How To Have A Sober Holiday Celebration While Recovering From Alcoholism

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The dangers of alcoholism concept with a skull and cross bones symbol floating on top of the beer.
Source: Unlimphotos

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students.

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The holiday season is a joyous occasion for the whole family. It involves a lot of time spent together, gift exchanges and celebrations that usually include alcohol. For someone who is recovering from alcohol addiction, the holidays can be one of the worst times as it can really test their mettle and strength of will.

Staying sober during these weeks can be especially challenging. The risk of relapse is always going to be much higher when you are surrounded by people who are drinking, but this doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to your desires. You can always create a game plan beforehand and exercise these points so that you stay away from alcohol throughout the celebrations.

There are a few tips you can keep in mind to steer your mind away from alcohol. In this article, let’s go through the best ways to help you have a sober holiday celebration.

Theme of alcoholism as a disease of addiction to alcohol.
Source: Unlimphotos

Identifying your triggers

A trigger is basically any action that creates a desire in you to consume alcohol. Triggers are usually borne from the past, and if you aren’t careful it can be very easy to fall back into those habits. The holiday season especially is a time known for triggers, so your first steps would be to identify what the triggers are and then try to stay away from them. Here are some examples:

  1. Stress from within the family –

Stress is one of the main reasons people turn to alcohol. Imagine you have a family member who constantly stresses you out whenever you meet them. When you’re away from home, this isn’t much of a problem since you don’t meet them. However, once you’re back in that environment, these same feelings can crop up again. Your course of action now would be to either stay away from them completely or inform them about your situation and what you would like them to do.

  1. Parties in general –

At parties, most people converse with a drink in their hand. It has a very festive atmosphere that reminds you of times in the past when you enjoyed alcohol. Just looking around at all the alcohol out on display at the party is definitely not going to help as well. Your choices here are to either avoid going to the party or just stay as far away from alcohol as possible.

  1. Straying away from your routines –

When you become sober after alcoholism, your routines are a great way of ensuring that you remain vigilant on your recovery. Maintaining schedules, enjoying sober activities, and healthy eating patterns on a daily basis can really help keep you sober. However, going away for the holidays will disrupt these routines making it that much harder to keep up your sobriety.

Tips for staying sober during the holidays

  1. Always keep a non-alcoholic drink in your hand –

This is a great way to prevent people from giving you alcoholic beverages. It can also help stop you from reaching for alcohol because you already have a drink in hand. There is no limit to the non-alcoholic beverages you can drink. Go crazy with your own fun mocktails and enjoy the holidays like you did when you were younger!

  1. Stay active during the holidays –

Your schedule and regular activities are already disrupted during the holidays. As such, there is little keeping your mind away from alcohol so staying active can be a good boost to your sobriety. Or some people get so caught up in the holiday festivities that their recovery process becomes negligible. The risk of relapsing at this point is very high. Therefore, planning ahead, doing sober activities, and keeping your mind on recovery is the best way to reward yourself this holiday season.

  1. Practice mediation and self-care –

The holidays make it easy to forget. You can easily get washed away with all the memories and triggers surrounding you at every turn. The best way to remedy this is to be introspective. Keep reminding yourself why you are recovering and learn to regulate your desires, even at difficult times.

Meditation can really help with this as it can help you get back in touch with yourself and calm down all these other triggers. Self-care activities such as reading a book or doing yoga can also reduce stress and avoid relapsing as a result.

  1. Create a pre-planned response to people –

Not everybody may know or remember that you are in recovery. As such, being caught in the celebrations, they are going to offer you alcoholic drinks whenever they see you without one.

Rather than being caught off guard when this happens, having a predetermined answer to stop them can help you ward them off easily enough. You can choose to use humor to deflect the person from offering you more drinks or you can just decide on a simple “No, thank you”.

  1. Make sober plans with your friends –

Just because there is a party planned with alcohol involved, you don’t have to force yourself to stay there for the whole thing, especially when it starts to become too rowdy. Instead, you can pre-plan an outing with your friends to do sober activities. This will make the recovery process much easier as you aren’t being tempted by alcohol.

  1. Have an exit strategy –

Even if you haven’t made any plans with friends, always know when to dip out of a party if it becomes too much. There are some parties where you need to be on alcohol in order to socialize well.

If you can’t stay at these parties any longer, make sure you have an escape plan ready so you can make an exit with no apologies. It is always best to bring a friend along with you too who knows about your recovery.

Being in recovery is not a simple process. It takes time and dedication, and a small relapse can have devastating consequences on your mental well-being. If you feel like you want better help with your alcoholism, places like the Jackson House Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers can really help you get back on your feet again. Visit them before you go on holiday to ensure that you remain sober and get through your recovery!

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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