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Wellbeing, Health, Mind

Staying sober this summer: Five top tips

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Alcohol free drinks

The summer time is the perfect period for enjoying days out and socialising with friends. It’s what the likes of barbecues, beer gardens and picnics were invented for. But navigating such occasions sober can be tricky.

More and more of us are turning away from alcohol at present, at a time where alcoholism is on the rise. As a result, we’re seeing more people get help, stepping through the doors of private alcohol rehabs and getting sober. In fact, it’s very likely we’ll know someone who has given up alcohol, or if you’re reading this, it’s quite likely you.

Whether it be a first summer or fifteenth, the season always throws up challenges when it comes to staying sober, much in the same way Christmas does. So, with the season on the horizon, here are five top tips to help stay sober this summer…

Plan Ahead

One of the more effective strategies for staying sober is planning. There are more social events and instances where you will be surrounded by alcohol during the summer, so think about the challenges you may face and what you can do to prepare and manage them.

For example, at a barbecue, you may want to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages or ask the host to get some in for you. Making people aware, if they aren’t already, that you aren’t drinking can also be a good way to negate the challenges of being offered a drink, for example.

Finally, have a plan in place for if you do need to make an exit as a result of the stress or discomfort an occasion may be causing. This will allow you to leave gracefully, sobriety intact.

Stay Connected to Your Support Network

Support networks are around for a reason, and those reasons can become more prominent during the summer months. It may be that you have a sponsor from a support group you visit, or even just having friends and family around to help you and provide encouragement and accountability.

Reach out to them if you are struggling and it may even be worth attending occasions with a sober friend, essentially providing strength in numbers.

Engage in Sober Activities

The summer is a great time for getting out with friends, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit in a beer garden. There are so many more options, from hiking to biking, playing sport to enjoying game nights or days at the beach.

Be proactive in trying to organise events that don’t revolve around the pub or alcohol and this will help reduce the instances where you may feel tempted to drink or feel your missing out compared to others.

Practice Mindfulness and Self-Care

Practising mindfulness and self-care can significantly strengthen your resolve to stay sober. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, can help you manage stress and stay grounded in the present moment. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep are also vital components of self-care that support your physical and mental well-being.

Make time for hobbies and activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s reading, painting, or gardening, engaging in these pursuits can boost your mood and provide a healthy outlet for any stress or cravings you might experience.

Remind Yourself of Your Reasons

Finally, while you may come up against challenges and temptations, continue to remind yourself why you chose the pathway of sobriety in the first place. Think about the benefits of sobriety and how it’s changed you for the better.

During periods you may find difficult, take a moment to remember that, think about how your health has improved. If you have a journal, take time to read it and see how far you’ve come. It may be just the deterrent you need to stay on track and have a fabulous summer to remember.

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