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6 Techniques To Stay Sober For The Holidays

Also, you don’t have to attend every party this holiday season. If you don’t think that you have the willpower to say no, check yourself into a long-term rehab program. It can ensure that you spend the holidays with like-minded sober holidays people who also want to stay sober. The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offers a place for women to stay sober during the holidays. You can’t completely put your goal to stay sober this holiday season on everyone else.

  • This Naked Mind is run by Annie Grace, you might have read her book of the same name.
  • Being conscious of your party’s vibe and your guest list goes a long way.
  • On a macro level, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to explain yourself, etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore tells Yahoo Life.
  • You don’t drink, or you’re temporarily not drinking.
  • Sometimes it is possible to continue partaking in old traditions, but in a careful way.

For some, this season is the most wonderful time of year. For others, it is a nice wintery mix of celebration and chaos.

Get Used To The Fact That Youll Have So Much Time

Worrying about challenges that might arise won’t help. Instead, recognize that there might be some issues, and address them before they pop up unexpectedly. Next time you’re standing in a crowded home thinking you’re the only one struggling to deny yourself a sip, think again.

sober holidays

But don’t worry, there are other measures you can take to make your gathering more sober-friendly . This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to lump all people with addictions into a monolith. How your family member handled substance misuse won’t be the same as how your friend or co-worker is dealing with it. Lastly, it can also be helpful to have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand to avoid people offering you a drink. For many people, participating in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is a vital part of their recovery. During the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, many places that host meetings will have meeting marathons, where they hold meetings every hour on the hour. If you’re in recovery, the holidays can pose serious challenges to your sobriety and sanity.

Socialize On Your Own Terms

For many of the reasons mentioned above, substance abuse tends to ramp up over the holidays. Addiction treatment initiated during the holidays could be the best gift you give to your family, your friends and yourself. Don’t be afraid to call 5 Door Recovery if you need help. Most people will be happy you’re taking the safe route and leave it at that. If you’re comfortable sharing your journey — there’s nothing shameful in taking control of your life and caring for yourself – then talk to others when the subject arises.

sober holidays

Especially if you are feeling resentful replaying old childhood memories and experiences in your head. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the holiday season. Confiding in others who are also in recovery can help you relieve some of that stress. During the holidays,AA continues to hold meetings. In fact, many groups have seasonal parties where food and fellowship abound and speakers talk of gratitude and of the real spirit of giving that is outlined in Step 12. Discuss with family and friends if alcohol will be present at the holiday gathering.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual.

Put Your Sobriety First

The thing to remember is you’re never in this alone. Bookending is another way for people in recovery to hold themselves accountable during the holidays. It works by the person in recovery checking in with someone from their support network before arriving at the event and again after leaving the event. The support person can be a sponsor, a family member, or a friend that is reliable. Parties don’t have to be off the market if you’re trying to stay sober. 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.

  • Your friends who abuse substances may have to celebrate without you this year.
  • Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people.
  • Before the thought of a sober holidays was even a figment in your mind.
  • While this isn’t the case in every situation, it is important to remember that everyone can play a role.
  • It’s one thing to have a high-strung boss or self-serving coworker, but for people with Narcissist personality di…

To avoid the temptations of the holidays, start each day with a plan. Some people struggle with mild opiate addiction while others suffer from severe alcohol addiction. You can’t always predict how a situation will play out or how you will feel. Having an exit strategy for potentially stressful holiday situations is essential.

Rewrite The Holiday Story In Your Head

In June, the New York Times reported that a poll of more than 20,000 Americans found that nearly a third planned an alcohol-free trip after the pandemic. According to the Global Wellness Institute, a US non-profit organisation, by 2022 wellness tourism around the world will be worth nearly $1tn, a fifth of the market. Always ensure that you stay in touch with people who understand and support your sobriety. It is all too easy to get swooped back into the old normal – especially if everyone around you is doing júst that. Everything you need to know to stay sober this holiday season.

Practice self-care – Be sure you are tending to your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. Feeling physically and emotionally strong will help keep you centered. If this is a medical emergency or you are feeling suicidal, call 911. Where ever you may be, you’ll always have a way to see what we’re up to! If you or someone you know has struggled with addiction, it’s more understandable to be able to pinpoint the intensity of the emotional toll… Our blog aims to share information on addiction and recovery that informs, educates and inspires. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Having this lined up ahead of time will help to ease anxiety about the event. Tell your friend ahead of time that you may be calling them so they can be available, and have a backup if possible. If you want, you can talk to the host before the party. Give them a heads-up that you’re practicing sobriety so they can plan to have a variety of non-alcoholic drinks on hand. When you get there, remember to serve yourself so someone doesn’t accidentally give you a spiked drink that you didn’t intend on taking. Have a plan of what to say if someone does offer you an alcoholic drink, and don’t be afraid to be assertive.

