Summer concerts are sublime: the music, the movement, the merriment. But you may also remember concerts as places packed with alcohol and substance abuse. Enjoying a sober life doesn’t mean avoiding concerts! It is possible to attend a concert, stay on your recovery journey, and have tons of fun.
These tips for staying sober during a summer concert can help.
Why are you going to the concert in the first place? If you love the music, the dancing, and the fun, then you’re in a good space. You are attending for reasons that are likely to contribute to your staying sober.
If you’re going to the concert to live vicariously through the people partying, you may want to reconsider. Old habits die hard, but there are healthy ways to break them. Checking your motives is one of those ways.
A tip that you may hear throughout your journey of addiction recovery: Being honest with yourself about the reasons behind your actions can be a big help in staying sober.
Once you’re at the concert, focus on what drew you there in the first place: the music. Pay close attention to the band on stage instead of the crowd surrounding it. Feel the power. Feel the beat. You can even close your eyes and let the music take you away, matching your breath to the rhythm as a kind of meditation. Self-care at its finest, right in the middle of a concert!
If you have the room and feel the vibes, by all means, dance! Any form of exercise gets your blood flowing and your mood glowing. That’s why exercise is recommended as part of daily life. It enhances both your physical and mental health.
Like focusing on the music, dancing can work as a form of meditation, bringing your full attention to the moment and the fun you’re having in it. Another fun self-care tip that makes a recovery journey even more enjoyable.
A calm and grounded mindset always sets a firm foundation for staying sober, no matter where you may be. This is even more important when you’re in a loud and crowded environment like a concert. Set yourself up for success by calming yourself before you go, perhaps with meditation, exercise, releasing any tension through a favorite activity, or calling a sober friend.
Step away from the noise to reboot your serenity during the concert if needed. Deep breathing and meditation are two self-care habits you can use to help.
If you have friends or family members in your support system, who are willing to stay sober with you, invite them along! You can also seek out sober friends who share your taste in music. Groups and resources like the following are designed for people like you to stay safe and sober while meeting new friends and enjoying your favorite shows and festivals. The Phoenix is launching a new feature in their mobile app this summer that will allow sober concert-goers to find and connect with one another in real time at music events.
Before you head to the concert, craft an action plan for dealing with potential situations that may stir up old habits and trigger cravings, another tip for recovering from alcohol addiction and drug abuse.
Determine what you’ll do if someone offers you a drink or the person next to you is drinking or doing drugs and making you uncomfortable. A firm “No, thank you” can work for the first scenario. Changing seats or getting up to dance can help with the second one.
If you feel uncomfortable in any social situation, make sure you have a way to get home safely. If you drove yourself to the concert, you’re set. If you got a ride from someone else, ask a sober friend or loved one to be your plan B, or call a rideshare provider. There is nothing wrong with leaving an event if you’re not having fun, especially if it’s to keep you sober.
If you’re getting warning signs with something telling you not to go to this concert, or it just doesn’t feel like a good idea, then don’t go. It’s that simple. Don’t feel bad about it, either. In some cases, it can take years for people in recovery from substance use to feel comfortable enough to attend a concert. Or they may never feel comfortable doing so. That’s totally fine.
Your first priority is always staying sober. Practicing self-care, building healthy relationships with new friends, and tapping into a strong support network can help with that. If all the pieces are in place and you feel comfortable on your recovery journey, then a summer concert may be a fine idea to help you enjoy your new way of life.
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