In 2014, the beloved outdoor outfitter and adventure-inspiring company REI did something radical. All of their 12,000+ employees took both Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” off with their outdoor focused employer urging them to “opt outside” instead of heading to the stores to indulge in consumerism on the “holy” shopping day of Black Friday. More than that, they made “Black Friday” a paid day off.
REI opened it’s “Opt Outside” invitation to the public, announcing they will no longer be participating in Black Friday and instead will be encouraging their constituents to practice the lifestyle they come to the store for: having adventures in the outdoors. According to their website, “More than 1.4 million people and 170 organizations chose to #OptOutside”. This year, companies the likes of Subaru, Google, Meetup, Upworthy, and more, in addition to dozens upon dozens of nonprofit organizations and government entities.
This year, REI emphasizes that opting outside is about more than an alternative choice to consumerism of Black Friday, but a matter of habits and routines. We only consider certain habits and routine tradition because we do them over and over again. If we choose to change that habit, we change the routine, and we rewrite the tradition.
Men who have burgeoned through recovery from active addiction to drugs and alcohol know first hand the real potential and real results of changing habits and routines. Men in recovery rewrite more than tradition. Men in recovery rewrite the story of their lives through their daily habits and routines, creating a constant tradition of staying sober.
Opting outside during the holidays is part of that new tradition of living sober. There are many factors of holiday celebrations which can feel overwhelming from family to cooking, expectations and more. Of course, having a perfectly normal, happy, functional holiday is possible. Opting outside doesn’t have to be an alternative or a coping mechanism for men in recovery but a wonderful gift and bonus to add to the tradition of living. Spending time outside is good for mental and physical wellbeing. Spending time outside nurtures relationships and builds a strong foundation of memories which will not only change your experience of the holidays, but change your experience of recovery as a whole.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program in Portland, Oregon, offering men a unique way to recover. Inspired by the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and the philosophies of proven recovery techniques, men create sustainable changes in their life, setting up a life without limitations. Call us today for information: (855) 969-5181