Staying Sober Over The Holidays

The disease of addiction becomes more powerful during the holiday season. It’s important to remember that recovery is a one-step at a time endeavor, no matter the season it is in. People get time off of work, travel to see their families, spend time preparing for the holidays, and often don’t adhere to their typical routines during the holiday season. Your exercise routine, healthy eating patterns, and even your Alcoholics Anonymous meeting attendance may fall by the wayside. All of these disruptions can put serious stress on your sobriety. Substance abuse often increases during the holiday season.

  • That is when what I learned over and over again in one of the programs at Emerald Isle saved my recovery.
  • It will be important to know if there will be alcohol involved, so that you can be prepared to be around it.
  • The holidays are the perfect time for you to enjoy quality time with your friends and family.
  • I always make sure to note this does not mean “Do not stand up for yourself” or “Just deal with abuse.” No, it doesn’t mean that.
  • Familiar holiday traditions and big group gatherings in a sober environment can be a big help in making the holidays feel special.

Seek out friends or family members that you feel safe and comfortable with. For help finding a support group, reach out to the team at Turning Point of Tampa. Once the holiday time rolls around, it’s more susceptible for individuals struggling with substance abuse to struggle with staying sober during the holidays. It’s a challenge during this time of year to stay in abstinence and recovery during the holidays. For these reasons, holidays and recovery don’t usually co-occur and the holidays can be stressful and exhausting. Maybe you are worried about your own drug use, or maybe you’re worried about the drug use of someone else.

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It’s only a sip, and it doesn’t mean you’ve relapsed—or that you should entertain the thought of relapsing now. RecoveryGo virtual outpatient addiction and mental health treatment directly to you. Bring a notepad with and write how you feel and how you can navigate those feelings while being at a social event throughout the day. Meditation retreats – these tend to draw people who are looking to focus on wellness and are less likely to offer alcohol or other drugs. Stay focused on the benefits you notice personally and in your relationship.

Especially if you are new to recovery, you might want to build in extra supports. If you are known for exerting intense levels of energy during the holiday time, it might be time to rewrite the holiday story in your head instead. It would be great if you’re able to speak to your sponsor or speak with a sober friend regarding the expectations and emotions you have about the holidays.

  • If people keep trying to pressure you, politely say no thank you and walk away.
  • A mistake is not a relapse, and it’s not going to land you in rehab, but those secrets might.
  • There are numerous different ways to pay it forward and be of service and give back.
  • Celebrating a sober holiday is reason enough to be proud of yourself.

For many of the reasons mentioned earlier, substance abuse tends to ramp up over the holidays. For many of us, the holidays are a season of peace and joy, where we decorate our memories with calm and happy moments. In the program at Emerald Isle, I learned that having a purpose is extremely important in the recovery process. Figure out what your purpose will be during the holiday season. Maybe it will as simple as, treat yourself kindly during the holidays. Or maybe it will be do something kind for someone else every chance you get.

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Find some quiet time each day for relaxation and meditation—if only for a few minutes, no matter how busy you are. The trick is to find the right friend for the job. Some people count on the friends they make during rehab. Alumni aftercare programs are a great way for you to make friends with people who can provide support when you need it. In fact, these programs are excellent for finding a sponsor to help you stay sober this season. What should be the most joyous time of the year is sometimes a struggle. It can be tough to revisit familiar people or places if some of our problems related to alcohol are rooted deep within us.

sober holidays

If you believe Wordfence should be allowing you access to this site, please let them know using the steps below so they can investigate why this is happening. Learn more about Tempest’s unique approach to alcohol recovery. Relationships are assignments.Consider everyone an angel or a spiritual teacher. If I can remember to insert this into my interactions, I can remember to use something really triggering to practice not being triggered, to choose a different way. Is it possible to find peace and happiness when a loved one is addicted? Our hope is merely to capture the spirit of the fellowships, and to approach people with the language they commonly use to describe the disease of addiction. If you become a ball of wretched energy during the holidays, perhaps your own expectations have become your downfall.

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Maybe you stole away into the night to meet up with friends and use, just to make it easier to talk with or bear family back home. Looking back, you may find it sad to think how much time was wasted to getting wasted. Back then, you probably didn’t remember deep conversations had with family or even your new little cousin’s first name. Now that you’re sober, things can be different. You can take advantage of this time with your loved ones, immerse yourself in the experience, and better connect with family and friends. Not to mention, you will remember the memories made.

sober holidays

Also, make sure you are consistently drinking water to stay hydrated. All of the above-mentioned sober activities can present to be extremely beneficial during this difficult time. You don’t have to feel guilty for doing this either. Additionally, if you have a sponsor or counselor, discuss strategies for declining drinks at the holiday events.

