The holidays can be difficult for anyone struggling with addiction, but there are ways to make it through sober. Here are some helpful tips to stay sober during the holiday season. Plan ahead, stay busy and reach out for support when needed. You can enjoy the holidays without alcohol or other drugs with a little planning and effort.
1. Stay Busy
Keeping yourself busy can help take your mind off cravings and prevent boredom, which can lead to relapse. Plan fun activities with family and friends, or volunteer to help others. If you have free time, consider volunteering or a new hobby. Staying active will help take your mind off drinking and give you a sense of accomplishment. Remember that you’re not alone in this. Many people abstain from alcohol during the holidays, so you’re not missing out on anything by staying sober.
2. Reach Out For Support
If you’re tempted to drink or use drugs, contact your support network for help. Talking to someone who understands your situation can be a huge help. Whether it’s a close friend, family member, therapist, or sober coach, they can offer you the support you need to stay on track.
3. Remember That You’re Not Alone
Many people abstain from alcohol during the holidays, so you’re not missing out on anything by staying sober. You may even be setting a good example for others struggling with addiction. So don’t be discouraged – focus on the positive and remember that you’re doing this for yourself.
4. Have a Plan
If you’re going to be in situations where alcohol will be present, it’s important to have a plan for staying sober. This may mean having a non-alcoholic drink in hand or excusing yourself from the room when someone starts drinking. Make sure you’re comfortable with your plan and it will work for you. You can also plan to take an online course to quit drinking to guide you.
5. Set Realistic Goals
Trying to avoid all tempting situations during the holidays completely can set you up for failure. Instead, focus on setting realistic goals, such as only attending events where alcohol will be served if you know you can handle it. Or, if you’re going to be around family members who drink, set a goal to only have one drink instead of trying to abstain completely. Having realistic goals will help you stay on track and avoid feeling discouraged if you do slip up.
6. Avoid Trigger Foods
Alcohol isn’t the only thing that can trigger a craving – certain foods can also be triggers for some people. Certain foods make you want to drink, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. This may mean skipping dessert at holiday parties or avoiding trigger foods altogether.
7. Be Mindful Of Your Emotions
The holidays can be difficult for anyone, but they can be especially challenging for those in recovery. Be mindful of your emotions and how they might be affecting your sobriety. If you’re feeling stressed, sad, or anxious, reach out to your support network for help. And if you find yourself getting angry or irritable, take a step back and take some time. This may mean taking a break from holiday festivities or excusing yourself from stressful situations.
8. Have an Exit Strategy
If you find yourself in a situation where you’re feeling tempted to drink, it’s important to have an exit strategy. This may mean having a friend or family member on call that can pick you up or having a list of sober activities you can do instead of drinking. Make sure you’re comfortable with your plan and it will work for you.
You can also have a strategy to reward yourself. Staying sober during the holidays can be a big accomplishment. So be sure to reward yourself for your hard work! This may mean treating yourself to a new book, taking a day trip, or indulging in your favorite sober activity. Whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy and helps you stay motivated and sober.
The holidays can be difficult for anyone, but they can be especially challenging for those recovering from addiction. With these tips, you can make it through the holidays without relapsing. Reach out to your support network for help when you’re tempted, set realistic goals, and reward yourself for your hard work.