The end of year is often associated with joy and festivities. However, for those in recovery it can be a challenging time filled with triggers and temptations. With the right strategies, you can navigate the silly season while staying committed to your recovery. Here are 7 tips for how to stay sober during the holidays.
Plan ahead and set boundaries.
Before heading to holiday celebrations and gatherings, it’s important that you plan ahead. Establish some boundaries for yourself and share these with your friends and family. Let them know about your commitment to your recovery and don’t be afraid to reach out and request their support during this time. Having a plan in place can help you feel more prepared and ensure you are ready for any potential challenges.
Attend sober events.
Around the holidays there are often alcohol-free events being organised. Tap into your local communities and find some like minded individuals who understand the importance of sobriety, and who can provide safe, supportive environments for you to be a part of.
Bring your own beverages.
If you know that you will be attending an event where alcohol will be present, consider bringing along your favourite non-alcoholic drink. Having a glass in your hand may help you to feel more comfortable in social situations. Making sure you are holding a drink may also reduce the likelihood of someone offering you an alcoholic beverage. You could even try dressing up your drink with some fruit or making a mocktail to make it feel a bit special if that helps.
Lean on your support systems.
Don’t be afraid to lean on your support networks during the silly season. Whether it’s friends, family, or a support group, make sure those who love and care about you are aware that this is a challenging time. Be sure to reach out to someone you trust and feel comfortable with if you’re feeling overwhelmed, triggered or tempted. A supportive conversation can be a powerful reminder of your commitment to sobriety and is often a pivotal action in determining what action you will take to ensure you don’t relapse.
Create new traditions.
Consider starting new holiday traditions that bring you joy and fulfilment, while maintaining your recovery. A games night with friends, engaging in some outdoor activities, or putting your hand up for volunteering can all help to shift the emphasis away from alcohol-centric celebrations. Focus on building positive experiences and turn them into your new traditions.
Practise mindfulness and self care.
This time of year can be stressful, and stress is a common trigger for relapse. By Incorporating mindfulness and self care into your daily routine you can help alleviate some of that stress. Self care can be meditation, going for a daily walk, taking a relaxing bath, or just taking time for yourself. Do what you need to do to ensure your emotional wellbeing.
Have an exit strategy.
It’s a good idea to have an exit strategy in place for times you might find yourself in a situation that has the potential to feel uncomfortable or become triggering. Know when it’s time to leave and have your transportation arranged in advance. Before you go somewhere, preplan how you are getting there, and how you are leaving. Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from any situation that may jeopardise your recovery. Your wellbeing is your priority.
Staying sober during this season is an achievable goal. By planning ahead, seeking support, and prioritising self care, you can safely navigate the festivities AND have fun while doing so! Remember, your commitment to your recovery is a gift to yourself that will keep on giving!
If you or someone you love is struggling, please call our friendly team. We are here to help you all 365 days of the year.