Kate's Blog

How To Deal With Cravings On Hot Sunny Days

If you associate hot sunny days with beer gardens, boozy BBQs or drinks on the beach, you’re not alone. 

In the summer, many people find the warm weather triggers some cravings for alcohol. 
When you see other people outside, drinking together, you can easily start wondering what the harm would be in just one drink…
I want to help you stop that kind of thinking in its tracks, because this is actually a great time of year to be alcohol free!
Here are 5 tips for staying sober on hot sunny days:

Key points: 

Sober firsts often feel weird

Choosing not to drink on a hot sunny day – when you’ve always done the opposite – is bound to feel a bit strange. You’re breaking a pattern and choosing a different behaviour, so you’re going to feel the awkwardness. That’s ok. 
The first time is the hardest and it’s normal to have a bit of anxiety around these things. But the next time will feel a bit easier, and the time after that will be easier still. This is all part of you establishing a new normal. 

Give everything a fair chance

You can’t make a judgement or draw any conclusions based on one experience alone. So, that one time you went to a BBQ sober, or sat outside whilst your partner drank and you didn’t? That’s not enough.
You need to do something at least three times before having enough information. Give everything a fair shot by being enthusiastic and positive about it. Don’t decide in advance that it’s going to be awful… otherwise it probably will be!

Play the movie forward 

If drinking feels appealing right now, how are you going to feel in a few hours time? Or at the end of the evening? Or in the early hours of the morning? A hangover on a hot day is awful, and you’ll be so annoyed with yourself tomorrow.

What are you really craving?

On hot sunny days, often what we’re truly craving is time to relax – to do nothing but sit outside and chill, or connect with friends. This is very enjoyable (and totally doable) no matter what’s in your glass. Don’t be tricked into thinking you need alcohol for this.

Upgrade your AF drinks!

Stay hydrated and make sure you have something chilled and delicious close at hand. This is not the time to make do with lukewarm water or flat diet coke. The alcohol free drinks market is booming right now, so get experimenting! 

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


23 responses

  1. This is my second sober summer and it’s much easier than last year (even with coronavirus and all the other anxieties around at the moment!) For me a big part of it was getting used to doing something new. Nowadays I find my mouth waters for an AF beer or bitter lemonade – they really are so satisfying. I’m always grateful to your course for getting me started on this journey!

    1. Congratulations on your sobriety Linda! It’s great to hear from you and know that you are staying on track, despite everything 2020 has thrown at us. Well done! ❤️

    2. I hate being really hot although I love laying by the pool or on the beach for hours. I’ve always found that alcohol makes me more hot and lazy and then I’m zapped for the remainder of the day. That’s never been fun.
      I’ve always loved sparkling water and experimenting with more mocktails is a hobby I look so forward to and much more tasty than sparkling water with liquor or beer.
      Also, playing the movie forward.. why would I want to waste the evening or the next day being loggy.

      1. Drinking in the sun just used to give me a headache – I think we forget how dehydrated we are, and booze just makes that worse!

  2. I’m newly sober. I’ve been 18 days without a drink and YES warm weather is a trigger for me. I live in the North Eastern part of Maine, USA. We have cold, cold winter’s and our summers are generally hot and humid! A cold alcoholic drink has always been nice outdoors in the summer, by the ocean, in my backyard, in the garden, with the girls on a patio at a restaurant. These 18 days have been hard. But I haven’t avoided the hot weather or the beach. I’ve been cracking an ice cold Coke to lessen the want of alcohol.

    1. Well done on your 18 days Dominique! Keep going. Keep exploring those thoughts and getting to the heart of what it is you truly crave… it’s never really alcohol that we want – deep down it’s always something else 🙂

  3. Even though I have recently celebrated my 8th year of sobriety, I see that I still have a goblin in the closet. Someday my husband and I would like to live in Ireland. What holds me back is the imagined missing out on pub life that I might have to do. So I adore this idea you mention of “Sober Firsts.” I have an active imagination, and now I’m applying it to various Sober Firsts where I could choose a different way of experiencing a former pleasure without penalties to pay later, i.e., hangover the next day and reactivated triggers to drink. A fear of “what might happen” feels less threatening now, as I invite the idea of “Sober Firsts.” They each can be a rite of passage. Thank you, Kate.

    1. I’m so glad that resonated with you Sandy! And by the way, I went to Ireland last year and there was a fantastic AF free pub in Dublin… so times are changing 🙂

  4. Having nice AF drinks really helps as I find water quite boring! I also find that indulging in an ice cream helps me feel like I’m having a treat. Before I quit I wouldn’t ever have ice cream because I’d want to save my calories for booze!

    1. I always found summertime the hardest to control my consumption when I was trying to moderate because events last sooo long in warm weather- beach days, long afternoons and evenings on the deck or by a pool or picnicking or barbecuing. These are all great fun things, but controlling over 8 hours, instead or 2 or 3 during a wintertime dinner. So not starting is just easier than stopping. I love your description of sober firsts, I hadn’t thought of it like that before, and it is reassuring that every event will be something to figure out, but it will get simpler to figure out going forward. My favorite AF beverage this summer has been hibiscus tea. I make a pitcher almost daily, serve it over ice in a goblet with a little sweetener. I also like a product called Mio, which is a water flavoring. I add a few drops to ice water. My granddaughters call it “pink drink”- the berry pomegranate is my favorite and they love when I share some with them.

  5. Day 16 and I’m in a bit of a mood. Just feeling touchy and moody. But I’m not reaching for a nice cold cider, no, I’m guzzling a nice sparkling water with lemon slices. It’s not improving my mood but I’m sure I’m going to be greatful to the sober god in the morning. X

    1. Well done Cath and congratulations on your 16 days. This is where the real work of sobriety is – learning how to sit with those lower moods… and knowing and trusting that things WILL feel better tomorrow. For a start, you’ll be hangover free – and that always sets you up for a good day 🙂

  6. Just had a Becks Blue outside, while my husband drank an alcoholic beer.Its the ceremony and the association .Very true when Kate says its never really the alcohol we crave, its something else.Once i have had even the first glass of wine,I blot out asking myself “What do I really need”and so the cycle begins yet again. On day 3 for about the forth time.

    1. Well done for continuing to work on this! It sounds like you are making huge progress here and learning so much. Keep going 🙂

  7. This is timely and exactly right! We don’t need alcohol to relax ever. Looking forward to a sober first – my birthday in a couple weeks. Drinking tasty carbonated water is perfect. Alcohol is so dehydrating especially in the summer. Thanks Kate!

    1. Wishing you an amazing birthday Kim! An alcohol-free, hangover-free birthday will be the perfect gift for yourself 🙂

  8. I’m nearly at 11 weeks sober now. I’ve stocked up on lots of Belvoir drinks and they really get me through a warm day. The longer I’ve not drunk for, the less I’ve craved it. I actually really crave a cold elderflower presse now or a raspberry lemonade! I love love love being sober!!!!

  9. @ 61 days AF, I’ve found myself with so much more energy and focus so therefore those hot summer, sunny days are now filled with more conversation and truly listening to others, opposed to half conversations with slurred responses.

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