Summer is here, and that means it’s time for ice-cold beers at barbeques, cocktails by the pool, and rosé all day in the sun. Unless, of course, you’re not drinking. Then it can start to feel like you’re stuck on the sidelines, watching everyone else’s summer fun with nothing more than a glass of lemonade to keep you company.
For those abstaining from alcohol – or even just trying to cut back – the summer months can present a huge challenge. Drinking makes up a significant part of socialization among adults, and removing yourself from that can be an isolating experience. Sometimes, it’s tempting to just join in on what everyone else is doing, even if you know that it’s not the best choice for you. But what can you do when it feels like you aren’t able to enjoy the season without a drink in your hand?
Luckily, we at Raising the Bar have been in that exact situation, and we’ve learned a few things from it.
Practice Saying “No” in Whatever Way You’re Comfortable With
You never owe anyone an explanation for your choice not to drink – whether it’s for a day or a lifetime. Sometimes a simple “no thanks” is all it takes to shake off that pressure to imbibe. But if you’re not quite there yet, try some of these simple explanations for turning down a drink.
Find a Good Support System
If you’re able to, find a friend at the party who can act as your “accountability buddy.” This can be someone who’s also cutting back on alcohol or just a reliable person who you can check in with when you’re tempted to reach for a drink.
Know Your Limits
If you think that being around alcohol is going to put you in a bad headspace, it’s more than okay for you to turn down an invitation. No party is worth risking your physical or mental health.
Look for Local Sober Events
If you’d rather not worry about alcohol at all, you can look into attending sober events in your area. As more and more people reexamine their relationship with drinking, these gatherings are gaining popularity and finding an event that suits your specific needs/interests can be a great way to meet like-minded people.
Introduce Alcohol-Free Options
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best. If you don’t want to feel pressured to join in on drinking, coordinate with the host to include a fun non-alcoholic drink or BYOBooze-free drinks. By having something more than just lemonade or soda on hand, you can still feel like you’re part of the celebration with a fun and festive drink that fits your lifestyle. Don’t know where to start? Check out our summer Party Pack with 20 different options to enjoy this summer season!