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Summer is just around the corner and, for many, that means the potential opportunities for beach trips, tropical vacations, and family barbecues every other weekend. Although a time for fun, some of these activities can be triggering, especially for those in early recovery. Think about it; when was the last time you went to a barbecue and alcohol wasn’t present? Have you ever been on a tropical vacation that didn’t have multiple bars within a 5-mile radius? Summer is a time for fun, but the reality is that the presence of alcohol is difficult to avoid at these summer events. Thankfully, there are ways to have lots of sober summer fun over the next few months. 

Before you can think about sober summer fun, you must seek treatment if you’re still living in active addiction. Treatment may not seem possible when you’re amid active addiction, but it is possible. Consider working with West Coast Recovery Centers to begin that treatment journey today. Now, let’s dive into how you can enjoy a sober summer while maintaining recovery. 

Is Early Exposure to Alcohol Dangerous During Early Recovery?

Life post-treatment is hard. As you integrate back into your day-to-day life, suddenly, you’re face to face with all these changes you must make. That’s in addition to managing cravings, avoiding triggers, and working hard on staying sober. For that reason, avoiding substances during early sobriety is crucial. 

Some people may not have as much trouble managing cravings and triggers during early recovery. However, early alcohol exposure can be dangerous when recovering from alcohol use disorder (AUD). If you’re not yet versed in your coping techniques or feel strong enough to abstain, early exposure can put you at significant risk for relapse. 

You may be fortunate enough to have friends and family who attempt to make your transition smoother by removing alcohol from social gatherings. However, there’ll come a time when you’ll have to learn to be in the same room with alcohol without consuming it. Nevertheless, each stage of the recovery journey has a time and place. 

Your first summer gathering post-treatment may not be the best time to try your hand at coping techniques. Give yourself some space before putting your coping skills to use. In the event that you do experience early alcohol exposure this summer, how can you avoid it? 

How Can You Avoid Alcohol at Summer Social Gatherings?

Again, alcohol exposure before you’re ready can be problematic, but so is isolation. If you’re new to recovery, summer gatherings may be the perfect time to reacquaint yourself with friends and family. It may be a good way to get back to normal. Additionally, there are creative ways to avoid alcohol at these gatherings. 

The first way to avoid alcohol and drinking is simple – bring your own drink. Inconspicuously bringing sparkling water, soda, or whatever you like can be an effective way to avoid the topic of why you aren’t drinking. You might also bring a sober buddy without and be the designated driver. Accountability is critical to sobriety, and both of these ensure you’re keeping yourself accountable. 

Another way to avoid drinking alcohol is to have a plan. Planning when you’ll arrive, who you’ll go with, and when you’ll leave can help create a structure or routine for the social gathering. Sticking to that routine will help you avoid deviating and potentially putting yourself in a position to drink. 

Lastly, avoiding drinking and staying sober is possible by remembering your why. Why did you seek treatment? What are your motivators to stay sober? Why are you doing all of this? Reminding yourself of the why of your past can help you maintain the sobriety of your future. 

The Importance of Having a Sober Summer

Being new to recovery doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun this summer. The trick is finding the right sober activities. Yet, why is this necessary? 

One reason to prioritize a sober summer is, of course, the fact that you’re trying to stay sober. Finding activities to do, spending time with supportive loved ones, and prioritizing your well-being is critical during this time. Plus, it’ll be good practice for your recovery in the future. 

Another critical reason to have a sober summer is it’ll be a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with yourself. Time spent in active addiction can make it difficult to know who we are. Utilize the next few months to try and get acclimated with yourself, discover who you are, and begin planning what you want your life to look like. 

How to Start Having Some Sober Summer Fun

So, how can you have a fun, sober summer? Here are a few things to try: 

  • Take a relaxing vacation with friends, family, or members of your support system 
  • Spend time outdoors hiking, camping, or engaging in other outdoor activities 
  • Have a self-care day by going to a spa, watching movies, or going on a retreat 
  • Enjoy a picnic or outdoor dinner with your friends, family, and loved ones 
  • Learn new outdoor hobbies like gardening, rock climbing, or photography 

Consider these ideas when planning your sober summer adventure, and call West Coast Recovery Centers to learn more today! 

Summer is right around the corner. For many, that means a few months of summer fun that includes outdoor concerts, barbecues, beach trips, and family vacations. Summer can be an excellent time to refresh and renew, but for those of us in recovery, many of these social gatherings can put our sobriety at risk. The good news is that there are a number of ways for you to have some excellent, sober fun this summer. The best way to have a sober summer is to connect with loved ones, prioritize your mental and physical well-being, and rediscover your newly recovered identity. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to start your sober summer today.