How To Stay Sober During The Holidays

Before the thought of a sober holidays was even a figment in your mind. Ski trips – while some people do imbibe on ski trips, skiing is best done with a clear head, and inviting sober friends will ensure a supportive group vibe. Find out what holiday events are happening near you and invite some friends to join you. Boundaries are important year-round, but during the holiday season can be more difficult to maintain. Honoring your needs, leaving parties early, and saying ‘no’ to intrusive questions or conversations are just a few of the many boundaries you can put into place.

Saying yes when you should say no can put you in a compromising position. If you feel you cannot say no, be prepared with extra supports. Know your limits with family – You may have strained relationships with family members because of your addiction, or you may have family members who do not support your sobriety. If time with family will put you at too high a risk of relapse, turn down the invitation. Some who have no extended family relationships may become lonely.

When it comes up, you look for something to take off the edge. Maybe you find yourself binging on Internet browsing or simply ignoring phone calls from family members. When you think of the holiday, you feel anything but relaxed.

  • You can include anything from making decorations to enjoying the fire to ice skating.
  • In fact, if you’d rather spend time in a soup kitchen than around the family dinner table, invite your family to join you.
  • Call a local treatment center like Into Action Recovery Centers or a local crisis line.
  • Practice extreme self-care and reward yourself.

For people who are sober or simply trying to drink less, the holidays can be a difficult time. Remember that you are a non-drinker, it’s a choice you have made, and you are by no means obligated to engage in discussions about your choice. You don’t push sobriety on others or ask them why they do drink, and you are not required to justify or explain your choice. You don’t drink, or you’re temporarily not drinking.

No matter your faith, many religious groups offer a variety of family-friendly events to participate in during the holiday season. It’s easy to sober holidays drive through a light display or visit a live Nativity scene. Several churches also offer support programs for people overcoming addiction.

In the future, when you come up against similar triggers, have a plan for how to respond to them. Before you even put up the Christmas tree or string the lights, try to let go. And if something is standing in the way of your path to staying sober, get rid of it.

Be Mindful Of Your Attitudes And Actions

Being sober means having the ability to come and go as you want, without having to worry about getting in the car while intoxicated and getting arrested for it. By not drinking and using, you’re able to keep yourself and your loved ones safe on the ride home. While holiday drinking in my youth felt purely hedonistic at the time, in hindsight it was one of the ways I measured becoming a grownup. Drinking has emboldened me linguistically, helped forge new friendships and papered over the cracks in old ones. Art of the cultural resistance to giving up alcohol on holiday comes from how we learn to drink. From the ceremonial airport pint to the trolley-dash around duty free on the way home, holidays and drinking are entwined in the British imagination.

  • When we aren’t posting here, we build programs to help people quit drinking.
  • If you’re in recovery, the holidays can pose serious challenges to your sobriety and sanity.
  • I’m not alone in not being especially worried about my drinking but also wanting to drink less on holiday; the pandemic has accelerated a growing trend for sober vacations.
  • You’ve already demonstrated the capacity for tremendous courage and change by committing to recovery.
  • If you have a strained relationship with your family, spending a significant amount of time with them could cause stress and even symptoms of depression or anxiety.

All of these emotions can be triggering, especially if you used alcohol or drugs to escape them in the past. The holiday season is a time of celebration and gatherings are typically overloaded with alcohol.

Put Your Sobriety First

If you can control your breath, you can control your mind. Breath in through your nose for a count of five, eyes closed and rolled up to your third eye point if possible. Breath out the mouth, exhaling to a count of five. For extra release, stick your tongue out as you exhale and make a “HAAAAAAA” sound, blowing out the air, the heat, and the stress.For a full tutorial check out this post. If you volunteer to be the chauffeur it will be easier to avoid drink – and you will earn the eternal gratitude of everyone else. This Naked Mind is run by Annie Grace, you might have read her book of the same name.

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. While you’re at it, add to that list that you’re learning how to stay sober during the holidays. Recognize that this could be a tough time and try to combat it head on as an accomplishment in itself. It’s something to be proud of, and your journey should be a rewarding one. Sometimes, it’s easy to distract yourself from a party temptation by bringing sugar-free pocket candies.

Creating an inclusive party atmosphere is key to helping people who are sober navigate the holidays. Another type of support group is Refuge Recovery.

Ditch the running around and trying to get everyone the perfect gift. Consider talking to your family and friends and letting them know that you are trying to stay sober and are taking a minimalist approach to the holidays this year. In society today, we tend to overindulge in everything.

Lean On Your Support System

For a white elephant gift, each person in attendance brings a wrapped gift with them. Next, the first person randomly picks a gift and so on until all gifts are chosen. The fun part is that some white elephant games have the first person able to trade their selected gift with a better one that comes after them.

As you can see there are many options of how to make the most of sober holidays, either with family and/or friends that drink, sober buddies or solo! The most important thing is that you follow your instincts in what feels comfortable for you and stay close to that feeling.

Celebrating The Holidays While Sober

Remember how clever you were at excuses when drinking? No office party is as important as saving your life. If a drinking urge or panic comes—postpone everything else until you’ve called an A.A.

One myth states, drinking coffee will not make a person sober. Keep an eye on those around you and make sure that they are making safe decisions regarding how they get home.

sober holidays

Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Don’t think you have to stay late (plan an “important date” in advance). Before the current pandemic, it was uncommon for health practices to facilitate virtual telehealth. Do you ever feel like there’s too much to do, which in turn makes you want to do nothing at all? Most of us have moved at least once in our lifetime.

How To Stay Sober During The Holidays

Next, try asking people questions and focus on really staying present. In this age of distractions, people crave undivided attention. Your genuine interest is a gift they will remember.

Some clients have told me that they feel awkward and more anxious when their family does not drink because they feel like the spotlight is on them. On the other hand, different clients have said that they prefer to not be around any alcohol during holiday gatherings because it is too triggering for them. Reflect on what you are most comfortable with and communicate that to your family or friends. Living with addiction takes the strength of a superhero, regardless of if you are the addict or the loved one.

Create Manageable Holiday Goals

Begin by taking care of yourself during the holidays and remember the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Decide what your comfort level is and how you’ll respond to those questions before you’re in that situation. It’s fine to simply say, “I’m not drinking tonight.” Who knows — maybe you’ll inspire someone or help them feel less alone. I spent the first day of 2017 horribly hungover and never had another drink. Five years later, I’m going into this year’s holiday season booze-free.

Safeguarding your recovery and staying sober must always come first. The holiday season is often about spending time with family members. If you have a strained relationship with your family, spending a significant amount of time with them could cause stress and even symptoms of depression or anxiety. The holiday season can be a triggering time for many reasons.

Packed airports, tight schedules, liquid lunch for Aunt Sally. Everyone is running on empty, and the annual fight is just waiting to happen.

We are peer support and offer content, online community, merch and The Sober Girl Society Handbook. If you are looking for structured online sober support, we know there are lots of brilliant options out there to choose from. If you were anything like me then traditionally, travelling and holidaying would go hand-in-hand with booze – and quite a lot of it too.