The holidays are a wonderful time of the year for many people. They offer you the chance to slow down and spend some quality time with friends and family alike. Because alcohol is such a large part of this time of the year, it can be difficult to experience sober holidays. The tips below can help you stay on track with your recovery while still enjoying the season.
1. Maintain Your Own Space
If you’re traveling home for the holidays, book a hotel room or stay with (sober) friends for the duration of your stay if at all possible. Your family might insist that they have plenty of room to host you but it’s likely that you’ll need the space to simply be yourself after family gatherings. Doing so can help you decompress and maintain your commitment to having sober holidays.
2. Bookend A Party
Attending a 12 step meeting or another aftercare event both before or after a party provides you with the opportunity for support, tips, and ideas for navigating it successfully. Better yet, go to one both before and after so you can get a comprehensive look at the entire experience. This is one place where you’ll probably find lots of suggestions for sober holidays.
3. Practice “HALT”
It’s natural for you to want to attend as many holiday events as you can — especially if they include people you haven’t seen for a while. Be sure to set yourself up for successful sober holidays, though, by following the “HALT” strategy. Check-in with yourself before going to each event. If you’re Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and/or Tired reconsider attending or take steps to address the issue by taking a nap, for example, or having a snack.
4. Keep Your Phone Handy
Your phone can be a lifeline for keeping in touch with those people who can help you cope if you’re struggling with sober holidays. Having access to your support system — those people that you can call when you need an anchor during a challenging time — can make the difference in your recovery.
5. Have An Escape Plan
If possible, always have your own transportation to and from a party. If not else, determine the availability of ride-share options in the area where you’ll be before heading out. Be prepared for people to urge drinks on you and question your decision not to drink. Come up with an excuse ahead of time — “Alcohol interferes with my medication,” for example, or “I’m not drinking tonight.” This can help ward off any further questions if you don’t want to share the details about your recovery.
6. Keep Your Hands Full
If you have a drink in your hand, chances are you won’t attract as much attention as if your hands are empty. This can help you focus on other aspects of the event, such as seeing friends, enjoying the music, and meeting new people, instead of being concerned that you’ll have to field questions about your lack of a drink. Come up with a delicious and non-alcoholic drink you can enjoy while there. A cranberry and soda looks like many alcoholic cocktails and is festive to boot!
If you’re concerned about being able to maintain sober holidays this year, don’t hesitate to reach out for help at 866.796.4720. BoardPrep Recovery Center is here to provide the support, resources, and tools you need to recover from addiction. A partial listing of our comprehensive services includes the following:
- Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT)
- 12 Step Facilitation
- Addiction Treatment Services for Professionals
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)