Also, when you exercise under the sunlight or any bright light, your body generates more chemicals that elevate your mood.

The most challenging part of overcoming the winter blues may be finding the motivation to do any of these things. However, by getting more exposure to sunlight, eating foods that help elevate your mood, and upping your physical activity, you can improve your mood and beat the winter blues.

Spend Quality Time with Your Loved Ones

There’s a reason you call them your loved ones. You love them, and they also love you back. It shouldn’t be that hard to hang out and spend quality time with them. Spending time around these people should make you happy and improve your mood.

Life without loved ones will be lonely, and loneliness is a significant trigger of addiction relapse. Avoid it as much as possible by moving closer to and spending time with your loved ones.

Practice Daily Meditation

When you meditate, you feed, exercise, and strengthen your mind. Your mind is an integral part of your being, and it has the most influence on everything you do. Therefore, a healthy mind creates a strong character. With a strong sense and a strong personality, you will easily beat the winter blues.

Keep a Diary/Journal and Write in it Daily

It works for everyone, and it will work for you if you’re diligent. It’s straightforward, pick a new book and give it any title of your choice. Probably something like “My Soberness Journey” or anything. Then, input a summary of your daily activities, including how you beat the winter chills that day. 

Knowing that you have to write a report of your activities keeps you accountable to yourself. It also gives you a sense of victory at the end of the day as you input your achievements for the day.

Learn to Prepare and Eat Healthy Food

Winter is not the time of the year to consume junk and other unhealthy food choices. There’s no time of the year that’s appropriate for the consumption of unhealthy food. However, all of the parties and festivities mean that junk food is readily available. 

Take extra care and watch your diet in winter. That’s if you want to stand a chance against the chills. Different food items will have other effects on your brain. In fact, the food you eat can have specific effects on your mood, how you feel, and your strength levels. That’s why you need to eat good food.

Cooking is also an enjoyable sober activity for the winter. You can learn how to combine various recipes and prepare new dishes. More importantly, you will also have fun doing it.


You needed to understand how to evade relapse in winter. The first step is knowing that it’s not going to be easy. The second step is filling in the gaps of time with effective activities to help you maintain sobriety during the winter season. With the activities we have described above, you should be able to make it through winter without any problem.

These tips are designed to help you through winter with ease. However, coping through recovery during winter can be challenging to experience. The winter chills are sneaky, and they’ll want to get you when you least expect them. 

However, if you know the best winter sober activities, you can quickly develop a plan to beat the winter blues. Try to incorporate these sober activities into your schedule for this winter. Also, be ready to share your experiences and problems with people around you. It’s crucial that you don’t become shy or hide your plight because of the stigma or anything.

A daily exercise session, being with loved ones, doing what you enjoy or picking up a new hobby, can help you beat the winter blues. However, you can still try out other options from your rehab provider or get expert help. Call 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season


Top Sober Activities For The Weekend

Sobriety can be a lonely experience, especially if you are new to addiction recovery. Weekend guides do not include sections listing the top sober activities. On the contrary, we are encouraged to buy alcohol and seek our entertainment in places that place a strong focus on adult beverages.

Much of our social life centres around substance use. Not only is alcohol use socially acceptable, but it’s also expected in many circumstances. People who become intoxicated are seen as funny, confident and friendly. Those who turn down a drink are frequently ridiculed. With so much pressure to drink or have a puff of a joint in social settings, it may seem challenging to figure out how to have fun without alcohol and drugs.

What makes it even more difficult is that for people who are fresh out of rehab, unused expanses of time can be terrifying. Inpatient rehab is highly structured: every moment of the day is accounted for. Even your recreational time is carefully planned to harmonize with your time spent in therapeutic activities. 

Now that you are home and in charge of your own timetable, weekends and evenings can seem overwhelming. And if one of your old friends knocks on your door and invites you to go out for “just one drink,” the temptation may seem overwhelming. By filling your time with activities that promote long-term sobriety, you can make it a lot easier on yourself.

What Are The Best Sober Activities For Me To Pursue?

