Staying sober can be especially difficult around the holiday season when there are so many events and parties. These kinds of situations can cause stress, triggering thoughts or urges to use substances. Sobriety becomes even more challenging when drugs or alcohol are present at these events. Getting through the holiday season may seem daunting, but here are some tips to celebrate yourself in recovery this holiday season.

Tips for being Sober during the Holiday Season

  • Make healthy choices about the events you choose to attend. If you know that a particular party or gathering will be centered around drinking or substances, choose not to go. Attend an event instead that’s more centered around sober activities with friends and family.
  • When attending a party or event, ask the host if they can provide non-alcoholic beverages. If you feel uncomfortable asking about it, it’s alright to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages like seltzers or sodas. Having a safe beverage to sip on can help you feel less excluded.
  • Avoid being the designated driver! While this may seem helpful, it can cause you to feel stuck at a party waiting for a friend when you’re ready to leave. If you do agree to drive, let friends know in advance that you may need to leave. If they’re not ready to go, they will need to find alternate ways to get home such as public transport or car services.
  • Bring a sober friend or support to holiday events that may be triggering for you. If you have a sponsor, let them know in advance about the event you’re attending so you can call him or her if you need support.
  • Have an escape plan. When you attend a gathering, become aware of where exits are in case you need to step away for a break. You can also go into a bathroom to take space to breathe or splash some water on your face to cool down.
  • Commit yourself to abstinence. If you have one celebratory drink, like a glass of champagne, this can lower your inhibitions and your perception. This will make it more difficult to control substance use behaviors afterward.

Take on a New Perspective

Focus on celebrating yourself and your recovery during the holiday season. It’s a special time to take pride in yourself and your accomplishments. Challenge yourself to think more about what you’re gaining when you’re sober rather than what you feel you’re giving up. When you’re not drinking or drugging, you’re more present and engaged in activities with your spouse, your friends, and your family. You will maintain more positive memories during this time when you are sober.

For information on therapy and counseling for substance abuse and recovery, contact Specialized Therapy Associates at (201)-488-6678, or visit us online at Specialized Therapy Associates.