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Summer Survival Kit: Staying Sober

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Summer has arrived, and you have one primary objective in mind: staying sober. It won’t be easy, but we know you can do it. As with anything, the more prepared you are, the better chance you have of success. Here we’re going to give you a bulletproof checklist that you can rely on when you’re feeling tempted, to help you make the best decision for you – to stay sober.

Sober Summer on the Beach

Now, you’re enjoying the sunshine with friends and your stone-cold resolve and determination to stay sober doesn’t feel so firm … If anything, it feels like the foundations of your sobriety may be close to falling in. Don’t panic! Run through our sober summer survival kit checklist, and you will get through this & stay sober.

Tip #1 - Make a list of your sober summer survival kit no-go danger zones

Everyone who has tried to ditch the booze or is successfully sober knows that there are certain places that they associate entirely with their past, and returning to them can be challenging. Sit down and note these places – they might be pubs, bars or restaurants. They may even be a friend’s home. If you are invited to any of these spaces and you feel that you will be tempted - don’t go. If you somehow find yourself there - leave.

Tip #2 - Get your sober routine together

Cognitive and physical vulnerabilities to alcohol are exacerbated by poor sleep, nutrition, not exercising, lack of structure and not lack of self-care. Check-in with yourself - have you slept well? Have you exercised and/or meditated today? What have you been eating? Have you been feeling overly stressed in the last few days? Your sobriety is dependent on it. If you don’t have these habits yet, make a plan on how to start living a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s a focus on exercise, diet, meditation, or faith, you have to start somewhere. Make a plan.

"It’s like having a second chance at life, …. Seeing everything with clarity, gratitude; it’s unbelievable. I feel so good. And to have these little blessings is the icing on the cake.”

Ronnie WoodGuitarist/ Painter

Tip #3 - Connect

We are here for you. Reach out whenever you need support. Sober Essex can connect you with many others who have experienced everything you are feeling now. Try and connect with people who will understand what you’re going through and will hold you accountable. You aren’t in this alone.

Tip #4 - Learn to say no

Have a rehearsed list of excuses to use when declining a drink. Saying no to an offer of alcohol and saying no to yourself when the voice in the back of your mind comes calling is the most crucial part of staying sober, and you will need to practice how to do it. Commit to writing down ten different ways you could decline an offer of booze in a social setting, with graduating levels of force. Peer pressure is real and scary for those trying to stay sober. Stay firm in the face of temptation. (“I am taking a break from alcohol”, “I am on a health kick for a few weeks”, “I have decided to stop – it no longer serves me…”).

Tip #5 - Do something different

Where are you going that isn’t a bar or pub? Write down 10 things that you’ve been meaning to do or try for years and have never got around to because you were prioritizing booze. What new sports could you try? Theatre trip? What new hobby could you take up? Write a book? Read a book? Is this the time to rediscover your love for the pastimes you took part in when you were younger? You’ll be amazed at the feelings of joy and contentment that come from activities that a past version of yourself would have written off as “boring”. Inner peace awaits. Write down a list of 10 ideas of things you can try that are not related to drinking.

Make sobriety your new habit

We hope this checklist helps to safeguard your sobriety and keep you on track during the wonderful summer months. Remember, being sober grants you the gift of freedom to enjoy every second of your summer and beyond! Good luck.

"One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.’

Brene Brown - Author

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