Now that you are in recovery, your life is not going to look the same as it did when you were using drugs or alcohol. Like other elements of recovery, it will take a bit of time and effort for you to become accustomed to doing different things. But you could well find that before long, your new activities will be an essential part of your life.

Support Groups

Support Groups

Attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting may not, at first glance, sound like anyone’s idea of a good time. But some of the people at your support group meetings will become an essential part of your social life. This is why it’s one of our top sober activities for residents in Canada and the USA. 

This is a setting where you can feel free to be yourself without fear of judgment from other people. Instead of mocking you, your support group friends will congratulate you for not drinking or using drugs.

Not only are support groups a necessary regular activity for many recovering addicts, but they can also be a great fall-back for those days when you need to do something with your time. Instead of accepting that invitation for a drink, why not go down to your nearest meeting where you will be safe while the craving passes?

Sports Teams

Sports Teams

Physical exercise is one of the top sober activities for many recovering addicts. By joining a sports team, you can stay healthy and enjoy other benefits including the following:

  • You will meet a new group of people who have an interest in common with you
  • Team sports provide opportunities to build collaborative skills that can benefit you in other areas of your life
  • Team sports are goal-oriented: setting a goal and then attaining it are good for self-esteem
  • Your team will not win every game, and you will be able to learn from the losses and move on surrounded by supportive teammates
  • People who belong to sports teams generally follow a healthy lifestyle, and they are unlikely to pressure you into using alcohol or other substances



Have you always wanted to learn how to paint, sew or dance? Have you been meaning to brush up on your cooking skills or learn how to change a tire? Many community centres and adult learning institutes offer very good evening and weekend classes in a variety of skills. 

Like sports teams, these classes offer the added benefit of putting you in contact with people who are interested in similar things to you. What makes this one of the top sober activities is that having regularly scheduled classes gives you a reason not to use drugs or alcohol. Making a commitment to show up for class is a great way to develop accountability – and you get to learn something new in the process.

Take A Drive With Loved Ones

Take A Drive With Loved Ones

If you are looking for worthwhile activities that promote long-term sobriety, time with loved ones is at the top of the list. There are many ways to do this: a picnic in the park with your children, a weekend in a country bed-and-breakfast with your spouse or partner, or simply a drive in the country. This is an option that works for everyone. 

For those who like to plan, one of the top recommended sober activities is to book a party area in a park and organize a gathering for extended family and friends. Those who prefer to wing it can simply get into the car with their family, grab food at a drive-thru, and find a scenic place to eat.

Related article: How to Stay Sober After Addiction Treatment

Attend A College Sports Game

Attend A College Sports Game

If you are a sports fan but you want to avoid mainstream arenas that sell beer, see what sporting events are happening at your local college. 

The level of college gameplay is very high. Remember that the major sporting leagues get their new talent from colleges. But many college sports venues do not serve alcohol, so you can get the quality sporting event without the temptation.



Several studies conducted all over the world have shown that generosity is a predictor of happiness. This includes generosity of time. Those who volunteer for a good cause are more likely to have higher levels of self-esteem and contentment than those who don’t. 

This is a great way for you to give back to your community. Working at a food bank or volunteering at a community fundraising event can go a long way to contributing to your healing. You can fill up your time, make the world a better place, and connect with some great people.

Enjoy Your Own Company

Enjoy Your Own Company

Being with people can make it easier for you to enjoy sober activities at night and over the weekend. However, you must learn how to value the time spent by yourself. Typically, time spent at an addiction treatment centre can equip you with the skills to enjoy time on your own. But, there’s more you can do.

Take up some hobbies you can do alone, such as writing, art, or playing the guitar. This builds peace within yourself, and it gives you a refuge in times of stress.

Other Tips For Making Weekends And Evenings Easier

Knowing how to have fun without alcohol and drugs is important. By following these tips, you can enhance your enjoyment and improve your chances of sobriety.

