Tis the season to be sober
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year to eat, drink and be merry. But, what if you are a person with the disease of addiction or alcoholism? The holidays can also be a very difficult time to navigate and keep your sobriety intact. It’s not impossible though. We put together 10 ways to enjoy an alcohol free holiday season. Spending time with family and anyone who knows your business about your struggles or challenges with drugs or alcohol, can be intimidating. Knowing you have a holiday gathering to attend, where there will be alcohol served, can cause a ton of anxiety for those working hard to refrain from drinking.
Those who have attended treatment programs and have learned coping skills to get through the day, can also attest to those skills coming in handy for holiday happenings.
Here are 10 ways to enjoy a sober season
Make a relapse prevention plan; what are some ways that you can redirect your triggering thoughts and avoid going down that rabbit hole?
Be ready to cancel if you need to; it’s okay to say “this year, I’m just not ready”, and skip the party all together.
BYO-Alcohol-free drink; If you do decide to go to the holiday gatherings, you can always bring your own alcohol free drinks. You don’t even have to say that you’re not drinking because you’re in recovery.
Lay of the land; know who you’re expecting to see at the holiday parties. If you know you’re going to run into someone that maybe you used to drink with, you might feel more prepared to change the narrative. You can rehearse your responses and reactions too!
I get so emotional baby
Don’t let your emotions take over; be sure to do some deep breathing exercises throughout the day.
Eat before you leave home; I don’t know about you but I become a really not-fun person when I’m hungry. I guess that is what they call “hangry”.
Carry something that you can hold onto; kids have fidget spinners to carry for when they feel anxious. Try to find something that you can hold in your hand, that isn’t your phone that you can keep yourself busy with. Stress balls or stress putty that even comes scented with essential oils.
Santa uses the fireplace, you need a safer plan
Have an escape plan; make sure you have a friend that you can text and ask them to call you with an excuse to leave the party to come rescue them.
Plan ahead ride out; if you don’t drive and still need a mobile escape plan, ask a friend to come with you who does drive. Choose a “magic word” that only you and your friend know the meaning is “let’s get out of here asap”!
Be true to you
Just keep it real; for most, the best approach is to just keep it real. Be honest about how you feel and what you need to feel comfortable at the holiday gathering. You never know, your party host might be more than happy to make it a sober event or provide alcohol free options separate from the bar buffet.
Most importantly, stay true to yourself. You know what it takes to keep you sober and in recovery and keep doing that.