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Eel that entering rehab during the holidays isn’t appropriate. But in fact, it may be an ideal time of year to seek addiction recovery. Holidays are a time many people let down their hair and free their inhibitions. But when you’re in relapse, you can’t necessarily partake in the same activities, especially if you’re hoping to have a sober holiday. Christmas lights are strung on trees and houses, making our surrounding neighborhoods come alive. More and more people are bustling about, finishing up their last-minute shopping lists. Friends and family are making plans for the nights ahead – and many are already shipping and settling in for holiday break.

No matter which holidays you celebrate this time of year, there’s no doubt that most will have some sort of liquor present. If you are in recovery from alcohol use disorder or alcohol addiction, this can be a very difficult place to be. And, if you are in recovery from a substance use disorder , being around alcohol and a party-like environment can also be extremely challenging. If you are new to sobriety and this is just your first or second holiday season sober, it can be even harder. Your traditions and habits may be to indulge in alcohol with family and friends this time of year. Imagining yourself without that drink in hand to ease anxiety and have fun can cause fear.

Maybe it’s easier to go to the holiday dinner, rather than make waves by turning down the invite. In this case, put things into place to make the situation as easy as possible. One newly recovering alcoholic wrote AA slogans on index cards and kept them in her purse. When she needed a break, she locked the bathroom door and took five minutes to get quiet and read a slogan. Make a new holiday tradition by scheduling a massage for the day after.

Lets Get Sober

While I can’t speak for everyone, ever since my husband decided to give up alcohol alongside me, our relationship has only gotten stronger. There’s more laughter and healing tears in our home now. We’ve supported each other in taking risks and investing in our career dreams. We also started to make more time for our shared value of community involvement. If you have a big family and many to buy for, consider suggesting doing a pollyanna or white elephant this year. With a pollyanna, you pick names from a hat, and then each person is buying just one gift. Putting a price limit on the gift is a good idea too.

Most people with addiction expect their upside-down world to immediately turn right side up. Granted, there is hope for a better future, but it does not always come easily or quickly. Friends and family members will understand, and the most important thing is maintaining your recovery. Take some time to rest for a few minutes after your negative experience and reflect on what was difficult for you.

It will be important to know if there will be alcohol involved, so that you can be prepared to be around it. You might be accustomed to engaging in addictive behaviors when you spend your sober holidays holidays. As a result of comfortability, there might be novel events that can, in turn, become annual traditions. Avoiding addiction triggers certainly acts as a great starting point.

On a macro level, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to explain yourself, etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore tells Yahoo Life. “You don’t have to offer any kind of explanation.” At Turning Point of Tampa are committed to providing high quality, 12-Step based substance use disorder and eating disorder programs that are affordable and effective. We treat clients who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse and eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder. Reaching out for extra support during the holidays with a few extra meetings a month, a new course of therapy or extra sessions at your current therapy is a great option.

The best way to handle a situation that tends to get your goat is to simply remove your energy from the situation. I imagine their energy floating right past me, and them tiring themselves out when the punches they are throwing aren’t landing.

Maybe your babysitter needs to get home, you have to wake up at the crack of dawn for an appointment, or nobody made it home to walk the dogs. You can even arrange for a friend to call during the event to add some credence to your “out.” Having a Plan B ready allows you to be able to gracefully bow out if needed. If you have some strategies prepared in advance, you’ll find this situation much easier to navigate. Be host to friends, especially newcomers, at home or at a coffee shop. Offer non-crappy nonalcoholic beverages like soda or flavored seltzers. If you’re having a party, be mindful of your guests’ needs. Here’s how to make it more comfortable for those who don’t drink or who are in recovery.

Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital. During this holiday season, don’t make parties that encourage drinking a priority. You can include anything from making decorations to enjoying the fire to ice skating. Holidays are different now and yes, they are better.

After the past couple of years, we have all earned a break from ourselves. Instead of boozing, I swam lengths and ran up hills. I eschewed my usual holiday diet of mindless thrillers to read books that required concentration. I was able to drive everyone back from long lunches at the beach. In the mornings, I became unrecognisably perky, advocating tennis “before the sun hits the court”. When you take the opportunity to connect with others—to see, value and honor their experience—you exercise empathy. You exist outside of yourself, and you begin to notice all the blessings your life already contains.

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