  • Avoid places that are centred around alcohol, such as bars, some restaurants, and casinos.
  • Where possible, avoid contact with people who are primarily a negative force in your life.
  • Have someone you can call who will “rescue” you from uncomfortable situations if needed.
  • If you are at a party, immediately get a non-alcoholic beverage. If people see you already holding a glass, they will not be inclined to offer you alcohol.
  • If someone at a gathering does press a drink on you, simply set it down and walk away.
  • Ask your loved ones to role play potentially awkward situations with you. Practice refusing a drink, arriving at a dinner party, and so on.
  • Set boundaries with your friends and family members. Let them know what you need – and what you don’t need – as you continue your recovery.

What To Do In The Event Of A Relapse

Every recovering addict is one incident of substance use away from a relapse. If it happens to you, simply pick yourself up and carry on with your recovery. Relapse does not mean you have failed. It does not mean your addiction treatment did not work. It is only a temporary setback, one that you can learn from.

Not everybody achieves lasting sobriety on their first try. There is no shame in returning to rehab if that is what you need. At 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre, we welcome anyone who needs help, whether it is their first, second or tenth time in rehab. Our customized addiction treatment program will help you get back on track. When you leave us, you will be stronger, and ready to enjoy some top sober activities without needing drugs or alcohol. To get started or learn more, call us at 855-601-0555.

Related article: Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season


Tips For Maintaining Sobriety During Social Distancing

This year has been a roller-coaster. It’s why subjects like the tips for maintaining sobriety during social distancing are important. Few people will disagree that in 2020, life has been turned upside down. People with the most stable lives are feeling disoriented and insecure. 

This is because they grapple with changes to their employment, the need to juggle working from home with helping school-aged children with their learning, and the stress of suddenly having the whole family under one roof all the time. For those with addictions, staying sober through COVID-19 poses some unique challenges.

How The Pandemic Puts Addicts At Risk

Pandemic Puts Addicts At Risk

Being an addict during normal times puts you at risk of physical and mental health complications, broken relationships, financial ruin, and a host of other consequences. Being an addict during a pandemic adds to this. Before you can figure out how to avoid relapse – or how to attain sobriety – you first need to ensure your own survival.

Maintaining Sobriety: The Challenges For Those Who Are Actively Using Drugs Or Alcohol

In Ontario, and in many other parts of North America, the provision of alcohol has been regarded as an essential service since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. However, for many people, it may have become more difficult to obtain alcohol. Most retail locations have imposed limits on the numbers of people allowed in at a time.

Supply is challenging for people who use other substances as well. Many doctors have temporarily suspended their family practices in order to help meet the rising demand for medical professionals in hospitals, and others have turned to virtual consulting. This makes it more difficult to get extra prescriptions for opioid medications. 

Quarantine and lockdown rules will also have interfered with the supply of illicit street drugs. Also, the shutdown of many workplaces means a drying up of the cash flow that previously funded the addiction.

While some people may think this creates the perfect opportunity to force addicts into staying sober through COVID-19, it creates a potentially dangerous situation for them. Now, they face the risk of serious withdrawal symptoms at a time when hospitals are prioritizing the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Maintaining Sobriety

Dealing With Interruptions In Services

Also at risk are addicts who have already stopped using their substances and are already learning ways to stay sober after addiction treatment. For some recovering addicts, the Coronavirus outbreak has meant a temporary suspension of support group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Those who are earlier in their recovery journey may have had their inpatient addiction treatment programs cut short. 

Not only would they have been discharged prematurely, without having learned all of the life skills they need to stay sober, but they may also have been sent back into home situations that are triggering for them. As a result, knowledge of the tips for maintaining sobriety during social distancing is critical.

Related article: Tips to Help You Prevent a Prescription Drug Addiction

Living With A High Risk Of COVID-19 Complications

Active and recovering addicts face another potential hurdle: the fact that their period of substance abuse may have impacted their physical health in ways that increase their risk of complications from COVID-19 itself. 

Being among the vulnerable population, a lot of addicts may be forced to follow stricter quarantine protocols than the people around them. This can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression.

