Staying Sober For The Holidays

If you feel triggered by the thought of being around alcohol or drugs during a holiday event, you have every right to leave. Alcohol, like many substances that cause addiction, can take more than one attempt to find sobriety. And if this isn’t your first attempt at enjoying a sober holiday, you’re not alone. Don’t get bogged down by attempts that didn’t work for you in the past. Come up with a time in your head when you want to say your goodbyes. If something comes up that makes you uncomfortable or proves to be too much of a temptation, that’s also a cue to head for the door.

These are suggestions each of us need to keep in mind because they really work. Having a strong body and mind before stepping into a stressful situation is one way of setting yourself up for success.

For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional. We all have relatives that criticize our career choices or question our love life, and perhaps even try and push us to do things we are not comfortable with. Manage “FOMO.” You may feel a “fear of missing sober holidays out” or like you don’t belong anymore, especially if the gatherings have a heavy emphasis on drinking. Root into your reasons for choosing sobriety and celebrate that you are being true to yourself. You can shorten your visit or suggest an alternative alcohol-free venue to make it a little more manageable.

Know your relapse triggers and exactly what you will do if you feel on shaky ground. Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. If you take this route, make sure guests are informed well ahead of time. This way, anyone bent on getting bent will know not to show up and any nondrinkers won’t feel as if you’re pandering, or worse — at fault. If you know someone is sober, particularly if you know they live with an addiction, offer to let them bring someone with them.

But is that what the holidays are really about – about getting wasted and blacking out? No, the holidays are about celebrating and making memories with the ones we love. And as you may know, that’s hard to do when you get so drunk or high that you don’t remember a thing. It’s hard to do when you sleep in too late and wake up miserable on Christmas morning or New Year’s Day. Sober Girl Society is not a recovery programme.

Avoid Risky Situations

You wake up feeling well-rested and ready-to-go. Sober holidays are great because they’re simply hangover-free. Now that you’re in recovery, you can expect to wake up ready to eat the big brunch mom made, to unwrap gifts, or even go to church or for a morning run. My initial booze-free holiday proved temporary, but the nagging sensation didn’t go away. After a couple of lockdown-frazzled nights last year, when I shamefully overcooked it, I resolved to have another holiday from the sauce. I have a 17-month-old child; my desire to be present for her dovetails nicely with my desire not to be hungover when my head is jumped on at 6am.

  • Instead, take an honest look at what you value most for your family’s season.
  • Throughout your journey, you learn various tools to combat them along the way, until they eventually dissipate and dissolve.
  • There are many others out there in recovery, trying to stay sober and navigate the holidays.

It’s equally true whether you’re a beers-at-Wetherspoon’s person, or the sort of sleek potentate who prefers a G&T in the Concorde Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5. From Byron to Patrick Melrose to Withnail in the tearoom to the Inbetweeners, British culture bulges with examples of drinking on trips away. At 32, I worried that I risked projecting Big Midlife Crisis Energy years before my time. Online learning opportunities on substance use disorders, alcohol and drug prevention, violence prevention, behavioral health issues, and more. This year because of Covid, many of us may not be visiting with our friends and family. Time can be an enemy in these instances as well.

Even if it’s for a couple of minutes, no matter how busy you are. The individuals you surround yourself with are crucial and might be left dumbfounded when you deny staying sober instead. Thus, you must plan ahead for triggering environments and uncomfortable situations.

Celebrating The Holidays While Sober

Al-Anon, for instance, offers meetings every hour on the hour over the phone on major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here are some tips for having an all-round ball without a drop of alcohol.

sober holidays

Keep nonalcoholic beverages handyGoing to a party? Nonalcoholic beverages can be triggering for some, so your mileage may vary, but for me they were incredibly helpful. Some nonalcoholic beers made me check the label twice because they were that close to the alcoholic versions. If you’re trying to get through the holidays without drinking, I’ll share a few things that helped me. By the next Christmas, it was easier, and by the next, I had zero desire to drink — although I know not everyone’s experience will look like mine. But for me, I couldn’t imagine wanting to tarnish the holidays with another drunken episode — or a hangover. Emily Lynn Paulson gave up drinking five years ago, but she remembers the struggle around the holidays.

Start Each Day With A Plan

At family gatherings and social events, tote around your favorite non-alcoholic drink. People won’t feel so inclined to offer you a drink, and they won’t get the chance to pester you about your sobriety. If you are attending a party, try to bring a sober partner with you. This is a person that is absolutely committed to not partaking in any substances. It could be through one of the many outpatient programs offered through Emerald Isle that you find a person. Keep reminding yourself as well that by not partaking in overindulgence you are doing a good thing for yourself.

