Memorial Day events include parades, barbecues and firework shows. Usually, there is alcohol involved, so you may feel some pressure to drink. What can you do?
Here are five tips to help you avoid the temptation:
- Be rested. The night before the event, make sure you get plenty of sleep. If you are rested, you’ll be able to think clearly and make good decisions the next day.
- Stay strong. Don’t test yourself. One drink is one too many. If someone asks you why you’re not drinking, stick with a simple response. Say something like “I don’t drink anymore” or “I’m not drinking tonight.”
- Relax. If you feel anxiety creeping up, take a deep breath. Be patient with yourself as you physically and mentally calm down.
- Welcome support. Use the buddy system. Before the party, ask another recovering alcoholic or your sponsor to be on standby for your call. Even if you don’t think you need support, check in with the person at intervals.
- Have an escape plan. Bring your own car to the event, so you won’t need to rely on someone else to bring you home. You don’t want to wait until the urge to drink is overwhelming. If you feel tempted, you need to be able to leave.
Holiday gatherings and summer fun can still be fun, even without alcohol. You need strength, determination and all the other tools you learned about in rehab. It won’t be easy, but if you believe in yourself, you can do it.