Tips For Maintaining Sobriety During Social Distancing

Tips For Maintaining Sobriety During The COVID-19 Pandemic

No matter where you are in your addiction journey, there are things you can do to make it easy yourself. These tips are important for maintaining sobriety during social distancing.

One of our silver linings during these traumatic times is the fact that the Internet has enabled us to remain connected. While there is nothing on earth that can replace face-to-face interaction, we are not quite as isolated as people were during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. Many, but not all, of the following tips for maintaining sobriety centres around the use of technology.

Maintain Your Human Connections

It is said that no one is an island. This is certainly true of people in all stages of addiction. Whether quarantine nudges you into sobriety sooner than expected, or you are looking for ways to maintain already-established sobriety, you will be partially reliant on the people around you for support. 

Even if you are not able to see those people in person, they can help. Some tips for connecting with people include the following:

  • Call your AA or NA sponsor if you have one, even if you do not have an immediate need. Remember that they too may be battling with how to avoid relapse at this time. Checking in to say hello will not only help you, but it may also make a difference to them.
  • Let those you live with know what you need. Whether you are seeking some quiet time by yourself, or you need the buzz of human interaction, tell them how they can help. Let them know when you are feeling vulnerable and in need of support.
  • Top of the list of tips for maintaining sobriety during social distancing is to offer support to family members who are struggling. The COVID-19 pandemic is hard on many people, for a variety of reasons. By cheering up someone who’s feeling low, by offering advice to someone who needs it, or by helping someone with homework or with a task, you can feel a greater sense of belonging.

Maintain Your Human Connections

Ensure That Your Time Has Structure

If you are spending all of your time at home, you may be tempted to sit around in your pyjamas all day and drift through your days without real purpose. Instead, give yourself a structure – a few “rules” that you have to follow each day, and some kind of schedule. This way, you can fill up your time in productive ways, while still leaving yourself some downtime.

Here are a few examples of how you can add structure to your days:

  • Make sure you have taken a shower, brushed your teeth, and gotten dressed by a certain time each day
  • Eat your meals at the same times every day
  • Attend online group support meetings at the same times that you would usually attend in-person meetings
  • Schedule time in your calendar to exercise
  • Go to bed and wake up at consistent times
  • Set goals for yourself to accomplish each day. These can range from completing a task that you have been putting off to working on the development of a new skill

Establish Continuity Of Treatment

One of the most important tips for sobriety during social distancing is to explore digital means of continuing your therapy and counselling sessions. If you were discharged early from an addiction treatment and rehab program, your treatment team will no doubt have made arrangements for you to participate in virtual appointments. 

It is important that you maintain this. Not only does it ensure continued access to some form of treatment and support, but it also helps you establish a schedule.

Equally important are your support group meetings run through organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Smart Recovery. While in-person meetings in many areas have been suspended, in many cases they have been replaced with online meetings. Make sure you know when these meetings are and how to access them.

Keep Yourself Busy

Staying sober through COVID-19 can well depend on your ability to keep yourself busy in a way that is intentional. Don’t just dart from one activity to the next. Instead, plan how you are going to spend your time. Some ideas for things to do include:

  • Starting a journal
  • Playing board games and doing jigsaw puzzles
  • Taking an online course to learn a new skill
  • Giving yourself a workout/exercise routine
  • Making a list of maintenance/repair jobs that you can work on
  • Catching up on TV shows and movies, and watching live online concerts
  • Planning your post-quarantine life: are you going to look for a new job, go back to school, or find a new apartment?

Keep Yourself Busy

Give Yourself Down Time

As important as it is to keep busy during these times, you also need to give yourself a break. One of the challenges of lockdown/quarantine is that you are with the same people day in and day out. Everyone needs a break from this from time to time, and recovering addicts are no exception. 

One of the tips for maintaining sobriety during social distancing is to take time to go for a walk, visit a park where you can safely maintain social distancing, or simply be by yourself in your own space. Don’t be afraid to tell your family members that you need this time. The chances are that they will understand and be supportive.

