Whether it’s the drinks available at cook-outs, pool parties, patio dining or vacations, summer is the time to party hard for some folks. A recent Nielsen survey conducted by Harris Poll confirmed that the summer has a significant upside for certain beverages. Surprisingly, 65 percent of “Americans who plan to drink alcohol this summer say they plan to drink at these summer staples. Other popular outdoor settings include picnics, beaches, patios, festivals, pools, sporting event and concerts.” There is nothing wrong with having a glass of wine or having a beer, but the temptation can be fierce if you’re trying to behave. In Ephesians 5:18 the Bible explained: “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” God also told us it was a blessing to drink wine from your own vineyard, as it was a sign of blessings. What can you do? Here are 5 ways to remain sober over the summer holidays and how to keep your dignity intact.
Many think that they handle drinking in moderation. Nevertheless, most people can’t! If there is a party that you know is going to be a temptation, don’t go. “Every time you tell yourself ‘I can’t,’ you’re creating a feedback loop that is a reminder of your limitations. This terminology indicates that you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do,” author James Clear shared. If you do go out, find a few non-alcoholic cocktails that you adore and bring them to the party to contribute. Use seltzers, juices to make drinks that are fun and healthier. Instead of the high calorie and high sugar drinks order a club soda with a splash of flavored vodka or gin. Before you go out, be determined that you will resist the temptation to over indulge.
Watch your emotions.
Your emotions could lead to drinking more. Why? Emotions are a powerful force and they make us feel good, happy, peaceful or depressed. We may experience the warmth of love, friendship, excitement and nervousness—all part of the human condition. Emotions also can rip apart any human when it is not handled correctly. Things like hate, anger, flying off the handle and not being able to see a clear picture all can distort our feeling and thoughts. You can stuff emotions all you want, but when alcohol is nearby, it can produce quandaries. Psychology Today recommended that you be yourself. “By having your own beliefs and opinions, standing up for your values, wearing the clothes you want to wear, eating the food you want to eat, saying the things you want to say, and in a hundred other ways being you and not somebody small or false.”
Change your social plans.
Attend a festival, spend time at the beach, hike and visit an amusement park to avoid drink during every outing. The summer has more than parties, it can be an adventure. Get outdoors more and create a schedule that will keep you busy. Get involved at church or volunteer weekly. Do what you can to enjoy the moments of the summer holidays and the summer overall.
Protect your health.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported that one in every 12 U.S. adults suffer from alcohol abuse from binge drinking patterns. This is 17.6 million people who are struggling with drinking and dependence. There are 88,000 deaths that are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use and the health problems associated with drinking excessively range from liver disease, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure and dementia. Make the decision to not drink twice a week. “You may want to abstain for a week or a month to see how you feel physically and emotionally without alcohol in your life. Taking a break from alcohol can be a good way to start drinking less,” Harvard Health suggested.
Start to meditate.
Scientific research is finding the numerous benefits of meditation, including a decrease in hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia and addictive behaviors,” Deepak Chopra, M.D. wrote. Use these tools to help avoid excessive drinking when you are celebrating. You can also think upon Matthew 26:4, which said: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Talk to God about your drinking and ask Him to guide your decisions. If you feel that your drinking is out of control, talk to a trusted friend.
Make a goal when you go out with friends for dinner that you will not have more than one drink. By setting boundaries, you will keep yourself from overdoing it. If you want more than one drink, get a coffee instead, or get some fresh air to change your perspective. Know that getting drunk has consequences like getting into arguments, saying things that you don’t mean and embarrassing yourself in public. Besides, who wants to sleep on the bathroom floor all night and end up in the hospital with dehydration!
There is nothing wrong with drinking moderation but make the summer holidays less about drinking and more about decompressing. Beware of what triggers you and practice taking another approach, like pausing before taking another drink, praying, talking with someone or avoiding areas where you are more vulnerable.