While the holidays can be a wonderful time of the year for many people, they can also be complicated. People who are in recovery from alcohol addiction may be attempting to keep sober holidays for the first time. So this season, with its social commitments and implicit financial strain, might pose a major challenge to sober living. While this is a chance to spend quality time with friends and loved ones, there is often an increased expectation to participate in social drinking, pushing the limits of a person’s sobriety. However, a dry holiday season isn’t impossible. These tips may help you or someone you love to stay on track with recovery while enjoying the holidays with your loved ones.
If you are concerned about your drinking habits or about those of someone you love, you may require the services of an alcohol addiction treatment center. Contact BoardPrep Recovery Center® on the web or call us at 866.796.4720. We offer a wide selection of treatment options that will fit your life and your needs.
Tips for Facing the Holidays While in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction
There are lots of things you can do to maintain your sobriety during the holidays. Your support network will be able to offer their experiences and advice on navigating sober holidays. However, there are some tried-and-true techniques that can help you manage many different situations, no matter where you are in your recovery.
Try to practice these techniques before you need them. Then, they’ll be second nature by the time the holidays are in full swing.
1. Stay on Track in Your Own Space
Travel is a big part of the holidays. The process of reaching your destination and the possibility of being around people who don’t support or understand your recovery journey can be challenging. If you’re traveling over the holidays, book a hotel room or stay with (sober) friends for the duration of your stay if possible. Your family might insist that they have plenty of room to host you, but you’ll likely need the space to be by yourself after family gatherings. Doing so can help you decompress and maintain your commitment to dry holidays.
2. Bookend a Party With a Sponsor or Recovery Group
You might need help preparing yourself before and processing the experience after you attend a holiday party. Attending a 12-step meeting or connecting with a sponsor both before and after an event will provide you with the resources to navigate the whole experience successfully.
3. Remember to HALT and Check In With Your Mood
The holidays can be exhilarating, offering an opportunity to reconnect with people you haven’t seen in a long time. But don’t lose touch with your mental or emotional state in the holiday frenzy. Set yourself up for successful sober holidays by checking in with yourself. If you’re feeling hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, or HALT, for short, then you can take steps that will help you feel better before you go. If you’re feeling especially vulnerable, you might want to reconsider attending. Your well-being is more important than any party.
4. Keep Your Phone Handy While Socializing
Even if you’ve arrived at a party or other holiday gathering by yourself, your support system is just a call or text message away. A mobile phone can be a lifeline for keeping in touch with people who can help you cope if you’re struggling with sober holidays. This coping mechanism is essential, especially if the people around you engage in social drinking and push you to do the same. Having access to your support system, or those you can call when you need an anchor during a challenging time, can make a huge difference in your recovery.
5. Have an Escape Plan To Avoid the Pressure of Social Drinking
Before going to any party, take the following steps:
- Make sure you have an exit strategy.
- Try to have your own transportation to and from a party.
- If that’s not an option, make appropriate arrangements with a taxi or ride-share service before heading out. While there is no shame in being
- in recovery, you should prepare for people to urge you to drink or probe you on your decision not to drink.
- Remember that you are not obligated to divulge more information than you are comfortable sharing.
- Come up with an excuse ahead of time, such as “Alcohol interferes with my medication,” or, “I’m not drinking tonight.”
Then, when you’re ready to depart, or if you become worried about a relapse if you stay longer than you are comfortable, permit yourself to leave.
6. Keep Your Hands Full with Snacks or Non-Alcoholic Beverages
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.
Begin Your Recovery Journey Today with BoardPrep Recovery
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:
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- 12-step facilitation
- Addiction treatment services for professionals
- Addiction therapy programs
If you have any questions about the recovery process, reach out to BoardPrep Recovery today.