With the holiday season fast approaching and a new year on the horizon, you can expect a variety of holiday celebrations as we wrap up the year. From “Friendsgiving” to the office White Elephant gift exchange to family and friend gatherings to celebrate the season, the holiday time is full of festivities, and you may wonder how to get through this joyous time with sobriety intact.
Whether sober curious, newly sober, or long time recovered, there are several ways you can celebrate the holiday season without alcohol and/or drugs. Here, we’ll cover ways you can spread joy and celebrate good tidings with your friends and loved ones.
Staying Sober at Holiday Parties
The holiday season brings many traditions, and for many, alcohol plays a big role at gatherings and can make it a challenge for non-drinkers. Fortunately, there are several hacks you can try and celebrate the holiday season without compromising your sobriety. Read on and discover how you can experience joy without drugs and alcohol.
Bring a Sober Buddy
Bring a sober friend as your +1. A sober buddy can help you stay sober and help you be accountable. If a friend cannot accompany you, have someone you can call or text for extra support. Having extra support persons, whether a sponsor, friend, or family, can help you stay sober.
Prepare a Response
Though not always, party goers may ask if you want a drink. Without going into a conversation about your sobriety, you can prepare some quick responses, such as “I’m driving tonight.”, “Yes, do you have ginger ale?”, “I’m not drinking today.”, or “I’m taking a medication.”. Of course, a direct and simple “No thank you” can also do the trick.
Plan an Exit Strategy
We can’t always anticipate unpleasant situations or triggers, but we can create a plan. Consider your triggers and what coping strategies you can use. Some of the most common triggers are loneliness, stress, glamorization of past drug/alcohol use, situations where drugs/alcohol are available, stress, anxiety and/or depression, and feelings of overconfidence and how “just one…” is okay. Understand your limits, and know when to decline an invitation or when it’s time to leave.
Start a New Tradition
In recovery, we may find older traditions no longer suit us. When something isn’t working anymore or is out of line with your new interests and values, you can change things up. For instance, you can host your own holiday party with old and new friends. You can test out non-alcoholic drink recipes, sit back and watch classic holiday movies, and exchange silly White Elephant gifts.
Skip the Holiday Parties
The holiday party circuit isn’t for everyone and there are other options to help celebrate the holiday season. Some ways you can get out and involved this holiday season include:
- Volunteering with an organization
- Train for a marathon
- Catch a movie
- Walk or drive a holiday light tour
- Host a baking contest
- Visit a holiday tree farm
Enjoy Sobriety this Holiday Season
The holiday season is a joyful time, but can feel overwhelming and stressful for many. For those in recovery, sobriety may feel challenging this time of year. Knowing your triggers and limits and creating a plan can help you enjoy sobriety this holiday season. And while we often associate this time of year with various celebrations and get togethers, it’s important to prioritize your self-care and addiction with recovery. These include:
- Eating healthy foods
- Getting enough sleep
- Staying hydrated
- Getting daily exercise
- Spending time doing your interests and hobbies
Rediscover Joy this Holiday Season
Pura Vida is an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center in Santa Rosa, CA and offers evidence-based addiction treatment options that fit your life, including detoxification. Our flexible day treatment program gives people the option to stay in their home or our Sober Living residence and take care of their personal responsibilities, including work or school.
For a confidential consultation, contact us today. We work with many health insurance plans and offer no interest financing, flexible payment plans, and scholarship opportunities to help make treatment a more affordable option for many.