Summertime can be triggering for someone who is trying to stay. Much like the holidays, summer seems to revolve around alcohol.
Drinking games, activities that are fueled by alcohol, and vacations that seem to revolve around a drinking agenda, it can be difficult to hold true to your goals when everything is tempting you to do otherwise.
If you’re wondering how to stay sober during the summer, here are a few tips that may help you to keep on the right course.
1. Keep Alternatives Nearby
While it’s not going to be exactly the same, having delicious drinks ready-to-go can help set you up for success. A big part of drinking during the summer is that group mentality of all being in it together.
There’s something bonding and fun about that, but it doesn’t mean you need to completely avoid activities if you’re not drinking. Cocktail night? Make a delicious mocktail for everyone to try, or ask your friends to disassemble their drinks so you can concoct something equally delicious while staying sober.
Beers at the beach? Pack a few non-alcoholic versions if you can. Having something ready to go and equally satiating will help set you up for success all summer long.
2. Stay Busy
Temptation can creep in when you’re not keeping busy. It’s easy for our minds to wander and think of what we’re missing out on or about alcohol if we have the brain space and time to do so.
Rather than obsessing over a drink, be sure to stay preoccupied. Do the things you love or take up something new. Baking, painting, gardening, and all of these summer activities are the perfect way to distract from things that are not good for you.
The American Addiction Centers has a list of hobbies that are ideal for those going through addiction treatment or striving to remain sober. For inspiration, find the list here.
3. Share Your Goals
Sobriety does not need to be kept a secret though people in recovery often think it does. The reality is that sharing your sober desires with loved ones can create the support system you need for success.
Why suffer in silence and alone when you have the potential to have everyone you visit during summer be on your side and support that journey forward. You may find that other friends hop on the sobriety train or cease drinking around you in order to encourage your goals.
4. Contact Sponsor or Friends
It’s important to stay connected with your support system, even if you’re preoccupied with a good time during summer. Oftentimes, slipping from that routine of checking in can be the reason for your downfall in the end.
While you might feel inclined to contact your support system only in times of crisis, checking in regularly can keep you accountable. It might also help you feel more comfortable having an open dialogue about triggers and your mental state.
5. Avoid Triggers
If you’ve always gone to the lake and drank or visited the casino over the summer with friends and drank, it may be best to avoid those triggers.
Not forever, but until you feel confident enough to resist those temptations. Memories and routines play a big role in how a person will react when put into a similar situation.
If you are in the beginning stages of sobriety, it can be especially troubling to step into an environment that your brain associates with drinking or other drugs you’re trying to quit.
6. Claim the Role of DD
If you’re someone that is especially concerned with the optics of being sober, volunteering to be the designated driver can be a great way to maintain cover and accomplish your goals.
While there is no shame in remaining sober, some may find it easier to disguise their journey in the beginning, which means volunteering for driving – which requires total sobriety – can be much easier.
7. Make Sober Friends
In no way or form should you have to give up your social bubble in order to live a sober lifestyle.
However, adding in a few sober friends can set you up for success long-term. It can be comforting to have people by your side with the same goals who are also looking for good times like you.
This way you can ensure you have an alternative to party nights or wine tastings if you’re not feeling like being the sober tagalong.
8. Have a Plan in Place
Regardless of how hard you try, there may be a time when you slip up. Whether it be drinking from a mislabeled cup or giving in to temptation, it does happen.
It’s important to have a plan in place from the beginning for when this does happen. Whether it be contacting a specific loved one or your sponsor’s number on speed dial when available – having that plan can be the diffrence between getting back to sobriety and spiraling, even if it means heading back for treatment.
Staying sober during summer is no easy feat, but it is possible. Aligning yourself with your goals and finding the solutions that work for you is crucial to your long-term success.
Regardless of your confidence in your ability to remain sober, always have a backup plan in place to ensure you are not lost if worse comes to worst.
Read also: Top 3 Tips to Improve Your Life