Here we are, at that time of year – holiday season. It’s the perfect time for a summer getaway; a chance to relax, soak up some sunshine and explore new surroundings. For many people it’s a true joy, but for others it can be incredibly difficult, even if they are looking forward to a break.
For those who have committed to a sober lifestyle, whether that be because they are in alcohol recovery, or they’ve just taken a vow of sobriety for a healthier lifestyle, the temptation, unfamiliar surroundings and even stress of a holiday can cause people to turn to the bottle. After all, we all know how little fun airport security and lost luggage is!
So, for those that are trying to stay sober on holiday this summer, here are five top tips to help you along the way…
Before embarking on your holiday, take the time to plan ahead. Research the destination to find activities that align with your sober lifestyle. Seek out local attractions, nature spots, cultural experiences, and wellness activities that don’t revolve around alcohol. By creating a plan and itinerary that focuses on these alternatives, you’ll have a clear roadmap for your holiday and reduce the temptation to give in to alcohol-related activities.
Additionally, by having plans it’ll keep you within a routine, discouraging you from perhaps going out of an evening when temptation is at its peak, instead taking an early night for a jam-packed day to come.
Communicate Your Choices
Open communication is key. Inform your travel companions, whether they are friends or family, about your decision to stay sober. They, of course, may already know this but it will re-emphasise your position and set expectations. What’s more, you will also open yourself up to more support if you are struggling during your time on holiday.
Many destinations, especially popular tourist spots, offer support groups or meetings for individuals in recovery. Look into local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or other sober community meetings that you can attend during your stay. Connecting with like-minded individuals who share similar goals can provide a sense of camaraderie and a safe space to share your experiences.
It will also allow you to align more closely with your usual routine at home. So if you are used to going to meetings, you’ll have a bit more familiarity with your day.
Stay Mindful and Engaged
Similarly, staying sober requires a lot of focus and mindfulness, and if you are used to doing that at home, then it’s important to engage your senses and immerse yourself in the present moment while away too. Sitting on a sun lounger all day may be a good way to relax for some people, but for others it could be to embrace new experiences, try local cuisines, and participate in activities that capture your interest, essentially distracting you from thoughts of alcohol and keep you focused on the positive aspects of your holiday.
Create a Supportive Routine
While holidays are a break from routine, it’s still important to establish a daily routine that supports your sober lifestyle. Incorporate activities like exercise, meditation, or journaling into your mornings, just as you would at home. These practices can help you start the day on a positive note and maintain a sense of stability.
That routine will help prevent any spiraling, keeping you in control and ultimately allowing you to enjoy your holiday, completely alcohol free.