How to Stay Sober During the Holidays: Our Top 10 Tips

Turn off the TV, turn down the lights, read a book, or drink a cup of calming noncaffeinated tea. Many people have activities or interests that help keep them balanced. Ignoring triggers leaves you more susceptible to their influence in recovery, and allows them to maintain power over you. Tell them how you are feeling about the upcoming holiday and ask if you can call them if you feel in danger of relapsing. If you are in recovery, especially if you’re newly sober, this might be difficult to be around.

  • If you feel like staying cozy indoors, consider buying a holiday-themed jigsaw puzzle, and setting it up on your table.
  • To put it another way, rather than powering through tough situations, you’re being honest about what you can handle.
  • Sharing rides with friends who will want to stay the entire evening is too risky if we begin to feel uncomfortable.
  • It may sound simple, but knowing what you’re going to say ahead of time will allow you to navigate social situations with confidence.

Let’s delve deeper into these strategies and share insights from my journey and our podcast discussions. Getting through the holidays sober can be a challenge, particularly for people in early addiction sober holidays recovery. Here are some tips and resources for preventing or responding to addiction relapse during the holiday season. The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness.

Create a Holiday Storage System

People in early recovery who have spent a lot of time in treatment recently may be especially burdened by financial issues this time of year, causing added stress. Holiday parties often include alcohol and can be tricky to navigate for people who are in any stage of the recovery process. For a gift exchange, it can be fun to have a white elephant grab bag where everyone brings a gift for under ten dollars. No matter how hectic things get, be sure to carve out time for self-care between social engagements. Taking time to meditate, get some exercise, practice a favorite hobby, or even just catch your breath can go a long way.

  • It’s no wonder that this month-long stretch can be an especially challenging time for those in recovery.
  • Find some quiet time each day for relaxation and meditation—if only for a few minutes, no matter how busy you are.
  • Dust, vacuum, and mop the floors, and don’t forget to clean out the refrigerator to make room for holiday meal prep.
  • Feelings of loneliness can be triggering for people in recovery, even if they have a solid social support system.
  • This can take a toll on our physical and emotional well-being.

Take this time of year to create new memories and sober traditions. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, do not wait until the new year to get help; take advantage of available resources. Chaos and unpredictability, for example, create triggers that often lead to relapse. Stress is typical this time of year and difficult to manage. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are some of the most cherished occasions on the calendar.

Fun Sober Things To Do During The Holidays

Playing in the snow is a great way to enjoy yourself and let loose—without having to consume any alcohol. For many of us, alcohol plays a bigger role in December holiday festivities than we’d like. Often, we feel the consequences once the merriment subsides, and swear we’ll do things differently next year—but it’s harder than we expect. Some of us have even sworn off alcohol completely, and are dreading the constant temptations and explanations that come with the holidays. To overcome the habit or nostalgia, establish new holiday traditions that don’t involve alcohol.

It’s about tuning into the sights and sounds around you allowing anxious thoughts to drift away. If you are interested in discussing a holiday at New Life Portugal please contact us at CATCH Recovery. We will take your details and pass them over to New Life Portugal who can contact you directly about their holidays. Having your own transportation home — whether it’s your own car, a ride-hailing service, or a sober friend — means you can leave when you want to leave. If someone pressures you, Sultan said, assert your boundaries.

Patient Care Network

“Usually by the time they get in our car they’re about ready for a nap. But every once in a while it turns into karaoke on the freeway, your typical drunk ride,” Kolstad said. “I’d rather someone doing that than go out and risk somebody’s life.” In fact, study after study shows that volunteering improves mood, increases self-esteem, and provides a sense of connection. Please add your thoughts in the comments below or on one of our social media pages. Or send your tips to us at (we’re happy to credit you or post them anonymously). Local and state resources for substance abuse and addiction can vary according to where you live.

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