Open Accessibility Menu

Enjoy a Sober Memorial Weekend

Published in Addiction Services, Behavioral Health Services, Mental Health, For the Health of It Author: Diana Geisinger, BS, LADC, CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital Addiction Services Counselor

Summer holidays like Memorial Weekend and the Fourth of July are known to be big weekends for alcohol consumption. It can be a challenging and stressful time for people new to sobriety. Here are a few ways to ease your anxiety, approach the topic and set the tone for a fun, alcohol-free weekend.

Be Prepared

  • Bring a supportive friend to the event with you. This should be someone you trust and have honest conversations with.
  • Bring your own beverages. There are so many fun, refreshing and new alcoholic-free drink ideas you can find online. It can also provide you with an escape when someone offers a drink. Simply let them know you already have one!
  • Practice how you’re going to say “no” if you’re offered an alcoholic drink. Having a few responses ready will help relieve anxiety and prevent you from scrambling for words at the last minute.
  • Offer to be a sober cab ahead of time for a friend or family member.
  • Remind yourself of why you’re remaining sober in the first place.

If Someone Asks Why You’re Not Drinking

  • If you’re comfortable with it, be vulnerable. It can be scary, but talking openly about your sobriety and the reasons why you’re abstaining will help others give you the support you need.
  • If you’re not comfortable with the conversation, be prepared to reroute it.
  • Be confident and committed to your choice. Share with people that you feel great now that you’re abstaining from alcohol. Let them know you feel healthier, energized and hydrated.
  • Have an exit plan in place for when you’re feeling uncomfortable. It’s OK to remove yourself from an unhealthy situation and distance yourself from people who are not supportive.

Focus on What You’re Gaining from Abstaining

  • You’re at a decreased risk for serious health problems including certain cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke and more.
  • Your skin will have a healthier appearance.
  • You’ll have a stronger immune system.
  • You’ll have better weight management.
  • Your anxiety will decrease and you’ll have better mental clarity.
  • You’ll have improved hydration.
  • You’ll build confidence in yourself.
  • You’ll establish new traditions.
  • You’ll make new friends with similar values.

If You’re Hosting a Gathering

  • Offer non-alcoholic drink options.
  • Don’t make assumptions.
  • Be respectful if someone turns down an alcoholic drink.
  • Provide activities that don’t make drinking the focus of the event.
  • Be supportive and sensitive to your guests who are going through sobriety.

If you choose to share your sobriety with your family and friends, you may receive a variety of responses. Some people will support you, question you, and disregard you. No matter which response you are met with, keep in mind, you need and deserve support, too. More times than not, you’re not the only one in the room not drinking. Focus on the positives of remaining sober and keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand.

Is alcohol or substance use affecting your life? Find support for your substance use and mental health needs. Call 320-251-2700 for a same or next day appointment.