Have A Plan For Difficult Times

Even if you follow all of these tips for maintaining sobriety, it may not all be plain sailing. You may have times when pandemic life seems overwhelming. In cases like this, it is important to have a plan already in place when this happens. 

This plan may include the following:

  • A set of activities that you can do to distract yourself from cravings
  • A list of people you can call, such as your rehab centre support line, your sponsor, your therapist, or a trusted friend
  • A plan for those who live with you to follow, such as taking you for a walk or ensuring that you are not left alone

This Too Shall Pass

It may seem as if this pandemic will never end, but it will. At some point, you will have to make the transition from pandemic to post-pandemic living. In some ways, this will seem like a relief; in others, it will feel overwhelming.

If you find yourself in need of some intensive addiction treatment when the lockdowns and quarantines are over, the custom addiction rehab programs at can help you. Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs. To find out about our services and the support that we can offer during and after the pandemic, call us at 855-601-0555.

Related article: Addiction Recovery: Tips to Take Control of Your Recovery


How to Stay Sober After Addiction Treatment

Going through addiction treatment is only the first part of living a life free from substance abuse. Staying sober is a lifelong process to which you will have to commit. Sadly, it is usually not a very easy process for most people, especially in the beginning. This is generally due to cravings and other temptations associated with addiction recovery. However, learning how to stay sober after addiction treatment can make your recovery smoother.

The singular greatest fear of most people recovering from addiction is a relapse. After all the effort and time that you put into going through addiction treatment, you should not have to endure a relapse. Thankfully, there are several tips for maintaining sobriety that can help you on your journey to a substance-free life. By learning and implementing the tips on how to stay sober after addiction treatment, you will reduce your risk of a relapse.

In this article, you will find invaluable insight into how to stay sober after your rehab. Furthermore, we will give you strategies that can help you maintain sobriety and avoid relapse after your addiction treatment. 

But, before we dive into it, you must know that cravings do not make you weak. Instead, it is a part of your addiction recovery process that you must experience and conquer. With the right tips for maintaining sobriety and some effort on your part, you can win the battle against addiction relapse.

Tips to Help You Stay Sober After Addiction Treatment

Transitioning from addiction treatment to real life and recovery can be quite challenging. In fact, many people suffer relapses during this stage. However, an addiction relapse is avoidable. To help you, we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to stay sober after addiction treatment. Keep reading to discover tips to help you maintain long-term sobriety. 

Get a support system

Get a support system

A support system is vital for any recovery addict who intends to maintain a lifetime of sobriety. Your support system is a person or a group of people that can help and encourage you when the going gets tough. Cravings and urges to use are a normal part of addiction recovery. However, your support system plays a vital role in ensuring you do not succumb to these temptations. 

Your support system may be a person from the addiction recovery group meetings that you attend. Or it may even be your trusted friends and family who are sober and want the best for you. Whichever the case is, you must have someone you can reach out to when you need help.

Make the right changes to your environment

The thought of coming back home after addiction treatment can be exhilarating. However, if you don’t make some critical changes to your home, you may quickly find yourself back in rehab. 

One of the most crucial tips on how to stay sober after addiction treatment is to modify your environment. If possible, before returning home from addiction treatment, ask a loved one to remove any paraphernalia from your home.

Paraphernalia is a thing that is related to your past habits of substance abuse and may constitute temptations. Otherwise, as soon as you get home, throw these things out, or give them away. You may also need to avoid places that can spark urges to use or drink again. This way, you are at fewer risks of suffering an addiction relapse.

Set goals

essential tips to maintain sobriety
One of the essential tips to maintain sobriety is to create a list of goals that you want to achieve. These goals can be a source of motivation to keep you going through your addiction recovery. When you create plans and timelines for your future, you will find it easier to resist temptations that arise. 

Furthermore, your goals will be a continuous reminder of all that you stand to gain from long term addiction recovery. Having something to strive for will make the struggle to stay sober a smoother experience.

