Summer is on its way, and millions of people are planning cookouts and beach trips. Of course, most of these summer activities include alcohol. For a newly sober person, this may seem like the ultimate challenge. Can you participate in these things without drinking? Are you able to stay sober this summer?
Although summer brings memories of drinking, it is an excellent time of year to stay sober. You can find many ways to keep yourself busy that don’t include alcoholic beverages. It will be easier than in the winter months when you are often stuck at home, bored because of bad weather. Everyone who has beat alcoholism will agree that boredom is your worst enemy when it comes to resisting the urge to drink.
So, to help you stay sober this summer and still have a good time, here are a few tips.
Tips on How to Stay Sober This Summer
Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Drink to the Event
People love to get you drunk. If you’re standing around at the event without a drink in your hand, someone will try to give you one. Be prepared for this scenario by bringing your own beverage. Fill a big red solo cup with your favorite flavored water or juice or whatever you prefer. Then, you can say, “No, thanks. I already have a drink.”
Make Sure You Have an Exit Plan
The longer you hang around where people are drinking, the more likely you are to give in to temptation. You tell yourself that one little drink won’t hurt anything. But, if you’re honest, one drink can lead to another and another. One way to avoid temptation is to plan to leave early. Take a sober friend with you to the party who can back you up when it comes time to go before the party is over. You should be able to come up with a good excuse for your early exit.
Have an Emergency Contact Available
If you end up going to the event alone, make sure you have an emergency contact on board. This contact should be someone you can call if you find yourself feeling tempted to drink. Sometimes, just talking to an outside support person can bring you back to reality and help you avoid giving in to the temptation to take ‘just one little drink.’
Know What You’re Going to Say
Going to an event that promotes alcohol is a brave move. Before you go, it’s a good idea to know what you will say when someone shoves a drink at you. You can tell the truth and say that you no longer drink. Or, you can laugh it off and say something funny like “I’m allergic to alcohol. When I drink it, I break out in handcuffs!” Of course, simple excuses are often the best. You can simply tell them you are the designated driver, or that you are avoiding alcohol for health reasons.
Spend More Time With Sober People
If it’s early in your sobriety, you should try to spend more time with sober friends. The less you have to deal with temptation, the better. It’s essential for you to learn how to have fun without alcohol present. The good thing is, you’ll find out how much you’d missed when you were always intoxicated. Staying busy with sober activities is the best way to avoid boredom and loneliness, both of which are big triggers.
Find Online Resources or Webinars
The internet is an excellent resource for finding support and advice to help you stay sober this summer. You can find many valuable tips for staying sober and enjoy chatting with others who are having the same experience. Also, if you’ve just completed a rehab program, the counselors can provide information about support groups and aftercare programs in your area.
Stay Sober This Summer and Be Proud
You’ll be surprised at the creative ways to fill the void alcohol once filled. Stay sober this summer, wake up with a clear mind every day, and you’ll be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov – Alcohol and Your Health: Questions and Answers