People’s vacations always seem to carry a theme of excess. Excess spending, excess recreation, excess consumption and excessive revelries. It would seem that the whole purpose of vacation was splurging by observing the average vacationer’s behavior. It is very common for people on vacation to become carried away by their urge to be excessive and they end up with enormous regrets. Going beyond your means and making bad decisions is mentally unhealthy, so why is it that so many people fall into this trap on vacation?
From a psychological stand point, the average person’s approach to vacation is cathartic. They view vacation as the ultimate release from the monotony of every day life. The average person does not work their dream job or feel entirely satisfied with their vocation, nor do they feel entirely satisfied with their relationships and personal lives. For the average person, it is much easier to cope with these difficulties by burying them in escapism rather than working them out in a healthy manner. That is what vacation is used for.
When something like vacation takes place for a person who has been suppressing unhappiness, they lose the ability to control themselves. They order drinks perpetually. They do drugs if drugs factor into their lifestyle. They shop and spend as if they are independently wealthy. And they eat as if their health is invincible. This behavior can come with heavy consequences, whether the possibility of them is acknowledged or not. Substance abuse, in the form of eating, drinking or doing drugs, is capable of ending a person’s life. Heart attacks and overdoses are far more common among those on vacation than those at home. Overspending is something that people always regret because it is merely debt that has to be paid down later. And bad choices that wreck marriages and reputations cannot be undone.
Keeping yourself sober while on vacation away from the daily grind of your life can be challenging. Vacations are not geared toward people looking to maintain sobriety. In fact. much of the tourism industry depends on people being willing to indulge. Licensed businesses push alcohol and rich food onto tourists while the underground criminal element makes drugs readily available. Everywhere you turn while you are on vacation, a merchant is looking to sell you a pleasurable substance. Resisting is quite a challenge at times. However, if you go on vacation personally prepared to avoid the high volume of substances that will be offered to you, you can successfully have a sober vacation. Below are several ideas to keep you sober and appreciating the world around you while on vacation:
- Plan meal ideas. It is very common to gain weight while on vacation. We often forget to bring our self control with us on vacation and end up eating a lot of foods that we would never consider eating at home, or would never eat in the same volume as when we are on vacation. That is why it is recommended that you plan your meals in advance. Determine where you need to buy the ingredients and how you are going to prepare them. This will keep you far from restaurants serving rich, high calorie menu items.
- Plan alternative activities to the party scene. In vacation destinations, you are never too far away from a happening bar, club or party. If you do not have anything planned for the evening, it can be difficult to resist the urge to see what the local nightlife has to offer. Instead, try planning events that appreciate the natural environment you are in, like beach walking or star gazing. Gather your family or friends together and have a game night, or go out to appreciate an arts performance.
- Get yourself excited about a healthy vacation! You are not missing out on anything by avoiding substance abuse on vacation. In fact, just the opposite is true. Studies have shown that people who are sober through any event remember it and appreciate it more clearly. Just think of how good you will feel about yourself when you are bright eyed and alert in the morning while the other tourists have bags under their eyes and look like zombies.
Abusing substances is part of the reason some people go on vacation. They look forward to going far away where they will not run into coworkers, peers or anyone else that they need to protect their reputation around. When they get there, they indulge in whatever kind of food, alcohol or drugs they have been accumulating until their hearts are content. Chances are you have either been on vacation with this person or you are this person on vacation. The trouble with this way of thinking is that you do not return from this type of vacation refreshed. Your return feeling run down, tired and ill because of the damage you have done to your body and your brain through substance abuse. It is far healthier and wiser to avoid substance abuse while you are on vacation in order to savor the vacation, remember it and benefit from it more.
Substance abuse is defined as being dependent on or overindulging in a substance that qualifies as addictive. This usually refers to drugs, alcohol or food. It has been determined that substance abuse is a universally unhealthy practice. No substance is safe to ingest in excess. Even water can cause bodily harm when ingested in extreme amounts. Every substance is meant to be ingested in moderation, and some substances are not meant to be ingested at all. This fact of good health is true in day-to-day life and while on vacation. There is no logical reason to let one’s health standards fall during vacation to binge on food, alcohol and drugs. Rather than fall into this destructive behavior, mentally prepare yourself for a healthy vacation, set diet and sobriety goals and plan healthy activities that will keep you out of the bars and in the sunshine. Vacation with others who share your health standards and will support your decision to not get wasted. If you want to maximize the pleasure of your vacation, stay diligent in your sobriety. Canadians who are struggling with a substance abuse problem when they go on vacation should take this matter seriously and connect with Canada alcohol addiction treatment or drug addiction treatment.
Posted on October 9, 2014
Vacation and substance abuse are practically synonymous in our culture. Vacation entices us to abandon our good judgment and caution for repeated nights of stumbling, slurring, memory loss and bodily damage. The tradition of purging inhibitions while on vacation is deeply ingrained in our culture, but it is certainly not considered mentally or physically healthy. In fact, it is a practice that your health and your reputation are much better off to avoid. While you are on vacation, you are surrounded by opportunities to abuse substances, but if you restrict or avoid the things that trigger your desire to abuse substances, you can be successful. Several common things to avoid in order to protect your sobriety while on vacation are:
- Bars. The most common method of finding alcohol to abuse is in a bar. Bars do more than serve a wide variety of alcohol. They also project the image and the vibe that consuming large quantities of alcohol is stylish, winning and popular. This encourages bar patrons not to question their choice to have another drink.
- Liquor stores. Also very common and accessible in vacation areas, any establishment that sells alcohol to take home is enabling substance abuse as well as vacationers will not know their limit at home anymore than they do out on the town.
- Raves. Raves are more the taste of a particular crowd, usually younger and alternative in style, but they can still draw vacationers in to take in the spectacle and use illegal drugs.
- Parties. Whether they are taking place on a yacht, a hotel or a private residence, vacation parties are sure to supply indulgent drugs, alcohol and food, and should be avoided if you are serious about your sobriety.
- Casinos. Frequently found in vacation destinations, casinos are very popular with tourists, but always promote drinking while gambling. Steer clear of these tourist traps to keep your intake wholesome.
- Restaurants. If it is food that you tend to abuse, be careful about eating out. Restaurants are a primary way that vacationers eat and dining out in moderation is not dangerous, but dining out consistently and eating unhealthy foods can ruin your mental and physical health.
- Clubs. If the club scene is weakness of yours, you will want to avoid it to stay sober as alcohol will be available everywhere.