Happy, Sober Summer.
By Lewis David.
Summer has particular pitfalls when you want to stay sober. Here are my three top tips to serenely cruise through the summer, stay sober, and enjoy the experience.
Watch out for the ‘missing out’ trap.
In summer, you often see people drinking in attractive outdoor settings, like beer gardens and picnic areas. At times like these, it’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling that you are ‘missing out’. This can lead you to feel resentful about being sober, causing you to pick up a drink. You kid yourself you will only have one drink, but you know that isn’t true. Later you feel regretful and angry with yourself for breaking your sobriety.
The solution to this is to remind yourself at the outset of exactly what you are missing out on. When you stay sober, you are missing out on all sorts of potential horrors: arguments, DUIs, lost jobs, alcohol-induced anxiety, bad sleep, weight gain, lost money, and potentially fatal diseases. Not to mention waking up with a monster headache and your body feeling like a sumo wrestler has been dancing on you.
So if you feel you are missing out, just remind yourself of all those horrors you are missing out on, and be grateful for being sober.
In hot weather, it’s easy to get thirsty. Then suddenly the idea of a long drink like a beer or a wine spritzer might seem hard to resist, when in fact your body needs just plain old water.
The solution is to be aware of the need to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you have a drink. Top up your fluid levels throughout the day. Water, flavored waters, and fruit juices are great. Sodas might not be healthy drinks, but a Coke is better for you than a Bud. Coffee is not great for hydration, so after your morning coffee, wash it down with a glass of water.
In hot weather, alcohol is the last thing your body needs, as it makes dehydration worse.
If you need inspiration on what to drink, here’s a link to an article on hydration and ideas for interesting non-alcoholic drinks.
Time to have fun and start living.
If your past summers have mostly been spent in the garden of your local bar, it’s time to wake up to the opportunities of sober living.
Summer is perfect for engaging in alcohol-free activities. The combination of long, warm days and a sober head opens up endless possibilities. When you were a kid, you were probably out for hours in summer evenings enjoying yourself. You didn’t need prompting – life was full of things to do. Now as a sober adult, the same applies. It’s a great time for outings to parks and beaches. Take your kids on picnics or out camping. Learn to jet ski or play golf. There are no limits now you are sober.
Make a list of things you would love to do, then go and do them. Don’t mope around because you haven’t got a drink. It’s time to get excited. It’s time to have fun.
"Mindfulness for Alcohol Recovery."
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