The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, where people come together to share love, laughter, and happiness. While it is a time of celebration, it can also be challenging for individuals in sobriety. Many people experience difficulties during the holiday season, as the consumption of alcohol is typically more prevalent. People may feel pressured to drink as they gather with friends and family who are drinking, or they may face stressors and reminders of their struggles with alcohol. If you are on a journey of recovery, you do not have to let this season affect your sobriety. Take care of yourself with these tips for staying sober during the holiday season.
Plan Ahead and Set Boundaries
It’s essential to make a plan and set firm boundaries before the holiday season. Decide how many gatherings you will attend, know who will be there, and determine how long you will stay. If you don’t feel comfortable attending events where alcohol is the main attraction, don’t be afraid to decline invitations. Also, let your friends and family know your limits beforehand so they can help support you. Remember, your safety and well-being are more important than any party or gathering, and the people who care about you will respect that.
Lean on Your Support System
One of the best tips for staying sober during the holidays—or at any point in time—is to have a good support system. The holiday season can be stressful, so it’s crucial to have people in your life who will lift you up. Reach out to your sponsor, attend support group meetings, and spend time with family members or friends who are supportive of your recovery. At the same time, try to avoid people who enable or pressure you to drink.
It is of the utmost importance that you avoid triggers that may tempt you to drink. Triggers could be anything, such as certain people, places, or situations, that can lead to consuming alcohol. Learning about common relapse triggers can help you steer clear of potentially dangerous situations. It’s also a good idea to create an exit strategy if you encounter situations that are difficult to handle.
Bring Your Own Non-Alcoholic Beverages
If you’re attending a gathering where alcohol will be served, bring your own non-alcoholic drinks. Having a drink in hand can help you feel more comfortable and less tempted to consume alcohol. Additionally, it can make it easier to resist offers of alcoholic beverages. Don’t be afraid to get creative with it—serve sparkling water in champagne glasses or bring a festive mocktail to share with others. Enjoying non-alcoholic beverages in this way can help you stay sober and have fun at holiday gatherings rather than feeling left out.