With so many parties and celebrations, the holidays can be a particularly difficult time of year for those trying to stay sober. Temptation may be high, but you can always take preventative measures to make sober holidays even more enjoyable than they would’ve been had you never gotten clean. The key is to plan to stay sober before the festivities start, and make sure you have the support of friends and family around you. Here are some tips to help you have an enjoyable sober New Years.
1. Bring a Sober Friend to Holiday Events
There’s strength in numbers, and it’s much easier to stay sober if you have someone else doing it with you. If you’re headed to a party where you know you’ll feel highly tempted, ask someone to come with you to be your sober support. This way, you’ll have someone to hold you accountable – this is one of those times when peer pressure can be a good thing. It also means you will have someone to talk to if you feel overwhelmed and need a bit of emotional support.
2. Keep a (Non-Alcoholic) Drink in Your Hand
One of the simplest ways to make a sober Christmas a bit easier is actually to have a glass in front of you. This could be anything from a mocktail, your favorite soda, or even just water. If your family and friends are drinking, it will help you feel a bit more comfortable. With a glass in hand, you can mitigate the temptation to drink and avoid relapse. Instead of focusing on the fact that you’re not drinking when other people are, you’ll be able to better enjoy having fun conversations with them.
3. Plan Your Exit Ahead of Time
There might be times when you feel too overwhelmed to stay at a holiday function, and that’s okay. A good way to handle this is to plan your exit before you even show up at the party. Decide how you’re getting home and come up with a tactful way to slip out of the event. In this scenario, if you do need to leave you won’t have to think, you can just go. Make sure you have some yummy food and a book or a movie waiting for you when you get home. This will prevent you from feeling lonely, which is another common trigger for people struggling with sobriety.
4. Stick to Your Routine as Much as Possible
When you’ve worked so hard to stay clean, it’s important to stick to your normal routine during the holidays. Try to keep your bedtime and mealtimes at the same time each day, and don’t forget to keep working out. The holiday season is a time when people often slip into unhealthy habits, and if you allow yourself to neglect your health, it will make drinking feel more tempting.
You should also make sure that you continue going to your regular meetings and checking in with your sponsor and other sober supports. Continual encouragement will make the sober holidays seem easier, and will remind you why you decided to stay sober in the first place.
5. Do Things That Make You Happy
If you’re feeling disappointed about having a sober Christmas or spending the holidays in rehab, look for little ways you can treat yourself when you’re feeling down. Plan a nice dinner, get dressed up, or even just allow yourself to watch a TV show you haven’t had time for lately. Remember, you deserve to have a happy holiday season too!
Keep it in mind that you aren’t alone – there are millions of people around the world who are celebrating this holiday season sober. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your sponsor or a professional if you need a bit of extra support during this challenging time. With a little bit of planning and self-care, you can make a sober holiday feel fun again.
As always, call Multi-Concept at 1-866-816-7598 if you need help getting through to New Year’s Day. 2019 can be your year.