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Tips for a Sober Memorial Day Weekend

The comedian Robin Williams once famously joked “spring is nature’s way of saying ‘Let’s PARTY!.'”

Warm weather, barbecues and holiday weekends are all great excuses to get out and have fun. For people in recovery, though, there can be increased temptation too. Especially since so many warm-weather fun activities seem to include drinking and sometimes other substances.

Here are some tips collected from our alumni and counselors about what they have done and recommend for a safe, fun and sober memorial day weekend:

1. Remember the spirit of the holiday: Memorial Day is meant as a time to reflect and give thanks for the people who have served in the defense of our country. In many ways every day in recovery is meant to include some reflection, service and gratitude. Let the spirit of this holiday anchor you in a place of humility and thankfulness.

2. Use the Buddy System: If you are invited to a barbecue or picnic or other fun event where there will be drinking — invite a sober friend! Or plan to get to a meeting right before or right after the event to charge up your sober batteries.

3. Eat and Be Merry: Protein, starchy carbs and sweets are all great at bolstering the spirit and creating a feeling of satisfaction. Some protein will stave off hunger, carbs will make your tummy happy and sweets are always a nice treat. And treating yourself is key. Be sated, be happy.

4. Watch for HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These like to masquerade as deeper feelings of angst and existential dread. If you feel these things creeping in take a time out and check if you just need a snack, a nap, a hug or a friendly ear to share how you feel.

5. Have an Exit Plan: If you are going somewhere there might be drinking: have a way out. Whether you plan something that will give you a hard and fast departure time or you simply make a quick and quiet exit — it’s key to get out if you start to feel uncomfortable.

 

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