If you’respending this holiday season alonedue to the pandemic this is a chance to do that deeply uncomfortable practice of getting together online. We offer group calls multiple times a week throughTempest Membershipwhere you can meet and talk about the current challenges you’re facing with other members. Plus, I’ll be hosting a series of Holiday Q&As on the big drinking days throughout the year. If you or a loved one are struggling with an alcohol or drug use issue, Futures Recovery Healthcare is here for you. Many of our staff are in recovery themselves and know firsthand how hard it can be—especially to stay sober during the holidays. Some families might consider the holidays an inappropriate time to help a loved one get into addiction treatment when, in fact, it could be an ideal opportunity.

External triggers that make you want to reach for the bottle during the holiday season can be all around you – even more so during large celebrations. Sometimes those triggers are people in your life, certain times of day or even familiar places. Recovery and sobriety are losing the stigma they once carried. Most people know someone who has battled addiction.

Take a breather from the party and make an outreach call during the event. Schedule coffee with a recovery friend or make a counseling appointment the day after the holiday. If you’re living with active addiction, do not discount the extra stress the holidays bring.

Go Into It Knowing Youre Not Going To Drink

Throw a couple of kids into the mix, plus a pet or two, and you have a recipe for a super meltdown. Luckily, community agencies can help in situations like this. It’s not your fault you are facing the challenge of addiction.

sober holidays

Many places offer special hours during the holiday season to welcome guests who are visiting family from out of town. Use this time to take a quieter approach to the holidays as you find sober activities. Rely on your sober network – Starting your day with a 12-step meeting helps you get in the right mindset and sets the tone for the day.

Below, you’ll find all of our best tips and stories about staying sober for the holidays. Allowing yourself support is one of the key take-aways of healthy sobriety. Do not hesitate to call a friend, sponsor or therapist if you feel your sobriety is at risk. Besides the pain and trauma caused by addiction in my own family tree, I’ve heard countless stories about the devastating effects of alcohol on individuals and families. But in case you feel a little concerned or want to give sobriety a try, here are some benefits and tips to make it easier to maintain sobriety during the holiday season. Additionally, there are usually holiday office parties where many celebrate with alcohol and food. You may be used to being the life of the party and always having a drink in hand.

That said, the topic of you not drinking is likely to come up, whether it’s with close friends, the host or curious partygoers. Our extensive aftercare program can provide the extra support that may be necessary to maintain your sobriety this holiday season. In addition to Bookending, it is important to have an exit strategy when attending holiday gatherings. Do not rely on someone to give you a ride home who will be drinking or wants to stay later than you. This will help you avoid being in a situation where you are stuck around people who are drinking and getting intoxicated. There are also other types of self-help groups for people who do not relate to AA or NA. SMART Recovery is a support program for people in recovery from substance use disorders that is less spiritual.

Take Your Own Alcohol

Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. Sometimes it is possible to continue partaking in old traditions, but in a careful way. 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. Celebrating the holidays while sober can be challenging for a variety of reasons. There tends to be many triggers, a dooms-day type feeling towards the idea of relapse, and turbulent relationships with loved ones at the forefront of it all. The holidays at their core are meant to be a time of celebration and joy. Yet this time of year has been somewhat hijacked by the idea of total indulgence and consumerism; and can be quite challenging for those new, or seasoned, in recovery.

If Uncle Brian is going to mix you a stiff drink, stay away from him. If the office New Year’s party is really all about drinking or other drug use, make a brief appearance or don’t attend. It’s unrealistic in all of these scenarios to say, “I can soldier through it.” That’s what Step One of the Twelve Steps teaches us, right? So why put yourself in the position of having to “power through” an obstacle course of relapse triggers? You need to investigate and challenge the internal monologue about what you are owed and what you are lacking—some of which might be a carryover from addiction. Then you can break down those defensive walls and forgive other people, and you can approach the holiday season with a stronger sense of gratitude. From Halloween to New Year’s, it often feels as if all anyone wants to do is celebrate the season with a cocktail… or four.

Be prepared for people to notice and ask questions or make assumptions. You can practice your response ahead of time to help you feel more comfortable in claiming your sobriety as a personal choice. If people keep trying to pressure you, politely say no thank you and walk away. Support each other in seeking therapy or other forms of help. If you use alcohol to cope, you may find that underlying grief, trauma, or anxiety can start to surface.

Your family and friends will prefer that you protect your sobriety rather than put yourself in a situation that might increase the chances of relapsing. Your priority, no matter the time of year, should be to avoid relapse and safeguard your recovery. Ask your spouse, a family member, or sober friend to be your partner during holiday events.

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