How to Manage Recover While With a Jam-Packed ScheduleJune 27, 2022
Sober Activities for the SummerJuly 5, 2022
The 4th of July is right around the corner. This day is often associated with cookouts, fireworks, water sports, quality time with family and friends, and celebrating America.
Throughout the years, it has also become known as a holiday where heavy substance use, especially alcohol consumption, can be common. Due to this, the holiday can be a little intimidating or challenging if you are in recovery, especially in the early stages of your recovery journey. If you are currently in recovery, do not worry; you can still enjoy a great 4th of July while remaining sober. It is all about planning ahead, surrounding yourself with the right people, and making sure you are keeping up with your treatment plan.
Planning the Day Ahead of Time
Planning out how you will spend the 4th of July in advance can help alleviate some anxiety you may feel going into the day. When you are making your plans, consider what you are comfortable with at this point in your recovery journey. Are you at the point where you are comfortable being around other people engaging in substance use without feeling tempted to use yourself? If you are not quite there yet, you will want to make sure that wherever you go to celebrate the day, there will not be alcohol or other substances being served there.
If you know that you will be going to a cookout, party, or family gathering where alcohol will likely be served, be prepared to say no in the event that you are offered a drink. Remember, you do not owe anyone an explanation for choosing not to drink. If they ask, you can tell them the truth about your recovery if you are comfortable with that, or you can simply say you are not drinking for health reasons.
If you believe you may face higher than usual temptations on this holiday, then make sure you are getting yourself the treatment you need ahead of time. This might include scheduling an extra support group meeting the day before or an extra session with your therapist. You will also want to come up with a backup plan to prevent a possible relapse. For example, if you are in a situation where you are tempted, consider who are you going to call and what your escape plan will be to get out of it.
Do not forget to practice self-care to combat any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. This could include journaling, doing some yoga, spending quality time outside in nature, speaking with a trusted friend, going for a walk, or doing whatever you need to do to take care of your mental and emotional health.
Finally, make sure you celebrate this holiday with the people in your life who support and respect your recovery journey. You want to stay away from anyone who may be tempting you to break your sobriety.
Ideas of Sober 4th of July Activities
There are countless ways to celebrate the 4th of July completely sober. Some ideas include:
#1. Enjoy the Food
This is a holiday that is not meant for counting calories. Do not be afraid to indulge in the typical 4th of July foods like hotdogs, burgers, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, and potato salad. You can always go back to your regular diet on the 5th. You might enjoy trying out a new recipe in honor of the holiday and bringing it to your 4th of July gathering to share with others. Or perhaps even consider doing something fun like having a bonfire and roasting marshmallows.
#2. Attend a 4th of July Parade
Just about every community has a local parade of some sort. You can listen to music, support your local band, enjoy the different floats, and soak up the excitement and joy of all the children present.
#3. Consider Holding Your Own Sober Celebration
Not only would this free you of any potential worries of alcohol or other substances being present, but it also allows your other sober friends a safe place to celebrate the holiday without having to deal with any unnecessary temptations.
#4. Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Fireworks
You do not have to spend a ton of money purchasing your own fireworks. Ask around town about where the best fireworks show is held and enjoy the festivities for free. You can pack up a blanket and sit outside or enjoy the fireworks from the comfort of your car. Sparklers are also a fun and cheap alternative for a holiday. Consider lighting some with your friends and even having fun with an illuminated photoshoot.
It is true that a lot of people drink alcohol while celebrating the 4th of July, but that doesn’t mean you have to. It also doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate this holiday sober and still have a great time. It’s just a matter of planning ahead, surrounding yourself with the right people, and making sure you’re sticking to your treatment plan. Consider whether or not you’re at the point where you’re comfortable being around other people who are engaging in alcohol use, as this may play into what gatherings you choose to attend. You’ll also want to have a backup plan in case you find yourself in a situation where you’re tempted. Some fun sober activities could include trying a new recipe, going to a parade, or watching fireworks. However, if you find you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, call our team at The Kimberly Center at (855) 452-3683.