22 May 2017

Five Tips for Summer Sobriety

Summer is about sunny beaches, cookouts, and Fourth of July fireworks, and for many that includes alcohol. Grassy lawns and shady gardens are perfect for a cold beer in the summer and you will see a lot of people, including friends and family, enjoying their drinks outside, wherever you may be. This increase in public drinking means that a recovering alcoholic will be faced with more temptation under the guise of carefree, good times in the sun, making them forget that they have an alcohol problem. Below are five suggestions to prevent relapse during the summer party season:

1. Talk about it. If you’re worried about relapsing during the summer, you must share your concerns with others. Share these feelings at your recovery group’s next meeting and attend more meetings until you feel more in control. Reach out to close friends and family for much-needed comfort and reassurance. These are the people that you will be with at barbeques and on vacation - it will help you to have these people looking out for you. Get help immediately and do not ignore your feelings in hopes of them just disappearing.

2. Put away the rose colored glasses. Seeing friends have fun with alcoholic beverages may make you nostalgic for the 'good drinking day', also called romancing the drink. This false nostalgia needs to be countered with a dose of reality. You know that you have a problem with alcohol and this is the time to remember the pain caused by addiction.

3. Exercise your options. The sun may be beating down, but that is no reason to jump to an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol dehydrates your body and is actually more harmful than good on a hot, sunny day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you need to have a drink, especially when there are many better options available. Stick to water and ice teas - you can even go for cold cans of soda. Bring your own nonalcoholic drinks to barbeques, to the beach, or wherever your friends and family gather this summer.

4. Get active. There are millions of things to do outside once the weather gets nice, and they are all better and easier to do without alcohol (whether or not you have an addiction). Start training for a half marathon, go hiking, start cycling - become physically active and channelize your energy and urges into a productive and fun exercise.

5. Be grateful. Start a gratitude list to remind yourself of all the reasons that you have to stay sober. Reflect on your support system and those that love you - and, most importantly, take into account your accomplishments and how far you have come in your recovery.

Do you have any tips for having a sober summer? Please share on Twitter at @SoberChi!