Autumn has arrived. Many of us are already falling for the joys of flannel season, whether that involves hot apple cider, pumpkin carving, Sunday night football, Sober October, or simply cozying up with loved ones. Autumn is an amazing time of year in New England, with so many activities to look forward to – especially for those in recovery.
If you are new to recovery or are struggling with a drug or drinking problem, however, finding sober things to do can always feel a bit tough, no matter how abundant activities are. How will you navigate the fun of fall without drinking or using drugs? Many of your once-loved activities, such as Halloween parties or the big town fair, may now be (conveniently) associated with alcohol or drugs. It’s important to remember that, as you move forward in the recovery process, you can enjoy these activities again, with a sober state of mind. Millions of people do. In fact, you may even have more fun (and make more memories) by staying sober. You’ll also wake up feeling better; that’s one of the benefits of sobriety.
As you look for sober things to do in Connecticut or the New England area, it’s also important to ensure you have a sober or supportive group of friends and loved ones who are also advocates for sober fun. Do not put yourself around people or into situations that involve heavy drinking or drug use. Even if you are years into your recovery, seeing others binge drink or use can stir cravings and feelings of frustration. Instead, keep around friends who are willing to put down the bottle to be a present part of your sober life. Often, you can find these friends – and build this type of sober network – in your drug treatment program or ongoing support groups and 12-step meetings.
Whether you are participating in Sober October, are in recovery and looking for ways to spice things up, or are looking to start a sober path, rest assured that autumn in Connecticut is ripe with sober things to do. As a young adult drug treatment center located in the heart of New Haven, Turnbridge has compiled some of our fall favorites that steer clear of drinking and drug use:
- Take a Hike – Exercise is key to the healing process. By engaging in physical activity, you can improve your energy levels, release pleasure-producing endorphins, and help your body get rid of the residual toxins that drugs and alcohol left behind. What better way than to get outside and hike the New England hills? Some of the best hiking views in Connecticut include Jones Mountain Preserve, Mattabesett Trail in Central Connecticut, and Sleeping Giant State Park, which is just a short drive from Turnbridge in New Haven. Don’t forget to check out the foliage on the way up!
- Go Apple Picking – One of our favorite sober fall activities is, without a doubt, apple picking. Grab a friend and take a hayride through some of Connecticut’s pick-your-own orchards. Apple orchards stretch from border to border in Connecticut, with some of the best-loved in Plainfield, South Glastonbury, and Roxbury, CT.
- Head to the Local Farmer’s Market – Healthy eating is a core component of sober living. Drug use can deprive the body of essential nutrients, so learning to shop for, prepare, and eat balanced, nutritious meals during recovery is essential. Make a fun experience out of it this fall by scoping out your area’s Farmer’s Market – discover local brands, shop organic veggies, and enjoy the bounty of produce and goods that Connecticut has to offer.
- Plan a Sober Sunday Funday – You may associate “Sunday funday” or “Sunday football” with drinking – this is not uncommon. Use your recovery as an opportunity to start a new Sunday tradition this fall. Invite friends over to watch the game (with yummy appetizers, of course) or plan a sober Sunday brunch.
- Visit a Haunted House – Out with the old haunts, in with some thrilling, sober October fun. If you’re up for more thrilling, sober things to do this Halloween season, research some haunted happenings near you. Haunted houses are sprinkled all over Connecticut. Or, if you’re up for a drive, gather some friends for a witch tour of Salem, MA, which is just a few short hours away.
- Host a “Friendsgiving” Dinner – If you have been to drug rehab before, you likely understand the importance of gratitude in recovery. Expressing gratitude can empower you to live sober and happy, to maintain a positive outlook and stay motivated, and to effectively handle any challenges (or challenging emotions) that life throws at you. As Thanksgiving season approaches, consider hosting a pre-Thanksgiving dinner with close friends. Ask them all to bring a heart-warming dish, plan fun holiday-themed games, and share what you are all thankful for this fall.
Do not let sober living limit you – rather, know that the sober things to do are limitless in your state. In addition to our five fall favorites above, you can also hit the bike trails, check out your local fairgrounds, stroll a nearby pumpkin patch, or even take a leaf-peeping road trip up North – some of New England’s beauties, including Vermont and New Hampshire, are just a few hours away. For more ideas of sober things to do at night, check out our article here.
If you or a loved one is battling substance addiction and in need of treatment services, know that we are just one call away. Turnbridge is an adolescent and young adult treatment center located in New Haven, Connecticut. Our sober living programs are designed for young men and women struggling with substance use and mental health disorders. Call 877-581-1793 to learn more.