Traveling is never easy as it requires a great deal of time, effort, and energy to get from point A to point B. Whether you travel often or not much at all, being on the go can bring about stress and triggers that can encourage you to use again. Developing strong coping skills and learning how to travel without falling victim to substance abuse is a key part of your recovery.
Ways to Stay Sober While Traveling
As you are packing for your trip, take some time to begin to mentally prepare yourself for your travel. Recognize that traveling can trigger cravings and begin to devise ways to combat temptation. The following are some helpful coping skills to consider:
- Set up meetings – Before you head out, reach out to local support groups in the area where you will be traveling. Find out when they are holding meetings and make sure that you will be able to attend. Staying involved in recovery while traveling can help you prevent relapse.
- Notify your support system – Make your sponsors, therapists, friends, and family aware that you will be traveling and may need their support if you encounter temptation. Make sure that you have all of their contact information prior to leaving so that you can get in touch with them for that extra boost of support.
- Make a list – Either prior to leaving or while in transit, make a list of all the things that you treasure regarding your sobriety. Also, make a secondary list of things that scare you about a potential relapse and refer to these lists when you feel that you might use them again. This can allow you to put your addiction in perspective when you begin feeling anxious.
- Take care of yourself – One of the most common downsides of travel is that people generally tend to eat worse, lose sleep and become stressed easily. When these things begin happening to you, it can make you more likely to use them. Therefore, make sure you drink lots of water, choose healthy food options, and get enough rest during your trip.
In addition to these coping skills, you can also adopt smaller techniques, such as putting a pocketful of candy in your bag or jacket and chewing on a piece of candy when you feel the urge to use it. Take some time to develop your own means of coping before you leave and address the most pressing concerns.
Benefits of Sober Traveling
Being sober while traveling is an excellent way to test your coping abilities since you may face challenges that leave you tempted to use. If you make an honest effort to stay on track, you can not only stay sober but also build up your self-esteem by avoiding relapse on your own. Plus, staying sober while traveling can also provide you with the clarity to experience your trip on a deeper level and feel great while doing so.