Sober Ways to Celebrate Any Holiday
The holidays are one of the biggest triggers for many people in recovery. Finding sober ways to celebrate any holiday can be difficult. Attending office parties with alcohol or stressful family gatherings is triggering for every individual, regardless of how long they’ve been in recovery. With the right tools and the proper mindset, you can easily navigate the holiday season while maintaining your sobriety. You may even discover that the holidays are more enjoyable now that you are sober.
Sober Holiday Celebrations with Others
One of the best parts about celebrating the holidays is getting to spend time with your family and closest friends. However, since most holiday functions focus on alcohol, this can also be one of the hardest parts of the holidays for those who are newly sober. Below are a few things you can do to prepare for an event where alcohol may be served.
With the support of your counselor or sponsor, put a plan in place that will enable you to find sober ways to celebrate. Think through possible scenarios and work out a solution for each. You may consider bringing your sponsor or another individual who is very supportive of your sobriety to help you. If that is not an option, set up a call with a member of your support network right after the event to keep you accountable. Make sure that you give yourself a specific time to leave the gathering, and that you have your own transportation and do not have to rely on anyone else to leave the party.
Set Appropriate Expectations
Set expectations with yourself as well as your friends and family. Remind the host of the party that you are sober. Explain you do not want drinks offered to you, and you may need to leave early or skip altogether if you are having a rough day. Your family and friends should be supportive of helping you maintain your sobriety. If they aren’t, feel empowered to leave or skip an event. As for yourself, it is important to remember that the holidays are stressful for everyone, try to go into each event with a positive attitude and an open mind.
Consider Creative Solutions
It’s important to be aware of any known risks to your sobriety. If you know that your entire extended family is going to start drinking early and it will be too triggering for you, avoid going altogether. Instead, consider some more creative alternatives. Instead of going to the party in person, you could video chat with the family for half an hour to say hello. Or, you could send a fun group gift such as a board game so that your family can spend some fun time together and think of you! Being able to say no to triggering events is an important part of your sobriety, but it doesn’t mean you have to miss the event altogether!
Be Grateful for a New Experience
Consider how going to an event sober is going to be a whole new experience for you. It will feel different to get to be fully present during this time with your family. You’ll get to make wonderful new memories with your nieces and nephews, be a part of family traditions, and create memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Sober Ways to Celebrate the Holidays Alone
Celebrating the holidays on your own is another wonderful option for those who are in recovery. Often, large office holiday parties and stressful family dinners are too much to handle. It’s wonderful that you’ve acknowledged you are not ready for that yet, and it is safer to spend the holidays on your own. This is a great way to spend some time focusing on yourself and getting to do things you enjoy.
Spend some time outside.
Go for a hike, take a walk through your favorite park, or enjoy sitting on your deck. Exploring nature and soaking up sunlight is great for your mental and physical health.
Make some gifts and holiday decorations that you can send to your loved ones instead of attending their holiday parties. Using your skills and talents to create something you share with your loved ones is a great stress-free way to celebrate from afar.
Find an organization that is important to you and volunteer with them throughout the holidays. Whether you’re walking puppies at the animal shelter, or serving at the soup kitchen, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re doing your part to give back to your community.
Focus on Yourself
Focus on taking extra special care of yourself during this time. Get some extra rest, read a new book, make time to meditate, and continue eating healthy and balanced meals. The holidays can cause extra stress, and often cause you to lose sight of yourself while you focus on giving to others. Take the time to remember what your body and your mind need so that you can protect your sobriety.
Confidently Maintain Sobriety
Above all else, protecting your sobriety should be your top priority during the holidays. The counselors at Soul Surgery will work with you to develop healthy strategies so that you feel confident in your ability to celebrate the holidays while maintaining your sobriety. Our holistic approach to sobriety will equip you with the tools you need to navigate any stressful situation successfully. Contact Soul Surgery today to get started!