#147 – Episode 147 – A Sober Summer


In our final episode before the summer break, Veronica and Chip discuss staying sober in the summer and how to deal with triggers and patterns related to drinking.

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What This Episode Is About

From July 4th celebrations to BBQs and days in the park enjoying the summer sun, staying sober in the summer comes with its own set of particular issues.

Add to that the fact that most of us will probably be coming out of lockdown, facing the events and activities that come with summer means dealing with triggers that you might not have had to face before.

By recognizing the strong associations we have with alcohol we can prepare and support ourselves before we encounter them.

“We have such strong associations of being outside, in the nice weather, and drinking.” – Veronica Valli

Going on holiday is an especially difficult period where the possibility of relapse is high because there are usually a number of triggers at work.

Without the structure of our daily lives, with a minibar filled with alcohol, and resort staff pushing free drinks, vacations are a minefield of their own.

Navigating your sober summer successfully becomes much easier by doubling down on your planning.


Here are some of our favorite strategies you can use to help you navigate your sober summer.

Choose the right companions

Before you go to an event or on holiday, work out a strategy with the person or people you’ll be going with. Be clear with them that you won’t be drinking and make sure you’re comfortable with them and know that they’ll support you and your sobriety throughout.

Plan your sober fun

There is just so much more to do when you’re sober. Make a list of things you want to do or places you want to visit and go early in the morning when no one is around. When you start actually making the most of your experiences, it’s so rewarding, relaxing, and fun. That puts weight on the sober end of your recovery.

Attend a local meeting

Both Chip and I love finding meetings wherever we go on holidays. Having that support away from home and staying in the routine of going to meetings makes your life easier. An added bonus is that it’s a fantastic way to make new friends and find out about incredible local experiences you might have otherwise missed.

Clear the minibar

Before going on holiday, call the hotel and ask them to clear the alcohol from the minibar in your room. Hotels are very accustomed to doing that and they’ll be happy to swap it out with sodas for you.

Stay hydrated

The alcohol industry has worked hard to create a fun-sun-alcohol association in our collective consciousness. Help yourself not to fall prey to the temptation of a cold can of beer at a barbecue by planning ahead how you’ll handle your hydration.

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