Kate's Blog

Why Summer Is A Great Time To Get Sober

At this time of year, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of romanticising alcohol. As the weather gets warmer, alcohol becomes more visible somehow; everyone seems to be outside drinking in pub gardens, or having boozy BBQs in the park. The supermarkets are full to bursting with beer offers and buy-one-get-one-free deals. And then there’s your annual summer holiday to navigate, with all the cheap booze and pool bar cocktails in easy reach.
If you’re newly sober, or trying to be, you might feel as if you’re missing out. This can seem like a really stupid time of year to be trying to stop – but honestly, it isn’t! If alcohol is making you miserable, then now is the perfect time to quit. Here’s why:

pink1-minYou have enough energy to make the most of the long days.

I always feel that sobriety has given me extra hours in the day and this seems especially true in summer, with the bright, sunny mornings and warm evenings. At this time of year there’s always loads of stuff to do. When you’re busy, drinking makes it really hard to juggle everything – and there’s nothing worse than dealing with a raging hangover on a hot day.



It’s much easier to get bikini ready.

It doesn’t matter how carefully you eat during the day, if you’re pouring a bottle of wine down your neck every night it will hinder your weight loss efforts. Not only are you consuming hundreds of empty calories, but you’re much less likely to exercise the next day. A bottle of wine contains around 600 calories. Cutting that out of your diet means you can easily enjoy an ice cream (or two) and still lose weight.


pink3A-minYou’ll feel much better.

Sobriety does wonders for your self esteem. When you stop hiding behind alcohol and start showing the world your true self, your confidence grows. Plus, you’ll look better too. Sobriety brings with it better sleep, clearer skin and brighter eyes – welcome side effects at any time of year, but all the more so in summer.


pink4a-minYou’ll have more spare cash.

It’s always handy to have more money for summer clothes or a holiday. And if you do go away, not drinking means you’re far less likely to miss your flight, lose your passport or leave something really important behind in your hotel room!


pink5A-minYou can experience more.

This is the big one. With heavy drinking comes a shutting down of wider life experiences. We are so focused on the alcohol, on getting our fill, that we stop appreciating everything else. We miss the smaller things because alcohol holds our focus. Events and conversations slide by without us noticing. When we stop drinking, the world becomes a bigger place again. Sobriety really won’t hold you back or stop you from having fun this summer. If anything, it’ll just help you to live in the moment a bit more – and that’s a really good thing, right?


As always, I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.

What makes sober summers so good for you? Let me know!


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. 


28 responses

  1. I live in the North and this is my favorite time of year. In a few weeks it will actually start to get light by 4am and it will still be light after 10pm. But who can get up that early when she’s been drinking the night before? And the evenings seem to just stop when I start drinking. So you are right; summer is a great time of year to be sober,

  2. I am 8 months healthy and just spent the weekend in Havasu. This place was always my excuse to drink from the moment I woke up, nap (pass out) repeat. Every morning people would talk about the previous day and it usually was, “Do you remember when….,,” of course I didn’t, but I pretended I did.
    It was amazing to be able to enjoy the day with family and friends on the lake and remember everything.

  3. I agree drinking alcohol sabotages all healthy eating goals and causes weight gain.
    Sobriety is so perfect to being healthy for you and the people around you.

  4. Totally agree, sober summer is the way to go! I’ve been sober for just over a year, and with the money saved I have money to go to concerts and NYC and a week in Ireland. I thought getting sober was not possible, for other people who I read about in their memoirs. Thanks for your post, and going against mainstream thinking. : )

  5. Thanks, I needed this. Have been imaging a cold goblet of white wine for a bit. Need to go out, buy a lovely glass and some of my favorite ginger ale. (Vernors, from Detroit, as am I. It turns 150 in June. I’m a tad younger.

  6. I went out of town this weekend with my husband for the first time since I quit drinking. It was probably the first sober vacation I’ve had in 10+ years, and I enjoyed myself immensely. It was such a relief not to plan my days around drinking/hangovers. I’ll be able to look back on this vacation and have only positive memories.

  7. This is such a timely post for me I’m really struggling with the warm weather trigger ( I didn’t even know other people suffered from this and I am having trouble stringing more than 5 days together!! ( Jan, Feb, Mar – I didn’t drink at all and it was easy) Today I’m starting again!!

    1. Good luck Chris. All sober time counts, so just keep ploughing on and you’ll get there 🙂

  8. I’ve lost my drive at the moment and I think your right, it’s the romantic image of summer drinking that’s holding me back. I was sober for several weeks and loved it but just can’t seem to make that click in my brain happen again. I want it for all of the reasons you mentioned above and I will keep reading and keep trying. Hoping today is the day my fresh start happens, keep inspiring me Kate x

  9. My last day 1 was while on holiday last year and I’m looking forward to celebrating one year while on holiday this year. Soooo looking forward to this year’s holiday. I’m slightly worried that the cravings might get the better of me but I’m already planning what sober tools to have ready and I’ll think about it when I get there.

    1. What a great way of celebrating your first year sober – I’m sure you’ll be fine. Have a great time!

  10. I went to a professional baseball game yesterday and was so pleased to be bright an alert through the whole experience. On the train ride home, I was noticing all the foggy people and young women who were leaning against their dates and stumbling on and off the train. It made me really sad. Sad for them and sad for myself, as that was once me. Looking forward to many more summer sober experiences this year. Thank’s for the great post.

