I used to love going to boozy BBQs and picnics – they were the perfect excuse to day drink.
The warm weather made me crave alcohol and the idea of watching the sun go down, stone cold sober, seemed unthinkable.
So when I quit drinking, I was surprised to discover that summer parties were still fun – even if everyone else was knocking back booze.
If you’re about to tackle your first ever sober party, boozy BBQ or wedding this summer, I’ve got four tips to help you through it:
Get clear on why you’re meeting up
No matter how much booze there is, the gathering is about more than sitting outside and drinking. If that was all it was about then you’d just stay at home! The real reason you’re going might be to catch up with old friends, celebrate a birthday or spend quality time with family.
When you know what the point of an event is, you should start to see that you’re going to get that no matter what you’re drinking. You aren’t missing out – all you’re doing is pouring a different liquid into your glass.
Decide in advance that you’re not going to drink
It sounds obvious, but how many times have you decided to wait and see how you feel – only to end up drinking?! Save yourself the mental torture of going back and forth over the decision. Decide in advance that you’re going to stay committed, no matter what.
Remember – you can’t figure sobriety out without overcoming a few challenges. Pushing through something like this, sober, is how you grow. This is how you teach yourself that you’re capable of more than you think. You don’t need alcohol to have a good time.
Keep an alcohol free drink in your hand
When you’ve already got a drink on the go, it’s easier to turn down the offer of something you don’t want. It also gives you something to do with your hands if you’re nervous. Plus, staying hydrated helps prevent cravings for alcohol.
If it’s appropriate, take your own drinks with you and pack more than you think you need. You’ll be amazed at how many people will choose soft drinks if they’re available. People aren’t as obsessed with alcohol as we tend to think!
Think through the event in advance. How can you make your life as easy as possible? Think about what you’ll say if someone asks why you’re not drinking and plan a response now (I have some thoughts on this here).
Plan your exit. Can you drive there, so you can leave whenever you want to? Plan your next day too. No matter how things go, you must celebrate yourself for stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something different!
If you’d like some help and support to quit drinking, click here for details of my online course.