As a sober person, enjoying the holidays can seem like an impossible task.
Spending time with people that seem to have such high expectations, the stressful social situations, and the constant reminder of not being able to drink…
It’s enough to cause anyone a lot of overwhelming feelings. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to make sure you stay sober but still have a positive experience during the holidays.
Keep reading to get some tips for staying sober during the holiday season that may help you in the upcoming months.
1. Don’t Say Yes to Every Event
If you happen to have friends or family that have a lot of stuff going on during the holidays, you don’t have to go to all of them. If you think you are going to have trouble attending an event that certain people will be at or an event that will make you uncomfortable, just don’t go.
Although it is easier to say yes to everything, saying no to things that are going to cause you harm is healthier for you as a person. If you need an excuse that doesn’t include being sober, say you don’t feel well or are too tired to go.
2. Remember You’re Not Alone
Not necessarily in the sense of being sober, but with overall stress! The holiday season can be a stressful time for everyone whether they are sober or not.
Try to be more forgiving of yourself, but also of others. It can be difficult to adjust our mentality in this way, but it can help us be more open and cheerful without a drink in our hand.
3. Have an Escape Plan
If you feel like you are getting too uncomfortable with others drinking around you or are even tempted to drink yourself, it is wise to have your own vehicle or another mode of transportation.
4. Have a Structured Schedule
It can be difficult to remain sober if you have a lot of free time available during this stressful time of year. For this reason, it is wise to try and schedule up your free time with things you enjoy or need to get done.
An example could be that you spend one day exercising in the morning, getting lunch with a close friend, volunteering in the evening, and spending time with your family at night. Try to do things that will keep your mind off of everything else that may be bothering you.
5. Don’t Forget Your Support
For some people, it is easier to try and bookend any social events during the holidays with support from others. For instance, attending a support group before the event and after the event can be beneficial.
Have a plan if you have an emergency and need to talk to someone, such as a sponsor. Remember that some family or friends that are not sober may have trouble understanding what you are feeling or experiencing, so have a backup support plan in place.
If you want to learn more about how others are able to get through the holidays sober, be sure to read some of the tips from a recovery center.
6. Practice Self-Care
During the extra time that we have during the holiday season, we should take care of our wellness and self in a variety of ways.
Reconnect with people that nourish your sense of self. Do activities that make you feel joy and give you more insight into happiness. Practice personal reflection and take care of yourself physically by getting sleep, drinking water, and eating good food.
7. Answer Questions
People may ask you questions about what has been going on or why you aren’t having alcohol. Remember that humans are naturally curious and these questions are not usually meant to be harmful.
Feel empowered to answer these questions as simply as you want to. No one needs to hear all of the ins and outs of your situation unless you want them to.
A good way to avoid some questions is to always have some type of non-alcoholic drink in hand and also come up with a generic response of “I’m doing well, just busy lately” or something along those lines.
Enjoying the Holidays Without Alcohol
As you can see, there are proactive things we can do to be sure we are enjoying the holidays and remaining sober at the same time. The holiday season can be rough when you are in recovery, but it is possible to get through them.
Going into the holiday season with all of the knowledge you can is definitely the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself.
Remember that you are sober for a reason and you can be strong when you feel weak. To get some more tips for staying sober during this time of year, view our additional advice on staying sober during the holiday season.