How do I work recovery in the crazy summer months?

I don’t know about you, but about 4 weeks ago when the school bell rang for the last time, any semblance of structure and order flew out of my life as quickly as the kids flew out the school doors.  From unpredictable sleep schedules to summer camps to the endless parade of doorbell rings that disrupt my rhythm, it has been easy to feel the truth of Step One: “My life is unmanageable!”

So how do we work recovery in the summer months?  Where do I find stillness when life seems to be an endless barrage of chaotic interruptions? 

While I am hoping that all of you will have some input to help me out, here are the tools that are keeping me “in recovery”.

  1. Attend my weekly 12 Step meeting!  

    While attending meetings is not the heart of the program, it can still be an anchor to my soul. For me, the pedal meets the medal in the moment-to-moment implementation of the awareness and surrender that I learn about at meetings.  

    The meetings themselves are a crucial safe place where I get re-grounded, re-reminded, and re-centered each week.

    Keeping my weekly meeting as a priority in my summer schedule is a must for me.

  2. One Moment at a Time.  

    While I may not have the time for long journaling sessions, weekly therapy appointments, or extended meditations like I do during the school year, I can still focus on finding serenity One Moment at a Time.  

    Even when there seems to be not a free moment, each moment can be one where I can close my eyes, take a deep breath, and check-in with myself…where am I right now?  Am I overwhelmed, anxious, resentful, fearful?  What do I need to let go of right now to feel serenity and connection with my Higher Power?

  3. Nightly check-ins.  

    In the spirit of Step Ten, my nightly check-in is an invaluable reference point for me to check myself each day.  

    What is my body telling me about my spiritual and emotional state?  What went well today? What didn’t? What emotions did I have?  How did I cope with those things?  Were there opportunities for surrender that I did not take? How can I do better tomorrow?  Did I have a healthy balance of self-care and taking care of others?  

    These check-ins also help foster a feeling of connection with my husband, who also is affected by the whirlwind of summer obligations/vacations like multiple Scout camps and family trips.

    Check-ins have helped us stay connected and communicate while we’re both juggling too many balls in too many directions. It helps us each to be accountable for our own actions and reactions and keeps our recovery at the forefront of our other responsibilities.  It helps us to remember that if we lose our recovery, nothing else really matters anyway.

    For sure, the summer months can be a logistical challenge to find the “alone-time” I typically think of when I “work my recovery.” But I believe it can also afford me different opportunities to learn to practice recovery in different ways: practicing awareness and surrender in the presence of others, getting out in the stillness of nature to feel connected to my Higher Power, and even cultivating a more “relaxing into His care” way of life as interruptions abound.

I would love to be enlightened by your tips on how to work recovery in the midst of summer chaos.  No matter what it looks like, Keep Working It!  It really does work, and You are worth it!

5 thoughts on “How do I work recovery in the crazy summer months?”

  1. I woke up this morning and thought about how I can’t be the only mom with a perpetual mess in my house this summer… and there’s such a balance in accepting the mess, not letting it run my summer and life, and living in the moment/s with my family. I don’t want to go to control mode -which I can do -but I also don’t want to fall into total chaos -which I can also do.

    My dailies are my anchor, and I have to work really hard at them because routine doesn’t feel natural to me. Finding my “new summer” dailies is proving to be tricky, but listening to my intuition about what I need each day has been vital. My morning meditation is a non-negotiable for that reason. My morning talks with God help me to spiritually create my day before physically creating it.

    Summer is my favorite time because I get to ditch the routine of life that can feel so stifling at time, but it is also super crazy to balance recovery work without routine! This is a timely post, thanks so much 🙂

  2. In our school system in Asia we just finished a month long school break. I felt a little resentful that the only quiet time I would get would be for my 12 step group but was so glad that I made that a priority as it really buoyed me up.
    I found how I worked my recovery over the summer month was different and learned to be ok with that. I was more focused in journal writing (how I decipher fact from fiction in my thoughts) in the shorter time I had to do it and I was able to practice surrendering some “easier” troubles such as feeling overburdened, wanting to control my kids and their time to my Higher Power.

    I also used the opportunity to show them and explain to them healthy behaviours I was trying to implement. So many conversations on how they cannot control the actions of others but what they can do themselves and how they can reach out to God when they face challenges.

  3. This is a great article. I need to implement nightly step 10 check ins with myself to become more aware of how the day went, where I could improve and where I could see Gods hand in my life that day. Thank you for your words.

  4. I totally feel this one and am so thankful for the ideas! Attending my meeting is a must for me too. Another thing that helps me during the summer is just remembering that this is not how it is always going to be. Remembering that there is a time and season for everything helps me appreciate each season for what it has to offer. With a renewed sense of gratitude (and please know I am not even pretending this happens all the time, but when it does, it is a beautiful thing) I can enjoy my kids more and take advantage of this time to reconnnect and watch them learn and grow. It has taken me years get to this place and I know I have much more to learn but I am thankful for the progress I am feeling about summer.

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