How to Stay Sober in the Summertime
Summer is a time when people take breaks from school and work to enjoy the sunshine and spend time with family and friends. When the skies are blue, and the temperatures are warm, it seems like the perfect opportunity to relax by the pool with a cold drink in hand.
Socialization is a major focus of summer activities, and often these events include alcohol. As a result, it can be a challenge for people who have overcome addiction to stay sober this time of year. The temptation is present at most social events, and one slip-up could be a dangerous slope back to addictive behaviour.
People with all levels of addiction need to put up their guard and be careful during the summer months. Here are a few of the best tips to maintain sobriety during the warmest season of the year:
- Limit Attendance at Activities with Alcohol: You won’t be able to avoid alcohol completely, but you can minimize the time that you spend around these activities. Balance your summer with fun events that don’t involve drinking. If you are planning to attend a birthday party or family gathering with alcohol, then set a time limit so that you leave before everyone is intoxicated.
- Rely on the Support of Friends and Family: If you are heading to an event and you know that you will be tempted by the availability of alcohol or drugs, then bring a friend or family member who is familiar with the situation. They can help you stay on track and offer support if you feel the temptation to give in to the addiction.
- Know Your Triggers, and Avoid Them: Are there certain situations that you know will trigger your addiction? If you know that you can’t attend the party without having a drink, then it is best to skip the event so that you can avoid the trigger. In the same way that gamblers should avoid Las Vegas, someone recovering from alcohol addiction should avoid social gatherings at a bar.
- Plan Your Drink: It can be helpful to have an alcohol-free drink in hand during the event. Look online to find “mocktails” and ask the bartender to mix up something without alcohol so that you have a glass in hand. If you always have something to sip on at a social, then it reduces the likelihood that someone will offer you an alcoholic beverage.
- Have a Backup Plan: Who will you call if you are feeling tempted? An emergency contact, such as a sponsor or a close family member, can be essential if you need to get yourself out of a situation. This outside perspective can help you see the potential dangers and get back on track with your day.
- Be Proactive with Self Care: When you are rundown, hungry, and tired, then it can be harder to say “no” to temptations that come your way. Be proactive during the summer months to stay active, eat well-balanced meals, and get enough sleep each night. These self-care steps might seem small, but they can make a big difference to help with the self-control that is needed to avoid temptation. Self-care is different for every person, so the best thing that you can do is identify the habits and activities that help you feel relaxed and refreshed.
- Be Careful about Free Time: Spending too much time in boredom can sometimes trigger addictive behaviour. Just because you have time off, doesn’t mean that you should spend that time in idleness. Plan uplifting activities and hobbies that help you stay busy so that you aren’t tempted to fill the free time with drugs or alcohol.
Just because it is summertime, it doesn’t mean that you need to struggle with your addiction. Look ahead and put together a game plan to help you avoid some of the common issues so that you can make it a priority to maintain sobriety this summer.