Related article: Try Out These Sober Activities For the Winter Holiday Season

Create new healthy habits

Previous substance abuse habits may likely create a void in your daily routine after addiction treatment. If left unfilled, this lull in your day may lead to boredom, which ignites thoughts of substance use. Therefore, one of the crucial tips for avoiding relapse is to create new and healthy habits to replace the old ones. You may pick up a new hobby, take a class, get a gym membership, or whatever other healthy habit catches your fancy.

Studies show that it takes around two months before a habit becomes automatic. Therefore, take your time to find something that you genuinely enjoy and then stick with it. This way, you will have less time to reflect on your past and subsequently get tempted.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle – Diet, Rest and Exercise

Learning how to stay sober after addiction treatment will help you focus on your life’s essentials. Some of these include your diet, rest periods, and exercise routines. Regular exercise is particularly useful for dealing with cravings. 

This is because, during exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which can help you relieve stress and boost mood. Furthermore, maintaining a healthy diet can help control your mood and suppress urges. Not to mention, it can fortify your immune system and help your body develop.

However, it is not just about what you eat but also the amount you eat. You must ensure you strike a balance between the quality of your food and the quantity. Also, ensure that you always have adequate time to rest during the day and sleep at night. Irregular sleeping schedules can lead to stress, thereby making your addiction recovery harder than it should be.


Often, we can get so overwhelmed by our problems that we forget that there are those around us who also need help. Volunteering to serve others is excellent for taking your mind off your troubles, yet doing some good in the world. There are several ways you can serve others in your community. 

You may volunteer at a local youth centre or the library or maybe even at a shelter. It all depends on your interests. Also, many people in recovery choose to sponsor others in recovery to help others along the path they’ve walked. These are some of the ways you can get out of your head and see the bigger picture.

Identify your triggers

Our final tip on how to stay sober after addiction treatment is to identify the things that can push you back to substance abuse. No matter the changes you’ve made or your level of progress, relapse is always a lurking danger. 

However, the best thing to do is remain alert and watchful for the signs of a relapse. This means identifying your triggers. Identifying your triggers will help you know when you are at risk of a relapse. This way, you can quickly seek professional after-care help if you need to.

Final Take

Staying sober is a decision that you will have to make continually throughout your life. However, every journey starts with a step in the right direction. We hope that our tips on how to stay sober after addiction treatment will help you on your journey to lifelong recovery. Remember, relapse is an ever-constant danger. This is why you must establish habits that can help you deal with triggers if they do occur.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Top Sober Activities For The Weekend


Addiction Treatment: Here’s Why You Should Celebrate Sobriety

One of the things that makes us human is our desire to celebrate milestones. Whether it’s a birthday or a wedding anniversary, years of service with an employer or the anniversary of a significant accomplishment, it is important to recognize the good things about ourselves, the positive impacts that we have on the people around us, and the things we have achieved.

The same applies to addiction treatment and recovery. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of celebrating sobriety milestones. More importantly, we will explore how this can be great for your addiction treatment.

Why Celebrate A Sobriety Milestone?

Why Celebrate A Sobriety Milestone

As accomplishments go, sobriety is a big one. Overcoming an addiction takes a great deal of courage, strength, determination, and hard work. One of the biggest reasons why you should celebrate sobriety is to remind yourself of the courage it took to make the decision to embark on addiction recovery.

There are other benefits to celebrating addiction treatment milestones. It provides an opportunity for you to stop and reflect on how far you have come since you started addiction recovery. Where you may once have been on the brink of financial disaster and surrounded by broken relationships, you might now be established in a regular job, and you may have at least one or two positive relationships to enrich your life. 

Sobriety birthdays are also a time to reflect on how you got to where you are now. It is likely that you got some help along the way. Some recovering addicts use their sobriety birthdays to thank their sponsors and the loved ones who supported them. For others, it is an opportunity to provide support to those who are in the early stages of their own journeys.

Perhaps most importantly, you should celebrate your sobriety birthday because you deserve it. You have worked hard on your addiction recovery to get to this point. Therefore, you should reward yourself, bask in the accomplishment, and let this good feeling you have carry you to your next sobriety milestone.

