Being sober during the holidays can be a challenging and rewarding accomplishment. You may face triggers, but you will also have the opportunity to own your strength, rely on those close to you and use the tools you’ve learned to overcome difficulties that come up during the holidays. To help you close out the year with a peaceful, fulfilling holiday season, we’ve put together a list of healthy, fun, and active ways to enjoy sober holiday celebrations.
Staying sober and having fun during the holidays
Enjoy outdoor holiday activities
The last few months of the year are packed full with Christmas markets, ice skating, community festivities, and plenty of cold weather activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or making snowmen. Get out there and enjoy them!
Make gifts with friends and family
Avoid the stress of overspending and fighting holiday shopper crowds. Instead, opt to stay in and bake and make crafts like ornaments, decorations, and memorable art, amongst good company.
Bring a sober buddy to festivities
Holidays come with lots of gatherings and parties, often with alcohol readily available. Bring a recovery buddy and have your go-to response for when someone offers you a drink.
Host your own party, sans-alcohol
A smaller, more intimate gathering or game night is a less intimidating option than a full blown holiday party. Invite similarly sober guests, and enjoy their company more than the usual small talk you typically get at a larger party.
Give back to others in need
The holidays are a great reminder that there are always those less fortunate than us. The act of giving to others will fill your heart and put the holiday spirit into perspective.
Create new sober holiday traditions
Your life in recovery may be void of old traditions that involved substance use. Begin new traditions such as driving around to look at neighborhoods that go all out with decorations, baking and decorating cookies for neighbors or your coworkers, or an annual holiday 5K.
Find support anywhere you are
If traveling for the holidays, locate support groups or meetings in the area you’ll be. As another backup, have go-to supportive people on speed dial to call when you need a quick pick me up talk.
Take care of yourself
Holidays can be stressful. Continue to focus on your healing by getting enough sleep, continuing to eat healthy meals (and not eating every baked good in sight), staying with your exercise routine and practicing self care.
Have a plan to leave
If you find yourself in a triggering situation with family, or are tempted to indulge at a gathering, and you feel uncomfortable or at risk of relapse, leave.
Set a New Year resolution
You’ve already accomplished so much this year, set your sights on the future and the goals you want to achieve. Having something you’re passionate about and looking forward to will keep you focused on moving forward.
It is possible to stay clean and sober during the holidays. Arm yourself with knowledge, make good memories and forge new lasting traditions you are proud to enjoy year after year.