  11. I just discovered this site today, and can I say…discovered it, finally. I have been struggling internally with drinking for some time, but never wanted anyone to know (they knew, of course). For years I would address my issues with humorous write offs and rationalization until several months back when I made a serious error and did so publicly and could no longer write it off as just a comical mishap. I took several months off from drinking and did quite well. I replaced my hours at bars with hours in the gym and became a responsible and active (and can I say, rather fit) person. I had abs! Not too long ago I decided I was strong enough to go back to drinking and I would never make mistakes again. I’m sure every person reading this can guess how well that went. The first time I blacked out after my return, I thought, okay, so now I know my limit and it won’t happen again. But this weekend was a holiday and essentially the kick off to summer, and not only that, but it was hot and sunny and utterly beautiful, and I was seeing friends and family I hadn’t seen since last summer. So I took it upon myself to celebrate, and celebrate well. I behaved somewhat embarrassingly, and even though it’s nothing I can’t recover from, I feel utterly drenched in anxiety and guilt. The summer is upon me and all I could think of was the party. And not only that, but being that it was my first weekend back in a bikini, I realized I was no longer the fit girl I had become only several months earlier (and I never quit the gym, but my fit self just can’t keep up with my party self).
    So after marinating in the familiar (and unwelcome) anxiety and self-loathing and wondering how I’ll last through the beautiful weather without drinking, I found this article. And it has since occurred to me that instead of being the worst time, it might be the best time to quit drinking again. I live in the mountains on a lake and why not just get out there and take advantage of it instead of seeing is as my boozy jungle gym.
    I had been feeling really down today about slipping up over the past couple of months, and that the weekend had really put a period on the idea that I couldn’t control myself, but now I’m feeling okay and even hopeful. I was incredible when I wasn’t drinking, and instead of beating myself any more, I am looking forward to being incredible again, and taking advantage of the beautiful season I have in front of me to do it in. Thank you.

  12. I cried reading your blog and the comments because I like to avoid alcohol too and sometime feel so alone in avoiding alcohol. my profession, being an attorney, has alcohol fueled events every day and has a high rate of alcohol abuse. my girlfriend drinks too much (she can drink an entire bottle of wine in an evening and she’s XS/petite, 100 pounds, and I’d have a killer hangover if I did that and she denies having any hangover but gets so grumpy, depressed and moody and I swear its the alcohol. she gets so mad when I ask her to consider drinking less and says I fail to appreciate the person she is (but I don’t think alcohol makes her a great person). she’s a great person as is and alcohol harms her it feels like.

    1. Let’s just say we know for sure that everyone who drinks drinks too much. With that being said they are hung over as well. I say leave your girlfriend alone. She’ll figure it out.

  13. Hi Kate. Thank you so much for reminding me about how you feel the next day after an afternoon, evening drinking on holiday.
    For me it used to start at the airport – who cares what time it is, it is your holiday have a drink no work tomorrow, then feel like s*** when you get there.
    I used to look forward to a holiday of relaxing and having a gin, ice and tonic by the by the pool, at lunch, in the evening, etc. etc., and conveniently forget how I would feel the next morning wasting another day until drink-a-clock. I used to hate going to breakfast, as people love to remind you what you did the night before.
    I never thought I would say it, but this is now my second holiday alcohol free (14 months now) and intend to enjoy and relax for all 14 days and nights of it.
    Thanks again Kate for your blog and I love to read others inspirational stories tto.

    1. Thanks Lyn. I’m so pleased to hear how much things have changed for you. Have a fabulous holiday – you deserve it!

  14. Hello,
    I read this web page for all the honesty and different exspieiences to keep me on track. 11 months healthy and sober : ).
    The summer can be brutal for sure, alcohol is spoken of in romantic terms…..oh wouldn’t a watermelon mixed with ( insert your favorite booze here) be just heavenly? Oh and then we can mix rum with the leftover homemade ice cream, oh yes that would be lovely. Or Susie don’t you just love this dreamy lemonade? it’s got tons of premium vodka in it!
    I’m not kidding this was a dominating conversation at a gathering just this past weekend. Am I crazy in sensing that it is by and large a woman thing lately, it’s like cocktail recipes are the new appetizer, desert recipie obsession. At first I had the left out feeling, I had thought leaving function would be good but hung on and just an hour later the loud alcohol fueled talking began, followed by over emotional alcohol fueled misunderstandings, followed by loud declarations of “I’ve had three lemonades, when are you bringing the rum for ice cream drinks?
    Honestly after a while no one noticed or cared if I had a drink or not, just into the next cocktail for themselves.
    Don,t get me wrong I don’t relish anyone overindulging to make myself feel better, yet I am proud and feeling physically so good every morning. And I stay the course!
    Stay proud but not superior, stay healthy, we can do this!
    Feeling healthy and enjoying a beautiful beginning to summer.

    1. Great attitude Leslie! Congratulations on your 11 months – and here’s to a great summer!

  15. i just got back from attending a 4 day music festival, camping and all. i’ve been sober just over 3 months and this was my first big “event” sober… and it was simply an incredible experience! to hear the music and feel the sun and wake up with a clear mind every morning… it’s indescribable how life changing becoming sober has been

  16. Hi, I am only on day 4 but feeling positive that this time is it. After a heart to heart with my hubby I told him that I knew I was drinking to much but to give me the summer to ‘enjoy’ myself and I would give up in September. A couple of days later and lot of soul searching I realised that I wouldn’t enjoy the summer because I wouldn’t remember most of it! I have not had a drink since. The withdrawal has been harder this time and I still feel shaky and dizzy but I’m determined to carry on and blogs like this are really positive and helpful, thank you x

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