The 4th of July is fast approaching, and the world is starting to open back up again. America’s Independence Day is a massive holiday filled with backyard barbecues, pool parties, city parades, firework displays, and more. It’s an exciting time and you can feel the energy in the air as people get ready to finally gather together once again and celebrate.
The 4th of July is also known for being one of the biggest days for alcohol consumption throughout the year. For many people, nothing compliments the afternoon like opening a cold one or pouring a fun and festive mixed drink. Statistics show that consumers spend more than $1 billion on beer and more than $568 million on wine and spirits. Those are some massive numbers for a single day of celebration.
There’s no denying that the 4th of July can be challenging for people in recovery. It’s tempting to celebrate with others in a way that seems innocent. You might find yourself thinking, “Well, it can’t hurt if I only have one.” Unfortunately, that one drink can quickly spiral into a few more and set a relapse in motion.
There are plenty of ways to celebrate the 4th of July without having to drink. You don’t need alcohol to have a great day with your friends and family. With just a little bit of planning, you can have a fantastic, safe, and sober 4th of July. These are a few different ideas to get your plans rolling.
Start Your Morning With a Meeting
Many 12-step and other recovery support groups still hold meetings on holidays. You can set the pace for your day and remind yourself why your sobriety is important by starting your morning with a meeting. It gives you a chance to fellowship with people who understand, share any struggles you’re feeling, and head into your 4th of July celebrations with a positive attitude.
Host a Sober Barbecue
Nothing says summer and 4th of July like a barbecue in the backyard with your family and friends. Unfortunately, barbecues are usually synonymous with beers and cocktails in red Solo cups. But sober doesn’t have to mean no more barbecues. A great way to avoid a boozy barbecue is to host your own instead. Get the grill going, gather some friends together, put up some patriotic decorations, and ask everyone to bring their favorite non-alcoholic beverages.
Sign Up For a 5k Run
Communities often host themed 4th of July races for people to join in and get some exercise before the day begins. Sign up for a community 5k this 4th of July and get your blood pumping. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends, get out in the sun, and join in the festivities without having to drink. You don’t have to set out to win – focus on having a good time and getting some exercise. Plus, exercise has many benefits for people in recovery.
Have to Hit a Party With Alcohol?
If you’re in early recovery, it’s probably best to avoid events where you know people will be drinking heavily. It takes time to build a solid foundation and feel comfortable being sober around people who are intoxicated. Once you have some time sober, though, you’ll start being able to be in these environments without having to drink. If you’re heading to a party where there is alcohol, it’s wise to plan ahead.
B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Beverages)
It’s better to bring your own beverages than rely on the host to have something without alcohol in it. Grab a case of sodas, a couple of energy drinks, or a gallon of iced tea and bring it with you to the event.
Drive Your Car
Drive yourself to any event where there will be alcohol. Being stuck somewhere because you got a ride to the party can leave you without an exit strategy. By preparing ahead and driving, you can make your exit as soon as you’re ready to leave.
Bring a Sober Buddy
Bringing a sober friend for support is also a great way to protect yourself at events with alcohol. Whether they’re in recovery or not, if you can find a friend who will stay sober with you throughout the day, it can make for a more enjoyable time.