When the temperature goes up during the spring and summer months, a season of reasons to celebrate begins. More people consume alcohol or engage in partying behavior, and the number of social invitations goes up. If you are in recovery and wondering how to stay sober during this time, your concerns are warranted.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 69.5 percent of adults have consumed alcohol in the past year. It’s going to be hard to be part of that 30 percent that doesn’t, while still feeling socially acceptable. Read more about ways to stay sober during the social seasons when it feels like everybody around you is drinking.
Maintain Sober Social Circles
The biggest rule of thumb in recovery is to ensure you stay connected to people that care about your sobriety. This is not only a deterrent to relapsing, but these people are also the support system that will love you through anything. Stay in touch with these friendships and family members because they truly want you to stay alive and healthy.
It may be impossible to do that sometimes. You may be invited to a wedding where you know almost nobody there. Stay connected to the people that love you during these times.
Distract Yourself with Healthy Activities
When you are trying to stay sober during the summer months of drinking, find healthier ways to relax. Meditation and yoga are common practices for those in recovery because they work.
A lot of people have a drink after work or at dinner to relax from the day. Find a different outlet to relax after a long hard day. Distract yourself from the healthy activities in life. Have this plan ahead of time, so that you don’t slip when temptation strikes.
Create a Backup for Your Backup Plan
A trigger is a kind of situation that sends you into a relapse. This could be a person, a location, an event, or just any experience that will make you want to drink again. Someone at work gets mad at you, someone at home has a fit because you left the toilet seat up, or you just have a bad day. You can’t avoid the triggers in life.
You can avoid what you do about them. A big factor in relapse is whether you will be prepared to avoid it. If you think that you won’t have a problem if relapse temptation strikes, then you might if that is your only backup plan. Have confidence in yourself to beat this, but also have a contingency plan just in case you have a day when you don’t want to.
If temptation strikes, replace that moment with something else on your backup plan so that you don’t fall prey to temptation. One celebrity that has struggled with this is Demi Lovato. Her struggle with substances has almost killed her, and she’s suffered a stroke and a heart attack as a result. Watch YouTube videos such as this as your backup plan when temptation strikes.
Seek Support When You Need It
When you are feeling like the slightest temptation could bring your house down, replace that moment with something or someone supportive. You’ve worked hard to get here. Honor that by being proud of yourself for that, and leaning on the people that are proud of you too.