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June 7, 2022

10 Tips for a Sober Summer

As challenging as the holidays can be for people in recovery, summertime offers just as many challenges.

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June 7, 2022

With people gathering outdoors for get-togethers and special events, there is a lot of temptation to enjoy a few drinks and bask in the summertime sun. No one expects recovering addicts to sit in the house all summer long. What needs to happen is they need to figure out how to enjoy the summer festivities while also abiding by the terms of their sobriety, no drinking or drugs. If you are in recovery, we want you to enjoy the summer months like everyone else. To do that, we would like to offer you the following 10 tips on having a sober summer:

1. Surround Yourself With Sober Friends and Support Resources

Surrounding yourself with "protective resources" while at summer events and parties will help keep you accountable to the people who understand your plight. Also, it offers you the opportunity to surround yourself with like-minded individuals and create a support network of sorts, which should keep you from feeling awkward about being the only person not drinking.

2. Organize Your Transportation to and From Outings and Events

Your plight is not someone else's plight. By organizing your own transportation ahead of time, you will be able to leave events and parties when you want without interrupting the enjoyment of others.

3. Prepare Explanation for Not Drinking

The people closest to you will understand why you are not enjoying "spirits." Casual friends, acquaintances, and strangers might wonder why you are not joining in the festivities with a drink or two. Given the likelihood that you might get a direct question about this, you should have a canned reply that you can deliver without embarrassment and with confidence. You don’t need to talk about your recovery journey or addiction treatment unless you feel comfortable doing so, a simple but clear response is valid enough.

4. Inform Support Resources of the Events You Will Be Attending

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." By informing your support resources about your intention to enjoy specific summer events, they can prepare themselves to support you. A couple of "check-in" calls from a support resource could be all you need to stay aware of what and who you are as a recovering addiction sufferer.

5. Occupy Your Time in a Positive Manner

Don't allow yourself to stand alone at parties and events. It's a far better idea to keep yourself busy visiting with people instead of standing aside and watching everyone else enjoying the festivities with a drink in hand.

6. Keep Non-Alcoholic Drinks in Hand

While others are standing around with a drink in hand, the absence of a cup in your hand might make you feel awkward. It might also draw unwanted questions like, "can I get you a drink?" Pick your favorite non-alcoholic beverage and keep a cup in your hand as much as possible.

7. Set Event Participation Time Limits

It's up to you to decide how long you can endure festivities where alcohol drinking is part of the outing. By setting time limits, you can mediate the temptation you might face. Note: Most drinking takes place during the latter part of events. Leaving early might be a good idea. If you invite friends to join you who support your recovery, leaving early is much easier.

8. Preplan Your Event Exit Strategy

At some point, you might start to feel uncomfortable about the escalation of the event or party. By pre-planning your exit strategy, it will allow you to seamlessly leave without having to figure out how to go about doing it.

9. Avoid and Recognize Your Triggers

During treatment, you should have learned a bit about your personal triggers. When it comes time to participate in summer festivities, you should avoid the things that might tempt you. If avoiding drinking is difficult for you, don't go to parties where alcohol is readily available. You should also avoid the people, places, and things that could tempt you. Prioritizing your mental health and seeking the support of your family members and loved ones will allow you to feel more comfortable honoring your boundaries.

10. Plan Your Own Sober-Free Outings/Events

If you want to enjoy a sober-free summer party, there is nothing that says you can't plan your own party that follows your own rules and preferences such as a barbecue without alcohol, or sober activities like paddle-boarding or kayaking. If you do encounter a relapse problem during the summer, you know you can contact Hollywood Hills Recovery for help getting back on the wagon.

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