Friday, August 25, 2017

Guest Post: Traveling as a Coping Strategy for Addiction Recovery

When a person suffering from addiction decides to enter recovery, they are said to be beginning a journey - one that lasts a lifetime. This journey is a long one, filled with triumphs and potentially some setbacks. The path to recovery never really ends for those with addiction issues - it’s one they must stay on their whole life. But while they are making this metaphorical journey, they can take some time to make some other, more tangible journeys as well. Travel has an immense healing effect and is a wonderful tool for those in recovery. Here’s why.

Travel as healthy escapism

When you have an addiction, you are practicing unhealthy escapism. You drink or do drugs in order to escape from your daily life - your pain, depression, anxiety, work stresses, or family problems. The fact that we all need to find ways to take breaks from the daily stresses of life isn’t unhealthy in and of itself - it’s the method that’s unhealthy.

Travel can be that bridge toward a healthier form of escape. Day-to-day life is hard for anyone - but especially for those on a recovery path. We all need a break, and travel can provide this “escape” in a healthy, productive way. You’re not running from your problems, you’re simply taking a break to gain some perspective.

Get some perspective

Addiction is suffocating. When battling dependency on a substance, it can seem like all that you know is your addiction - everything else in the world is blurry or faded. Part of recovery is understanding that there is so much more to the world than you, your addiction, and your problems. One of the best ways to gain some perspective on your own life is to travel. When you visit other places, it’s nearly impossible not to see yourself as a small part in a large human play. With addiction, the world is small. With travel, the world is large and full of possibilities. Expanding one’s worldview is a crucial element of recovery.

Mental rejuvenation

If you’re in recovery, the chances are you’ve seen some very hard times in recent memory. Addiction takes the fun out of life. Recovery is discovering that there is fun and beauty in a sober lifestyle. Travel gives us the perfect opportunity for this mental rejuvenation.

When you travel, it’s a constant source of inspiration. You meet new people, see amazing sights, try delicious food, and learn about culture and history. You have experiences that you didn’t even know existed. At its core, travel is simply a lot of fun. Having sober fun is vital when it comes to lifting your spirits and giving you an emotional boost to continue down your recovery path. Feelings of depression are one of the most common issues people have in recovery (as addiction and depression are a vicious cycle), and travel may not “cure” this but it certainly helps you to understand that there are things in this world to be excited about. In this, way, travel has quite the healing power.

In the end, traveling not only expands your horizons, lets you discover new, exciting things, and gives you some time to mentally rejuvenate - it also grounds you. Spending time away from your friends, family, and job often illuminates why these things are so important to you. Sober travel is tough, as we associate traveling with wild times (and a lot of drinking). It may be smart to make sure you’re firmly on your recovery path before you venture out on an adventure, but once you are there’s no reason you shouldn’t experience new things. You can get away for some perspective but still stay connected to home (literally).

Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. Mr. Moore starts every day by looking at photographs of past travel, making plans for future travel, and committing to one new healthy goal. He enjoys travel, running, swimming and baking. His favorite place in the world is Venice, Italy. The next place on his list to visit is: Fernando de Noronha in Brazil.

Photo Credit

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and post a comment.