Staying Sober Through the Holiday Season: 7 Tips to Write Down
Ugly sweater parties, seeing family and friends, and all the traditions that go into the holiday season can be a trying time to those in recovery. We want to go into this next whole decade (2020) the best version of ourselves: happy, healthy, and of course- clean and sober.
We have compiled a list of helpful tips that can be used during the holiday season to make sure we stay true to our recovery goals.
Have a Solid Plan
Before going to any parties or events this season, write down all the people you want to talk to beforehand so you can make your rounds at any events with a purpose in mind. This will help you not have as much risk for distraction. There is no problem with arriving at a party late and leaving early. Especially if your sobriety is on the line.
Communication with Your Sponsor
If you have a sponsor, keep them in the loop with all your plans, reach out to them before any festivities and follow up with them after so they can give you any last minute advice and added encouragement. Chances are they’ve been in your shoes before and will have a personal experience or show to share that you can learn from.
Routine: Stick With It!
You probably already have a daily routine, and the holidays can infringe on that solid routine, but don’t let it completely go. Try to still get up and make your bed each day, hit the gym if that is a part of your typical day, and try to involve yourself in as many activities as you typically would that are focused around your life in recovery.
Along with contacting a sponsor, also reach out to any other sober support you have. Hit a meeting before or after any engagements that could cause triggering situations. Hang out with the family members that don’t participate in substance use.
If there is dancing, dance! Park yourself away from the bar, or away from where people are using drugs and focus on the good stuff (like food). Participate in the games and conversations that are going to be healthy for your recovery. You can still have fun at all the holiday engagements sober and clean, show this to the people you are around. Don’t be afraid to let people know why you are not participating in the “partying” this season. Let them know all of the blessings you have received by making this change in your life.
Have Responses Handy & Ready to Go!
Many people will probably not know that you have chosen to live a sober and clean life and may be used to the “old you”. It is helpful to have responses to drink or use handy. Here are some things that you can say when someone offers you a drink or a drug. People who are your real friends will understand and after a simple response of “no”, they should respect your decision. For the loved ones you feel comfortable with, don’t be afraid to tell them the reason you are choosing to live clean and sober. People who really care about you will want to love and support you with your choice.
-I am the designated driver tonight.
-I am not drinking/using tonight.
-I am on a medication I cannot drink on.
-No thanks. Not today/tonight.
No Matter What: Don’t Drink or Use!
Just don’t do it! Not today. Remember- the best gift you can give your family, friends, and loved ones is the gift of you, clean and sober.
If you do need drug or alcohol treatment, consider taking the holiday season to get the help needed. This would be the perfect gift for any of your loved ones. The gift of you abstaining from drugs and alcohol will save your life.