Related article: Tips For Maintaining Sobriety During Social Distancing

Ways To Celebrate Sobriety Milestones During Recovery

In a society that associates celebrations with alcohol, it can be difficult for recovering addicts to find ways to give their sobriety milestones the attention they deserve. But with some creative thinking, it is possible to come up with some good ways to celebrate these occasions.

Here are a few ideas.

Do something to help your community

For some recovering addicts, sobriety birthdays are a time for self-reflection. They celebrate by helping people – or animals – who need it. This could take many forms: volunteering at a food bank, walking dogs at an animal shelter, or picking up litter at a local park. Those who are musically inclined could give a performance at a senior care facility. 

Not only does this form of celebration make the world around you a better place, it increases your own happiness. Several studies show a link between initiating acts of kindness and being happy.

Arrange a picnic with close friends and family members

If the weather is nice, you and the loved ones who have supported you in your journey could head out to a scenic spot for a picnic. Unless you are planning to include a lot of people, you don’t have to plan anything in advance. Just pack up a picnic lunch and go for a drive, enjoying the scenery along the way. You could combine the picnic with activities like hiking, fishing (if you have a permit) or some friendly sports activities.

What makes this a great way of celebrating sobriety is that you can include people of all ages, from babies to great grandparents. It provides a way of connecting with the people you love in a natural setting.

Host a dinner party

If it’s a more lavish celebration you’re after, invite some loved ones over for dinner. If cooking appeals to you, you could serve up your best dishes, but ordering in is also an option. Having dinner at someone’s home – either yours or someone else’s – removes the risk of being tempted to order alcohol at a restaurant. 

At the same time, you can still generate a sense of occasion by asking guests to dress up, and by laying out some decorations. For beverages, you could serve sparkling grape juice or come up with your own custom mocktail. 

Make a weekend of it

Make a weekend of it

Apart from why you should celebrate sobriety, perhaps you don’t want to celebrate your sobriety milestone with a group of people. Maybe you would rather have a private weekend getaway with a spouse or partner. This is the perfect occasion to dust off your bucket list and start checking off items. Is there some place in the country you’ve always wanted to go to?

If you do go away, choose your destination carefully. Avoid known “party spots”, and instead opt for a location that is quiet and scenic. To make your stay more relaxing, remember to ask the hotel to clear out the minibar before you arrive.

Attend a sports game

While some people relish the idea of celebrating their sobriety milestones, other people find it difficult. These anniversaries can serve as a painful reminder of their days of addiction, especially if they lost something important to them, like a relationship that could not be saved. If you are one of these people, the answer might be some good old-fashioned distraction.

Round up a friend or two – or several – and go to a football or baseball game. For a few hours at least, you can get caught up in the action instead of focusing on unhappy memories. To avoid the temptation of alcohol, attend college games. The athletes display a high level of skill, and many college venues do not allow alcohol.

How To Avoid Relapse During A Sobriety Milestone

Sobriety birthdays are a time for you to feel good about what you have accomplished, but for those who are still hurting, the risk of relapse can be higher. Even though you now know why you should celebrate sobriety milestones, you should remain careful.

There are a few things you can do to make it easier to enjoy your day without thinking about drugs or alcohol:

  • Pretend it’s your birthday. Blow out candles on a cake while loved ones sing to you.
  • Don’t celebrate alone, especially if this milestone is difficult for you.
  • Even if you have no intention on consuming alcohol, avoid venues that focus on alcohol consumption.
  • Attend your regular support group meeting and offer words of encouragement to someone who is newer to the recovery process.

Once you have celebrated your first sobriety milestone, don’t stop. Make every anniversary a special occasion. You have earned it, and you should feel proud of what you have accomplished.

Contact 1000 Islands Addiction Rehab & Treatment Centre for addiction treatment programs.

Related article: Don’t Relapse: The Comprehensive Guide to Coping With Addiction Cravings and Relapse