by Directions Behavioral Health Centers
on June 25, 2021
In 2020, we were hit with the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly had to adjust to a new way of living. During this time, mental health was on a steep decline due to job loss, businesses closing and social distancing. We’re now in Summer of 2021. Vaccines are available to the public and we can finally leave home. Now that a true Summer is back after its absence in 2020, it’s time for us to meet back up with our friends and family. July 4th is right around the corner, and after a tough year, some of us may find it difficult to maintain sobriety for the first get-together in a long time. Let’s take a step back and remember what we can do to stay sober during these gatherings.
- Mocktails and Coming Prepared
For those maintaining sobriety, you may have heard of mocktails. As the name implies, they’re alcohol-free drinks that resemble cocktails. One of the difficulties of staying away from alcohol at gatherings is that people are likely to ask if you would like a drink. If you arrive to a party with a drink in hand already, you can successfully avoid that temptation altogether. Why not also make mocktails for the entire party? Others attending may be sober as well, and providing an option for those on the same train will help everyone encourage each other to keep up the pace.
- Honesty and Saying “No.”
Not all attendees are going to understand your motives with mocktails. Some may still ask if you want alcohol. We may not like doing it, but a simple “no thank you,” is all it takes sometimes. Some may push a bit harder, but it is important to keep your guard up and not give into temptation. If you’re comfortable and open about it, explaining why you’re staying off alcohol may help them understand and ease up; though always remember you’re entitled to say “no.” without needing to explain yourself.
- Friends and Family for Back Up
Chances are, if you’re going to a gathering with many people, you’re close with several attendees who know your situation. Outside of people asking you for a drink, you will still be surrounded by easily accessible alcoholic beverages. Having close family and friends with you at the party can go a long way when it comes down to stomping out your temptation. The option of “maybe just one” is already off the table. Keep them close by, and if you begin to feel any urges, reach out to them and let them know.
- Keeping Busy
Staying away from alcohol is most difficult when you’re sitting back and socializing. Luckily it’s July 4th and we are in the middle of Summer. If you’re going to a house that has a pool, use it to your advantange. Alcohol won’t even be on your mind while taking a nice swim. Feel free to participate in any games going on as well. Even one such as beer pong can be played without an alcoholic beverage- though we recommend using a different-colored cup than everyone else, just to ensure no mistakes happen.
Most importantly, always keep your head up high. It may be easy to watch others having fun and feel left out, but just know that your mindset can take you a long way. Look at it this way: you’re learning how to socialize and have fun without the use of mind-altering substances. It may take some time, but keep working towards it! The reward at the end is well-worth it.