• Staying Sober Through the End of Summer

    Staying Sober Through the End of Summer

    I sometimes find myself dreading holidays because I know how hard it can be to stay sober through them. Whether it’s the pressure from others around me, the winter blues or the difficulty of fitting in, I work extra hard during these times to ensure I do everything necessary to stay sober.

    However, unlike holidays that last only about a day or two, staying sober in the summertime is even harder. Some days, after a long day of yard work in the sun, a glass of ice water just doesn’t seem to cut it.

    Prepare for Outdoor Activities and Drinking 

    The number one rule I have set for myself during summer activities is to bring my own beverages to outdoor functions. If a friend invites my family over to a barbecue, the first thing I pack is the baby’s diaper bag followed by the cooler. I fill the cooler with tasty juices, homemade lemonades or alcohol-free daiquiris. For some of us, summer means enjoying more beer and cocktails at outdoor cookouts. While it may be easier for some people to not drink in the summer, I find it difficult. I remember a few years back when I was never seen outside without a beer in my hand. Nowadays, I have replaced that beer with flavored water and non-alcoholic drinks I have learned to make with fresh fruits.

    Stay Hydrated and Sober

    Staying hydrated is especially important during the hot days. I know the concept of having something to drink in my hand was the key to figuring out what was bothering me at small summer gatherings. It was similar to understanding my urge to have something in my mouth when I quit smoking. I always make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to always have a bottle of flavored or regular cold water in my hand. Staying hydrated is not only important for staying sober, but for those of us who seem to get colds around this time of year, it can also help keep us healthy. I, myself, don’t particularly enjoy having to take cold medications, so ensuring my body is getting enough fluids can keep me from experiencing my version of the summertime blues.

    Stay Active to Stay Sober

    Staying active almost seems exhausting for me, as a stay at home parent who also works and babysits two other children, but it is still a very important item on my personal checklist. Sometimes sitting indoors or playing on the swing set can become too routine for me, so I make sure that I engage in other projects and activities that break up the routine. I take on outside projects, to make sure I get a lot of Vitamin D from the sun while gardening, caring for the lawn, and even just strolling up and down the street for short walks. For some reason, people tend to believe that the summer means you must be more active outdoors, but I feel as long as I am enjoying the sunshine with my daughter, I don’t need much more than that.

    Indulge Your Sweet Tooth to Avoid Drinking

    The most important thing for me to diminish my craving for a cold margarita is to indulge my sweet tooth. I recommend this to people even if they aren’t addicts. I excuse my overindulgence in sweets during the summer because I know I’m far more active than I am in the winter. I spent all winter watching my diet and exercising for the summer, so it’s only fair to live a little. In the summer, I also enjoy naturally sweet things like fresh cut watermelon or homemade strawberry lemonade. These can be exactly what you need to satisfy the craving for something more destructive. Satisfying your taste buds with a big bar of chocolate or fresh fruit can be just what is needed to send your negative feelings packing. Studies have proven that chocolate and fruits like grapes and strawberries release endorphins, so I say give it all up for your sweet tooth.

    The summer is an important time to enjoy the sunlight and participate in the things that winter deprived us of. Summer is not a time to dwell on the things you can’t do. If you’re beginning to miss having a cold beer in the summer after a long day of work outside, find out what works for you as a refreshing replacement and enjoy it.

    Cassandra Huerta is a freelance writer who lives in an extremely small Michigan town and lives life one day at a time. She enjoys regularly entertaining her six-month-old daughter and can thank her wonderful fiance and coffee for all of her work.

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