Top 10 Tips to Stay Sober During the Christmas Holidays
Use a few of these ideas to stay clean and sober this holiday season.
It’s that time of year again, the time where every person in recovery works to stay sober during the Christmas holidays. Even many of those with multiple years of sobriety have a difficult time during the holiday season. It seems like alcohol goes hand in hand with company parties and family get togethers; avoiding it entirely is pretty much impossible.
Since drinking has lodged itself into the holidays you’ll be around it at least once during the season. It’s a good idea to go into the holiday season with a plan to protect your sobriety. You should always plan ahead before you go to a party or event so you don’t find yourself caught off-guard.
Be sure to keep your sobriety first and foremost in any and every event you go to. After all, if you don’t have your sobriety, you won’t have the ability to be fully present for your family anyways.
To help you, we compiled a list of the 10 bets tips to stay sober during the Christmas holidays. Whether you use one, a few, all of them, or none of them, be sure you have at least some sort of plan.
1. Create an “escape plan.”
Before you head into any event, whether with family, friends, or coworkers, come up with an escape plan. This might be the most important tip of all to help you stay sober during the Christmas holidays. Come up with a way to excuse yourself when you feel you need to get out of the situation. Your escape plan will help you remove yourself when you’ve fulfilled your stay.
2. Always drive yourself if possible.
Drive yourself in your own car to an event whenever possible. This makes it easier for you to leave when you need to and keeps you from having to wait around on someone else. It’s also helpful to drive yourself only so you don’t have to gather a group of people up in order to leave. When you’re responsible only for yourself, you can get away whenever you need to.
3. If you can’t drive yourself, have a ride on hand.
If you’re in a position where you aren’t able to drive yourself, set up a ride beforehand. You can enlist the help of someone who understands the situation you’ll be in who can come pick you up as soon as you call. It’s also a good idea to download the Uber or Lyft app to your phone for a quick pick up.
4. Bring your own drinks with you.
Bring a drink you enjoy instead of relying on whatever the event has to offer. You can bring enough to share with others or keep a small stock of your own beverages to make sure you don’t run out. It’s easier to decline the offer of a drink and stay sober during the Christmas holidays when you already have something you enjoy. Plus, people are less likely to offer you a drink if you already have one in your hand!
5. Build a list of people to call.
Compile a list of people you can step out and call while at the event. Let a few friends know ahead of time where you will be and that they might need to expect a phone call from you during that time. If you find yourself tempted, step out for a few minutes and call another sober person who understands where you’re coming from.
6. Invite a sober friend to come with you.
It’s easier to stay sober when you have another sober friend with you. You can bring someone who is also in recovery or even enlist the help of a friend who doesn’t need to drink to have fun. You’ll feel less pressured to drink when you’re not the only sober person at the event.
7. Understand that it’s okay to leave when you need to.
In order to stay sober during the Christmas holidays, you must realize that it’s okay to leave when you need to. People who truly know and care about you would rather you leave early than relapse. Don’t force yourself to overstay your own welcome. You’re allowed to leave when you need to.
8. Have a get together with a group of sober friends.
Invite a group of sober friends over for dinner or a game night during the holidays. Sober people understand better than anyone that you don’t need to drink to have a good time. With so many parties centered around alcohol, having a sober event is a welcome change of pace. All of your friends in recovery will appreciate it as well!
9. Go to a 12-step meeting.
Most Alano clubs offer marathon meetings on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Marathon meetings usually take place every hour, on the hour, sometimes even for 24 hours straight. 12-step meetings are a free place that guarantee you the opportunity to spend some time with other sober people. Some clubs even provide meals on holidays for those who don’t have a place to eat with their family.
10. Remember that you can politely say “no.”
Don’t forget that “No” is a complete sentence. You usually aren’t obligated to attend an event that threatens your recovery. Remember that you don’t have to go to something if you don’t want to. If it’s going to jeopardize your ability to stay sober during the Christmas holidays, it’s best to politely decline and find something else to do.
Finding Help to Stay Sober During the Christmas Holidays
Some people find themselves needing to attend alcoholism and addiction treatment during the holidays. While it might not be the most ideal situation to spend this time of year away from your family, it may be the best decision you make.
Addiction and alcoholism steals people away from their family all year long. Sacrificing one year of holidays for a lifetime of presence is a fair trade in the end. If you need help finding an addiction treatment center to stay sober during the Christmas holidays, call Hawaii Island Recovery at 877-721-3556 today.