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4 Tips for Staying Sober This Summer [Update May 7, 2019]
May 7, 2019
The sunny days and warm weather of summer are upon us, and it’s a time for outdoor fun (and hopefully lots of sun!). What’s most important for you, as a recovering person, is staying sober this summer while still enjoying the festivities. Outdoor barbecues and picnics, pool parties, concerts, camping, traveling, boating and beach activities are all scenarios where you could be tempted to pick up a drink or partake in a drug.
Here are four tips that can help you maintain your sobriety, while still allowing you to enjoy all the fun the summer has to offer.
Top Tips for Staying Sober This Summer
1. Make a Plan That Accounts for Your Sobriety
Before you attend an activity, find out the details so you can plan ahead. The more planning you do, the more protected your sobriety will be. Find out what the atmosphere will be like at the event you’re planning to attend. Know who’ll be there, how long the event is expected to last and see if non-alcoholic drinks will be available.
If possible, bring along your own favorite non-alcoholic beverages. If you’re traveling away from home, bring a list of local support meetings near your destination. Be sure to have an exit plan. If the event becomes uncomfortable or you feel tempted to drink or do drugs, you can leave right away. When you plan for these situations in advance, you will know how to react – they won’t be a surprise in the moment.
2. Bring Support To Help You Stay Sober
If you believe an event may lead to temptation, bring a buddy with you for sober support. When you’re with a friend who understands your need to stay sober, you’ll have someone to lean on if the going gets tough or temptation rears its ugly head. A supportive friend can also be part of your exit plan. In the event that you find yourself in an uncomfortable or tempting situation, your friend can help you get out.
3. Stay Healthy
Don’t overextend yourself with social commitments to the point that you feel run down.1 When you’re in a less than ideal state of health, it’s much easier to give in to temptation and relapse. So take care of yourself – mind, body, and spirit.
In the summertime, that means staying hydrated when you’re out and about. Be sure to get enough rest every night, so you can tackle the next day without being tired. Remember that the sun can drain you more than you realize. If your social calendar gets too busy, turn down some invitations. That way you can rest and relax between the ones you do accept.
4. Stay in Touch When You’re on Vacation
Many people look forward to turning off the outside world when they’re on vacation, but staying sober this summer will require a bit of contact. It’s important for you to stay connected to your addiction recovery support resources all the time, even when you’re on vacation. After all, vacation offer opportunities where drinking or substances may present themselves. You might find yourself tempted if vacation already puts you outside your comfort zone.
If you want a break, at least stay in touch with your sponsor or counselor or a person with whom you’re close and knows about your recovery.2 Let them know where you are, what you’re doing and how you’re feeling while on vacation, so staying sober this summer is reinforced by holding yourself accountable for your own actions.
Just like any other time of the year, the most important tips for staying sober this summer include:
- planning ahead
- having a trusted friend to help you along
- staying healthy
- keeping in touch with your support network while on vacation
By keeping these tips in mind, you can have a sober and fun summer.
BONUS TIP: Read A Good Book
Fortunately, there are plenty of books out there to help you both escape to another reality without substances or drugs. And sometimes you might need a silent partner to support you in your sobriety this summer. Do you want a book to help support you in your recovery journey? Check out my best-selling book Maximum Strength for stories you can read in any order at any time.
Original post was published June 26, 2016. Updated post reflects additional information and the publishing of the best-selling book Maximum Strength.