by Izzy Brown, MA, R-DMT, LPC
As the temperature rises and the days grow longer, summer provides us with promises of fun-filled adventures and carefree moments. While alcohol is often associated with summer festivities, it’s important to remember that there are countless ways to have a memorable and enjoyable summer without relying on alcohol. In fact, embracing a sober summer can open new possibilities for authentic connections, self-discovery and last memories. If you are “sober curious,” and/or sober, I encourage you to read and save this blog post!
There is a belief that some hold that we need alcohol to have fun. In order to have sober fun, it is essential to shift our mindset and reframe this idea. Societal norms may make it seem like alcohol is an integral part of summer gatherings but, it is just one component. It does not make up the entire gathering. I will encourage all the sober curious folks to challenge the belief that you need alcohol to relax, socialize or have a good time. Genuine enjoyment comes from within and it’s possible to feel authentic enjoyable without the influence of alcohol.
One of the keys to having a fun, sober summer is to explore new activities and hobbies! Take advantage of warm weather by engaging in outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, swimming, or even picnicking at the park to watch birds! Join a sports league, try out water sports, or even sign up for random classes. Engaging in these activities/hobbies not only keeps you active and energized, but it also provides opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and build meaningful connections. Remember, sober communities exist! Most of the time, sober communities will have social media profiles and will post events that are happening in the area! Go to a few this summer.
Another key to your fun, sober summer is to embrace your creative side by diving into artistic endeavors. Take up painting, drawing, photography and let your imagination run free! Summer is the perfect time to capture the beauty of nature and/or create colorful masterpieces inspired by the vibrant season. Engaging in creative pursuits allows for self-expression, relaxation and a sense of accomplishment that can be just as fulfilling as any alcohol-induced experience—matter a fact, these sober accomplishments are MORE fulfilling than any alcohol induced experience.
Focus on building and nurturing connections. Gather friends for picnics, bonfires, movie nights and camping under the starts. Host a game night or organize a book club. These activities promote laughter, conversation, and genuine bonding. Surround yourself with individuals who respect and support your decision to be sober and create a positive and inclusive environment for everyone involved.
Practicing mindfulness and self-care is also crucial during the summer months. Take time to prioritize your wellbeing by engaging in activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation. Explore meditation, yoga, or journaling to cultivate your inner peace and self-reflection. Schedule regular self-care rituals such as bubble baths, face masks, and/or long walks in nature. By nourishing your mind, body and soul, you create a strong foundation for a fulfilling and joyful summer.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to (and only if you have the emotional capacity to handle this situation) to attend events or social gathering where alcohol is present. Your decision to be sober is empowering and personal. Focus on the connections and experiences rather than the absence of alcohol. Surround yourself with supportive friends who understand and respect your choices. Stay hydrate with delicious mocktails and of course, water! Get creative with alcohol free drinks that will add a touch of excitement to your summer festivities. And the best part, no hangovers! You will get to enjoy every day refreshed and ready!
If you struggle with alcohol consumption or is curious about sobriety, reach out to a therapist at bellavalorepsychotherapy.com to unlock your authentic self and experience the best summer yet!