By: Lisa Blomgren, Alumni Coordinator

As the summer season approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate days filled with sunshine, social gatherings, and the opportunity to relax with friends. However, the summer months can present some challenges for those committed to a sober lifestyle. Parties, vacations, and celebrations often involve alcohol, making it crucial to have a plan in place to stay on track and enjoy a fulfilling, alcohol-free summer.

Once upon a time, a fun-filled summer weekend included boats, booze, and bad decisions. It was not a weekend without an alcohol-fueled BBQ and a Sunday morning with a mean hangover. In early sobriety, summer holidays such as Memorial Day weekend and the 4th of July were approached with dread. How could anyone possibly have fun without a substance? Luckily, I learned some practical strategies and tips for embracing sobriety and still having some summertime fun.

1. Get A Plan In Place:

If you know you’ll be attending social events or parties, take the time to plan and get a game plan in place. Consider bringing your own non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy. Discuss your sobriety with close friends or family members so they understand and can offer support. Your wild uncle Jim is much less likely to peer pressure you into doing a keg stand if he knows you are committed to a new lifestyle. Having an exit strategy in mind is also helpful if you find yourself in an environment that makes you uncomfortable or triggers cravings. Know who you can call if you need a ride or a quick excuse to leave!

More importantly, if you are in early recovery, it is okay (and sometimes advisable) to avoid these types of events anyways. It does not mean you can never attend a family or friends BBQ again, just that you may need more of a solid foundation before being around triggering activities. There are plenty of sober events that you can choose to attend instead.

2. Put Self-Care At The Top of Your List:

Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is so important during the summer months. Engage in activities that promote self-care, such as exercising, meditating, spending time in nature, or indulging in hobbies that bring you joy. Nurturing your overall well-being will help you stay centered and grounded in your sobriety journey.

3. Utilize Those Supports:

Building a solid support system is vital for staying sober during any season. Reach out to your support network, whether it’s friends, family, or support groups. Attend local recovery meetings, alumni events, or seek out online communities that offer a safe space for sharing experiences and finding encouragement. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who understand your journey can provide a sense of belonging and support.

4. Embrace Sober Activities:

Rather than associating summer solely with alcohol-centered activities, discover and embrace sober-friendly alternatives. Explore outdoor adventures like hiking, swimming, or picnics in the park. Volunteer, join a sports league, or learn a new hobby or skill. By focusing on activities that don’t revolve around alcohol, you’ll broaden your horizons and realize there are numerous ways to have fun and create lasting memories. You will also meet some pretty cool new people! You may eventually find that you prefer being around these new folks who share common interests and a new-found sober lifestyle.

(Pro-tip) – the alumni team makes this easy for you! Stay in touch with myself or Michael Murphy for all of the fun, sober events that we host throughout the year!

5. Learn Something New:

Take advantage of the abundant resources available to educate yourself about sobriety and addiction. Read books, listen to podcasts, or follow recovery blogs to gain insights and inspiration. By expanding your knowledge and understanding, you’ll be better equipped to navigate challenges that may arise during the entire year, and that help you stay committed to your sober lifestyle through any occasion.

6. Practice Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can enhance your sobriety journey. Practice being present in the moment, acknowledging your emotions, and practicing gratitude. Summer is a great time to do this because you have plenty of opportunities to be out in nature! Engaging in mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or journaling, can help you cultivate a deeper awareness of yourself and your surroundings, enabling you to make choices aligned with your sobriety goals.


While the summer months may bring specific hurdles for those committed to sobriety, they also offer abundant opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and enjoyment. By prioritizing self-care, planning ahead, connecting with support, embracing sober activities, educating yourself, and practicing mindfulness, you can navigate this season with confidence, sobriety, and a renewed sense of purpose. Summer can still be a time for creating lasting memories and can be loaded with fun while embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle.

As always, if you are struggling with navigating life in sobriety, you can contact the alumni team for support. We are here with you for any season! [email protected]