Summer usually means no school, consistent warm weather, BBQs, summer parties, vacations, longer days, and later nights. Unfortunately, lack of routine and more social gatherings might interrupt an individual’s ability to maintain sobriety. In addition, summer get-togethers usually have an abundance of alcohol present, making the temptation to drink even more challenging.
It’s nice to take a hiatus from the usual routine; however, it is essential to be mindful that addiction never takes a day off and is always waiting for you to have a moment of weakness to step back into your life.
The days are longer during the summer months because the sun rises earlier and sets later. Everyone is a bit more relaxed in the Summer, diets become less rigid, kids are out of school, and bedtime is usually extended. Responsibilities may become reduced. Lack of daily routine for everyone in the household causes increased stress on someone in early recovery.
Here are some helpful tips to help you maintain your sobriety all Summer long!
You can go on vacation. However, you can’t take a break from your recovery plan. So do your research before you travel to find 12-Step Meetings near your resort. Traveling can be difficult for individuals in recovery that rely on routine and easily accessible resources to help keep them sober. Being prepared ahead of time with meeting locations and times can ease the stress of traveling and reduce the opportunity for relapse.
Keep People Informed
When traveling to an all-inclusive resort, the alcoholic beverages might be free-flowing. Having a support network with you if you feel compelled to drink is helpful. Having your AA Meetings list is essential as well. If staying in a hotel, it may come equipped with a fully stocked mini-bar; notifying the hotel ahead of time will allow them to ensure your room is free from alcohol, which will help you avoid unnecessary temptations. Finally, make sure a member of your travel party is aware of your addiction; this way, they understand if you need to be absent from specific alcohol-driven events such as booze cruises, wine tastings, or happy hour.
Bring your beverage! Don’t be afraid to bring a non-alcoholic beverage to an event to ensure you won’t fall into the temptation to drink alcohol. You can get water, soda, seltzer, iced tea, or lemonade with you so that you have a plan. In addition, many companies like Athletic Brewing, Sam Adams, Heineken, and Beck’s are making non-alcoholic beer. There are also many companies and websites introducing mocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails, so you have options! You can still have summer fun without the alcohol.
Volunteer to Be the Designated Driver
Opting to be the DD not only helps you maintain your sobriety but also helps you keep your friends and family consuming alcoholic beverages from driving. In addition, this is an easy way to enjoy yourself alcohol-free and not have the added pressure of people antagonizing you to drink.
Don’t Explain Yourself.
If someone offers you an alcoholic beverage, say no and move on. It is not your job to explain why you choose not to drink, and it’s none of their business. Instead, stay connected with individuals that support your sobriety.
If you know you can’t go to the beach, pool, or BBQ without consuming an alcoholic beverage, then stay home. Find an alternative way to be social while avoiding people, places, and things that may result in a relapse. Instead, spend time with sober friends and people in your recovery program.
When at the beach, instead of just sitting in your beach chair, go for a walk along the ocean or go for a swim. Play volleyball or participate in other fun activities. Bring a book to keep your mind occupied on something other than alcoholic drinks. Keeping busy at the beach will eliminate boredom which could result in a relapse. If you are attending a party or BBQ, don’t stay stagnant. Circulate the room and talk to different people and move into other spaces to keep yourself entertained.
Have an Exit Plan
Regardless of whether you got to a beach, pool parties, BBQ, or party this Summer, when the environment no longer positively serves you, then it’s time to leave. If you feel uncomfortable or are feeling tempted to break your sobriety, have a plan to leave immediately. An early exit to take care of a pet, early morning of work, or a workout is always a reliable excuse.
Summer can be a challenging time for individuals in recovery. Our residential detox center can assist you with your aftercare planning and support groups to help you remain sober and focused on your long-term recovery during the Summer months.
If you find yourself struggling with the temptation to drink, attend a meeting, speak with your sponsor, or contact us to speak with one of our professional counselors.
Avatar Residential Detox Center in New Jersey provides quality health care for drug and alcohol addiction treatments and behavioral health services. Please call +1 (973)-774-7222 for more information if you or someone is going through difficult times with substance abuse. We provide a variety of treatment services for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues.