Staying Sober This Holiday Season

In other words, “this too shall pass.” There’s no reason to stress over one holiday season in your lifetime — it’s just another 24 hours of working on your recovery. If you’re in the early stages of recovery and feel overwhelmed by the thought of a party with people who drink and/or use, it’s okay to stay at home. Remember that you have committed yourself to recovery. You aren’t ruining the holidays by focusing on your health and those who care about you will understand why you’re unable to attend.

I never considered myself to be an alcoholic, although I definitely went overboard on a few occasions. When I told my husband I needed a drink after a long snow day alone with the kids, it scared me. Local charities are usually in need of an extra hand during the holidays when they hand out food, sort clothing or provide support systems to those in need. In fact, if you’d rather spend time in a soup kitchen than around the family dinner table, invite your family to join you.

sober holidays

Attend a religious service—any religious service, even if you don’t usually attend. Or spend some time in nature and reconnect with your spirit. It’s necessary because if you’re not in recovery, you can’t be the best version of yourself. By having a plan and sticking to it, you’ll be putting your recovery first. This is important at all times of the year, but it’s especially true during the holidays.

Explore A Future Without Alcohol

Also, many who are newly sober have lost jobs, spent savings, and don’t have much money as it is. Being honest and explaining this to loved ones is important. While they may not fully understand, it’s important to let them know that this year, your number one goal is to stay sober through the holidays. The holidays are the perfect time for you to enjoy quality time with your friends and family.

  • It’s not bad to say no to a party that seems to have a heavy focus on alcohol, or where the hosts tend to be those who celebrate with booze.
  • There is also the importance to be able to take care of your basic needs such as sleep, food, and mood to properly manage your triggers.
  • You can make a list of all of the benefits of being sober throughout the holidays.
  • If you are in AA or NA, you begin to obsess about your drug of choice.

There are variations to both of these but each helps take the pressure of buying multiple gifts away. It’s also a good idea to provide yourself with distractions. First, find a non-alcoholic drink you enjoy that you can sip on throughout the night.

Tips To Stay Sober During The Holidays In Recovery

If pride is a factor, imagine a time in the future when you will be the one helping another family in need. Call your local United Way or house of worship for information on help with holiday meals and gifts for children. In the end, the humility you gain will only strengthen your recovery. Into Action offers a few tips for those in recovery to make staying sober and sane this holiday easier, even when life at home is far from perfect.

  • One newly recovering alcoholic wrote AA slogans on index cards and kept them in her purse.
  • If, however, there are events that you have determined are not supportive of the sober life you want to lead, there are a number of other ways you can still enjoy the holidays.
  • It’s a pity it took me 15 years to work that out.
  • Bring a notepad with and write how you feel and how you can navigate those feelings while being at a social event throughout the day.
  • A fact sheet that the NIH put out about drinking myths during the holidays give plenty of ideas to be a watchdog during parties.

I can piece most of it together through photos, but I openly admit that my memories are spotty, to say the least. I was at the tail end of my final attempt to control my alcohol use and it wasn’t going well. The holiday happy hours and beer advent calendars were too tempting to avoid.

How To Stay Sober During The Holidays

You will wake up fresh and feeling ready to accomplish whatever the day may bring. Many people who have a drinking or drug problem have mismanaged their finances. This year set a budget for the holidays and stick to it. Yes, this may mean fewer gifts for others but giving gifts isn’t where the real love comes from. Being present and sober are the best gifts you can give loved ones and family.

  • The holiday season can be a triggering time for many reasons.
  • I used to drink to enjoy family events with my kids, and now I realize they are pretty darn enjoyable when I’m not buzzed.
  • Know what your triggers are and know where the exit is.
  • Nicole Schiener is a Registered Psychotherapist and Gottman Bringing Baby Home Educator in Ontario Canada.
  • But if it’s your first sober holiday, it can be more of a challenge — remember to be selective with the events that you attend.

Not drinking was still too new, and I found myself miserable and white-knuckling instead of actually enjoying anything. Unless you’re going on a specific sober trip (it’s a thing! See my last tip!), it’s likely that you’ll be the only non-drinker in the group. This can be tough, especially in the beginning when you are yet to feel 100% confident in your sobriety. I´d like to suggest sober holidays that if you think you might not be able to stay true to yourself and your choice of leading an alcohol-free life, then perhaps don´t go. There will be many more in the future and it isn’t worth risking your hard-earned sobriety for it. Another way to deal with holiday parties is really taking on the role of being a sober person and making sure people do not drink and drive.

Holiday With The Right People

It is often suggested to plan to be at an event for a set, short amount of time. For example, if you’re attending an office party, you can get there on time and stay for an hour. It’s okay to make up an excuse ahead of time as to why you have to leave. It’s vital to put your sobriety first, especially in these vulnerable situations.

If you are trying to start your year off right, waking up early and sober is a much better way to go. You can stop procrastinating on those things that you never had time for. The thing to remember is that you do not need all of the answers in this very moment, you just need to focus on your recovery. Spa vacation – these often have a focus on detoxing and rejuvenation, which generally means substances aren’t offered. Visit residents at a nursing home who might be especially lonely around the holidays. Safe Harbor Recovery Center is closely monitoring all coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and is following suggested best practices from the CDC to prevent the spread of the virus.

Make sure to put your sobriety first for as long as needed and the rest will follow. If you know Cousin Sadie is going to grill you about rehab, avoid her.

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A large component of recovery is addressing mental health. Often a drug addiction coincides with other co-occurring mental health disorders. If you struggle with how to stay clean during the holiday season, you are not alone. According to the US Health and Human Services, as many as 17 million Americans struggle with alcohol use disorders alone. Thinking about this statistic, along with the added stress that comes with the holidays, and it makes a recipe for potential disaster.

Being able to pair your religious practices with your sobriety can often help you feel more secure in the process. Keep in mind that there’s no need to be ashamed of your past or the journey you’re on now. Self-care is always important but can be even more essential during times of challenge or hardship. Simply eating well and staying hydrated are of utmost importance, as well as sticking to the daily routines that keep us healthy and present. Add in a few extra self-care practices like another yoga class, a walk some place picturesque or watching a favorite holiday movie to give yourself a little extra love. The way we take care of ourselves when we are feeling good is how we learn how to take care of ourselves when we are feeling bad.

sober holidays

Simplifying things will help to relieve some of the pressure around the holidays and gift-giving. Celebrating a sober holiday is reason enough to be proud of yourself. And don’t forget that no matter how challenging sobriety may seem, you aren’t alone. 12 Keys Best Rehab has plenty of resources and a caring staff to help you get through a sober holiday season. Contact us today to talk to us about long-lasting sobriety.

Some Traps And Triggers Are Optional

By regularly visiting with those who can help us get through the most challenging times, we’re more likely to feel comfortable when they aren’t there. Talk to others who understand and ask for their tips for a sober holiday. When you’re faced with a question on whether to have a drink later in the week, think back on those conversations. The holidays place a lot of demands on our time. While you might feel tempted to skip a 12-step meeting or counseling session, the best thing you can do is maintain your recovery routine.

Being conscious of your party’s vibe and your guest list goes a long way. Letting someone bring a plus one to a holiday gathering can help them feel more supported. Maybe you cannot give material gifts—but this year, you can give love.

Celebrating The Holidays While Sober

You have to take responsibility for your actions. In some cases, this requires you to make the right choices when choosing which parties to attend. While you might feel obligated to attend family gatherings, you should avoid certain ones. The holiday season is meant to be a joyous occasion that brings family and friends together.

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