  • I remember the day I made the decision not to drink alcohol anymore.
  • If you have practiced religion in the past and want to return or strengthen it, this could be a good time to dive right in.
  • Research has proven that experiences are more valuable to children than objects.
  • Negotiate how to support each other’s needs for healthy coping and daily self-care.Find a Gottman Method-trained therapist near you.
  • They range from having to drive to being on medications that prevent drinking alcohol.
  • No office party is as important as saving your life.

It might also be helpful to rehearse how you will respond to any recovery questions that you don’t feel ready to answer. It’s essential to be able to recognize your triggers and limit them whether that be certain people or the environment. 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. Once you can identify your addiction triggers, begin to take notice of your warning signs when you start seeking out unhealthy situations and thinking patterns. “Having a support person lets you, A, not feel so awkward, and B, they can be like, ‘You’re not really supposed to drink,’” Kazachkova said. It also empowers a person with a substance use disorder to be active in their own recovery without adding extra stigmatization. And it’s not always people who have trouble with alcohol, specifically, who feel the holiday party pressures.

Keeping Others Sober And Safe This Holiday Season

When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking. That is when what I learned over and over again in one of the programs at Emerald Isle saved my recovery. At Emerald Isle I discovered a ton of tactics to help me survive the holidays and all of the drama, loneliness, and beauty while sober. This in combination with whatever emotions a person has surrounding Christmas increases the chance of substance abuse. While in recovery it might seem daunting to face the holidays sober. Invite a friend or family member to meet up for coffee, either in-person or online.

sober holidays

Of course, it is your choice whether you want to talk about your journey, just know that you do not have to be afraid to do so. By being open about it, you will likely gain more encouragement and support than you would ever imagine from friends and family. During these challenging times amidst holidays and recovery, it is critical to maintain connections with other individuals in sobriety. It might present to be beneficial to remember that reaching out for help is an act of vulnerability. This act of vulnerability not only benefits you directly but can also be viewed as an act of service to the individuals you are reaching out to. Step 1 of the 12 steps teaches that you don’t have the power on your own. So why put yourself through the act of “powering through” a challenge that can relapse triggers?

Stylish Backyard String Lights That Don’t Look Like Forgotten Holiday Decor

It utilizes mental health principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy to help people maintain their sobriety. Look to the people you trust who will stand by your recovery program. If you know the holiday is going to be difficult, attend a meeting the night before. Schedule a call with your sponsor on the morning of the holiday.

  • All of our of programs are working closely with the Health Department and CDC guidelines to ensure we continue to provide safe and effective treatment for our clients.
  • Family members themselves will yell, scream, withdraw, cajole, rant, criticize, understand, n …
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • The consensus is that coronavirus has had a polarising effect on British drinkers.

Over my 14-year career, I have often been asked to help friends/family/friends of friends navigate the mental hea… The preferable method for checking in is either calling or Facetiming the support person.

You’ve come so far and you have accomplished so much. Remember that every sober day brings your next accomplishment. The holidays tend to bombard us with images of what should be – the perfect family, immaculate gifts, happy people celebrating life together, etc. Just because your life isn’t always like that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. These powerful images can give us a false sense of failure, making use feel like we aren’t meeting the standard of what the holidays should be.

For the addicted person and their family, more stress means more vulnerability. After all, the holidays can kick off a perfect storm of family and money stress. If you feel scared or unsafe in your own home, reach out for help. Take an honest look at upcoming holiday events and whether it’s healthy to attend. If you feel uncomfortable about a family dinner, that’s enough. Consider how these family dinners played out in the past.

Patient care and engagement are always top notch, and I know that I can always trust that the patient and their families will be in the best position to recover. Solid clinically, and more importantly these are good and genuinely caring people. I cannot recommend 12 Keys at the River enough for those struggling with addiction. Oftentimes, drug addicts are completely unaware of the devastation they are causing in the lives of those around them, especially within their own families. Family members themselves will yell, scream, withdraw, cajole, rant, criticize, understand, n …

If the thoughts start to creep in such as esteemed abilities to handle your liquor, immediately shut them down. It’s important to remember that your abstinence did not teach you how to control your drinking because abstinence does not rewire your brain to become unaddicted. Alcoholic substances or beverages that might be offered to you.

When it comes to being asked why you aren’t drinking it’s also okay to either tell the person the truth or have an excuse. There are multiple reasons why someone chooses not to drink alcohol at a party. They range from having to drive to being on medications that prevent drinking alcohol. Celebrate the holiday season and the fullness of your sober life by taking time for yourself. Proper nutrition, gentle exercise and restorative sleep can do wonders for your well-being. The better you feel physically, the stronger you will be emotionally. Nourish your spirit, too, through personal reflection and connection with those you love.

This might be too much for you depending on where you are in your recovery, but it could give you a sense of purpose. A fact sheet that the NIH put out about drinking myths during the holidays give plenty of ideas to be a watchdog during parties.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find ways to treat yourself. You could eat a nice meal, get a massage, spend time with someone you love, or find another small way to reward yourself for staying sober during the holidays.