Getting Through Your First Sober Friday

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Getting Through Your First Sober Friday

Friday is often considered by many as a day to celebrate. Another work week is complete, allowing for some time off to relax and unwind. For those with substance use disorders, Friday is often associated with an excuse or opportunity to engage in heavy drinking or drug use. Engaging in substance use may be what they are most looking forward to after a long week of work. However, when someone is new to recovery, their sober Friday nights are typically going to look a lot different from their Friday nights in the past. 

Because they won’t be engaging in substance use, the person in recovery needs to find alternative ways to spend their time. This doesn’t mean that they can’t still have a great time and enjoy themselves. They’ll just be doing so in different and healthier ways. 

Creating a Plan for Your First Sober Friday 

Coming up with a plan for your first sober Friday is an important step to consider prior to completing your treatment program. The initiative may not seem like a big deal now, but when the day comes around, you may find yourself faced with unexpected temptations. This is especially true if engaging in substance use has long been your default way to spend this day of the week. 

Boredom and loneliness can both be threats to your sobriety. Therefore, sitting at home alone on a Friday with nothing to do can be a dangerous situation. This is especially true in the beginning of your recovery journey.

Before Friday arrives, take the time to figure out how you’re going to spend your evening and who you’re going to spend it with. It’s important to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your recovery journey and aren’t going to threaten it in any way. Maybe this is some trusted friends or a family member. It could also be someone you have met through recovery who is also sober. Being around other people who also aren’t participating in substance use can help you avoid temptation. 

Expanding Your Hobbies 

When thinking about how you would like to spend your first sober Friday, consider what types of activities you used to enjoy before you ever began engaging in substance use. These could be activities you partook in even when you were a child or teenager. Maybe you enjoyed art, playing an instrument, or had a passion for sports. Now that you’re sober, you have lots of extra time to devote to these activities. Take the time to reflect upon the things that bring you joy and work them into your Friday plan. 

You may also consider what sort of things you always wanted to try out but claimed you never had time for. Now that you’re sober, you can’t use a lack of time as an excuse. Maybe you have always wanted to learn how to cook, train for a marathon, or learn a certain skill. Now is the time for you to do that. Many local community centers offer classes for different skills, some of which may even be free. This is a great opportunity to learn something new, and you might even make a new friend. 

Other Ideas for Your First Sober Friday

If you’re not quite sure about how you should spend your first sober Friday, consider some of the following ideas. 

#1 Host Your Own Gathering at Your Home

When you are the host, you know exactly what to expect, and you can make the rules. For example, you can make it clear that there won’t be any substance use taking place. Setting this boundary can help you feel at ease, knowing that no temptations will be present. This gathering doesn’t have to be fancy. For instance, you could simply pop some popcorn and have a movie night. You could also make it a pitch-in dinner and have everyone bring a dish to share. 

#2 Spend Time Out in Nature

Vitamin D is so important for our mental health and can help ward off anxiety and depression. One of the best ways to take in Vitamin D is by spending time outside in the sun. You could take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by taking a camping trip or going hiking. If you are passionate about photography, you can take a camera with you and capture the beauty of nature through your lens. 

#3 Try Out New Recipes 

If you find that you’ve become bored with your typical meals or rarely take the time to cook for yourself, it may be time to try something new. Crack open a cookbook or check out the many free recipes available online. You can enjoy the meal yourself or share it with a loved one. 

If you’re beginning your recovery journey, you may be thinking about how you’re going to spend your first sober Friday. In the past, your Fridays may have been mostly spent partying. Since that will no longer be the case, it is important to come up with a new plan for how you’ll celebrate the end of the week. Now that you have extra time, this is a great opportunity for you to do something you’ve been putting off. Maybe it’s learning a new skill or expanding your hobbies. For example, maybe you want to learn how to cook, train for a marathon, or play an instrument. For help with a substance use disorder, call The Kimberly Center at (855) 452-3683.

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