5 Tips for a Sober Summer

Updated on May 31, 2023

As beaches get more visitors and temperatures heat up, summer activities are gaining momentum again. As much fun as summer can be, it can also be one of the most triggering times of the year for people in recovery. Luckily, there is time for you to prep now so that you make sure you remain successful with your sobriety this summer. Keep reading for our tips on having a sober summer and how to tackle common summer triggers.

Sober Summer Tip #1: Bring Your Own Drinks

The first tip for having a sober summer is bringing your own drinks to the functions you are attending. This way, you won’t feel cornered if there’s nothing else to drink, and you’ve still got something in your hands to toast with your friends. La Croix and a slice of lime can look just like a cocktail if you’re still not ready to talk about your sobriety and treatment.

You can also take it a step further and invest in your own small cooler or insulated bag. This will help if you’re frequenting trips to the beach or other outdoor gatherings so that you don’t have to mix your nonalcoholic drinks among the beer and spritzers your friends are having. This will help eliminate just one more way temptation can get in the way if you happen to begin feeling triggered.

Sober Summer Tip #2: Prep Your Exit Strategy

Before you walk into any gathering this summer, make sure you have your exit strategy ready to go. Being around alcohol and other substances for too long can start giving you negative, triggering thoughts—like that you can handle just one or that this time will be different. Once these start creeping into your head, it’s time to head out. The best way to make sure you’re ready for this moment is by prepping ahead:

  • Create a little white lie. When it comes to protecting your sobriety, telling a white lie is more than acceptable, and you should never feel bad for telling one. Pretending like you have to wake up early the next day, that you have another function to attend that night or that you’re not feeling well are all simple white lies that can get you out of a potential relapse situation.
  • Don’t overcommit to begin with. If you’re attending a function where the host may ask you to help clean up afterward or if you’re responsible for driving people home, don’t agree to it. It will get in the way of your exit strategy should you become triggered. Make sure you don’t have any ties that could keep you there longer than you’re comfortable.
  • Just go. Don’t overthink it. If you’re feeling triggered and are realizing that staying longer could be damaging to your sobriety, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Just head out and send the host a text a little later to let them know you had to suddenly leave. That way, there’s no pressure to say goodbye or come up with excuses on your way out.

Sober Summer Tip #3: Get Into Summer Sports

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, so make sure you stay busy this summer. The great thing about summer is that there is a whole world of activities you can take part in and try out. Who knows—one of them might become your new favorite hobby. Some of these can include:

  • Swimming
  • Surfing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Boogie boarding
  • Beach volleyball
  • Camping
  • Dirt biking
  • Mountain biking

Sober Summer Tip #4: Be Ready to Stand Firm

As social distancing measures start to slowly lift, your social calendar might quickly fill up. Now is an important time to prepare yourself to stand firm while you’re around friends and family who might ask you to partake in alcohol or other substances.

Be ready to stand your ground, hold strong, be confident and remain unwavering. There will always be that one person who will try to “break” you or get you to cave—don’t fall into it.

Sober Summer Tip #5: Maintain Your Sober Connections

The most important tip for a sober summer is to maintain your sober connections. Make sure you keep attending your meetings, working your aftercare program, checking in regularly with your therapist and hanging out with sober friends.

If you are finding yourself struggling this summer or have relapsed, just remember that help is always right around the corner. We are always here for you and can help you get through this time.

About Cliffside Malibu

Because no two addictions are the same, we develop individualized treatment plans for every patient at Cliffside Malibu. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model across a range of levels of care, including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Our program includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual has a substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information, contact Cliffside Malibu.