7 Tips for Enjoying a Sober Holiday
It can be tough to revisit familiar people or places if some of our problems related to alcohol are rooted deep within us. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital. When you find yourself looking to Norman Rockwell’s image of the American family holiday, remember that even Rockwell didn’t match the scene. Instead, take an honest look at what you value most for your family’s season. If it’s time together, then make that the priority.
- Enjoy the true beauty of holiday love and joy.
- Take five minutes the day of or day before, and visualize yourself making it through without drinking.
- If you drove yourself to the function, you can leave whenever you’d like.
- If you are supporting someone, offer alternatives to alcoholic beverages and activities that do not encourage use.
- It’s a pity it took me 15 years to work that out.
- Keeping yourself busy throughout the holiday breaks can help calm the nerves through creating purpose.
If you find yourself struggling with the upcoming holiday festivities, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in other activities during the holidays. The holidays are not a time to hold on to resentment. Don’t allow someone you dislike or have a hard time seeing get in your head. Holding onto grudges can hold us back from making true progress and enjoying what’s supposed to be a time of love and selfless giving. Next time you’re standing in a crowded home thinking you’re the only one struggling to deny yourself a sip, think again.
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While you’re seeking people who can help you combat your own struggles, be the support system for someone else who has a different problem. Fill your time with positive moments instead of sitting at home, worrying about the next holiday social. Bookending is another way for people in recovery to hold themselves accountable during the holidays.
In the end, the humility you gain will only strengthen your recovery. Call someone who is sober and understands what you are going through. He or she can talk to you and encourage you to stay sober.
Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays
The bonus for me is an awesome memory of the two of us belting out Lady Gaga at the top of our lungs. Alcohol isn’t a cure for tension — it’s jacks up cortisol which stresses our nervous system.
- When you think of the holiday, you feel anything but relaxed.
- It isn’t about having the money to give the most expensive gifts.
- Don’t get bogged down by attempts that didn’t work for you in the past.
- Talk to others.Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
- Think outside the box — maybe it’s an art class or ice skating.
At 32, I worried that I risked projecting Big Midlife Crisis Energy years before my time. If those thoughts begin to creep in—those rationalizations about your eminent capability to now handle your liquor—shut them down immediately. Your abstinence did not, in fact, teach you how to control your drinking, because abstinence didn’t rewire your brain to be non-addicted. The damage is done, and there’s no going back.
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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. As warmer days turn cold, don’t become stressed as you turn the calendar another month closer to the holiday season. 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. So many of us have spent years pleasing others, only to drive ourselves deeper into addiction. It may surprise you how fun the holidays can be once you remove some of the stressors.
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. Here are some tips for having an all-round ball without a drop of alcohol. Many local recovery clubs have meeting marathons during the holidays.
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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. It’s not sober holidays 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.
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. The holidays can be exhilarating, offering an opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a long time. But don’t lose touch with your mental or emotional state in the holiday frenzy. Set yourself up for successful sober holidays by checking in with yourself. If you’re feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, or HALT, for short, then you can take steps that will help you feel better before you go. If you’re feeling especially vulnerable, you might want to reconsider attending.
When you take the opportunity to connect with others—to see, value and honor their experience—you exercise empathy. You exist outside of yourself, and you begin to notice all the blessings your life already contains. And it doesn’t get more human, or more recovery, than that. If you come prepared to protect your sobriety, you should be able to outmaneuver addiction and avoid any potential relapses.
Every day that you can mark off your calendar as another sober success day is worth celebrating. While you relish in the accomplishment of each passing day, remember that they all add up to getting through another sober holiday season. 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. Don’t expect your family to instantly offer you the support you need. When the holidays get busy, it’s tempting to skip meetings, counseling appointments, and outreach calls. Stay connected to recovery, even if it’s less than normal.
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For the first few weeks of your sober holiday planning, track the times when you’re tempted to have a drink. In the future, when you come up against similar triggers, have a plan for how to respond to them. 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. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ When you’re faced with a question on whether to have a drink later in the week, think back on those conversations. If you’re worried about how to stay sober during the holidays, consider getting your group of supportive and sober friends together. Try volunteering at the local Alcoholics Anonymous center, so you can talk to people and provide them with encouragement you too might need during the change in seasons.