Our Advice to Embracing a Sober Summer

Our Advice to Embracing a Sober Summer

The summer solstice, which occurred yesterday, June 20th, officially marks the beginning of the summer months here in the UK.

For many, the summer season is welcomed. It means warm weather, holidays and spending more time surrounded by loved ones. However, for those focusing on their recovery journey, it can mean being faced with many triggers that make staying sober more difficult.

If you’re worried about facing a sober summer, you’re not alone. Although removing triggers entirely is impossible, there are many ways you can still thoroughly enjoy this season. In this blog, you’ll find useful advice to help you with embracing the sober summer months ahead.


Remember to Lean On Your Support Network

From being in active alcohol addiction to finally getting to the point where you can truly say you’re in recovery, think about those who have been there for you every step of the way. These are the people who have seen you at your worst and celebrated your progress, no matter how small. As you experience what may be your first sober summer, with its many social gatherings and potential triggers, remember that you don’t have to do it alone.

Think about those family members or a friend who always picks up the phone, no matter what time it is. Or your sibling who checks in on you regularly, just to make sure you’re okay. These connections are priceless. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by a party where everyone is drinking or just having a tough day, reach out. Recovery isn’t easy, and it’s okay to admit that you need support.

Sometimes, just talking things out can make a world of difference. Let your loved ones know what’s on your mind. Share your fears about upcoming events, your hopes for a sober summer, and the strategies that help you stay on track. They can offer advice, distraction, or simply a shoulder to lean on.

Being open about your journey can strengthen your relationships and provide you with the resilience you need to stay on track for a sober summer. It takes courage to lean on others, but you’re also giving them a chance to show their love and support. So, as you enjoy the sunshine and the long days of summer, keep your own support system and network close. You can make this a summer to remember – for all the right reasons.

Listen to Yourself

When people come out of being in active addiction, they tend to feel as though they’ve “betrayed” themselves. You may feel like you can’t trust yourself or your judgement. But in recovery, a big part of the journey is learning how to do just that again, trusting yourself to make decisions that are right for you, your health and your well-being.

If you feel like you’re in a situation that isn’t good for you, listen to yourself. Trust your own judgement and intuition, and act accordingly. Your thoughts and rationale are difficult to interpret in addiction, but you need to start believing that you have your own best interest at heart again.

Avoid Triggers (Where Possible)

Summertime can mean being at the centre of many social gatherings and situations that might trigger a desire to engage in old habits. It’s important to recognise and avoid these triggers whenever possible.

Whether it’s a barbecue where alcohol is flowing freely, meeting up with friends in a beer garden or a festival where substances are prevalent, listen to your inner voice. If you know certain environments or people are likely to tempt you, it really is okay to say no.

Protecting your progress with sobriety is always the ultimate priority in recovery, and there’s no shame in putting yourself and your own well-being first. Create lasting memories by planning ahead and seeking out sober-friendly events and gatherings where you can enjoy yourself without feeling at risk.

Don’t Forget About What You’ve Learnt So Far In Recovery

Feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed? Shift your focus back to the coping skills and practical strategies you’ve learnt so far in your recovery journey. These tools are there to support you in moments of doubt or temptation.

Remember the techniques that have helped you manage stress, anxiety, and cravings in the past. Whether it’s mindfulness, meditation, reaching out to a support network, or simply taking a moment to breathe, these practices are invaluable.

So, even though it’s hard, when the moment comes and you’re feeling tested – try to remember and actively engaging in whatever works for you in the form of a healthy coping skill.

Re-Assess Who You’re Spending Time With

If you’re noticing that certain friends, family members, colleagues or even just acquaintances are not supportive of your sober lifestyle, it may be time to re-assess these relationships.

Recovery is a time to surround yourself with positivity and encouragement. Those who respect your journey and support your decision to stay sober are the ones who should occupy your time and space. It might be difficult to distance yourself from people, especially when you’ve known them for a long time, but your health and recovery have to come first.

This doesn’t mean you have to cut people off entirely; sometimes, we just can’t do that. For example, if someone at work is triggering your recovery journey, you might not be able to stop engaging with this person entirely because you work together. But if you’re seeing this person outside of work, such as at work social events, you are in control of limiting these interactions by distancing yourself from that person and focusing on the people who do not make you feel this way.

Seek out relationships that uplift you, and don’t be afraid to set boundaries with those who don’t.

Remind Yourself that What’s Best for You Is What Matters Most

It’s easy to get caught up in wanting to please others or fit in. But what’s best for you might not always align with what others expect or want, and that’s okay.

Make decisions that prioritise your overall sense of health and happiness, even if it means standing out or declining invitations. Your commitment to self-care and recovery will matter most to those who truly care about you. Remind yourself daily that taking care of yourself is not selfish. It really is essential.

Keep Up With Your Recovery Activities

Although summer months tend to be busy, be sure not to lose sight of the things you do that help you stay on track.

Everyone’s different, of course, but whether it’s attending AA or NA meetings, touching base with your previous care providers via your aftercare plan, therapy sessions, exercising, or spending time doing things you love, keep these things a priority.

They form the foundation of your recovery and provide a sense of stability and routine, which are important to maintain – especially in early recovery. No matter how hectic your schedule gets, making sure you’re setting time aside for these activities will help you maintain your sobriety and continue your progress.

Engage in Wholesome Activities

Because of the warmer weather, it’s much more enjoyable to spend time outside during the UK summer, making the most out of the sunshine and dry spells! And what this means is there are countless opportunities to engage in wholesome, enjoyable activities.

Wholesome activities are anything that feels good for your mental health. Whether that’s hiking, going for walks, swimming, biking, picnicking, strolling through town, or just spending time outside in the garden, these are great ways to enjoy the season whilst staying sober.

Need Support? Reach Out Today

Whether you’re worried about your own recovery or think that a loved one would benefit from additional support to avoid relapse – we can help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0800 001 4070 today or reach out via our online form.