Tips to Survive the Holidays Without Drinking

Visualization is an incredible tool for a wide variety of situations in our lives. Before heading to an event or meal this holiday season, take a few moments to visualize yourself already there. You’ll see yourself having a great time without having to rely on alcohol. By putting your mind into the place you are visiting ahead of time, your body will be more likely to follow and stick to your plans when you arrive.

how to spend holidays sober

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Celebrating your Sobriety!

Clear your mind of the trouble and get ready, because you’re about to enjoy the holidays. You need to investigate and challenge the internal monologue about what you are owed and what you are lacking—some of which might be a carryover from addiction. Then you can break down those defensive walls and forgive other people, and you can approach the holiday season with a stronger sense of gratitude.

  • This is especially true if it’s your first holiday being sober.
  • So, make sure they are available during the holiday season.
  • If you find yourself traveling during the holidays, it might be helpful to find a local support group that you can attend to talk about how things went.
  • By putting your mind into the place you are visiting ahead of time, your body will be more likely to follow and stick to your plans when you arrive.
  • As an industry professional 12 Keys has become one of my most trusted resources.

Don’t be afraid to decline invitations or walk away from conversations and situations that make you uncomfortable. For many people in recovery, the holidays can be a reminder of past drug or alcohol use. If certain holiday traditions trigger you, it’s okay to change them. For example, if you normally sober holidays drink eggnog at Christmas, try making a non-alcoholic version this year. Or, if you typically spend the holidays with family members who are still using, consider spending time with sober friends instead. The holiday season can be one of the toughest times for anyone working on their sobriety.

Fr. Mick Moon combines counseling, spirituality at 5 Door Recovery

This could mean bookending a holiday event with phone calls to someone in recovery before and after the event. Commit to attend a 12-step meeting each day and inviting a friend to attend with you. Also, if you’re traveling to another city, plan ahead and make sure you attend meetings there as well, or pick up a phone meeting. For those that have been in recovery from substance use disorder for a while, some of the greatest joy and inner freedom has come to you from staying clean and sober. It’s important to protect yourself from relapse during this holiday season where the alcohol, excitement, and emotions flow more readily than usual.

This type of stress can lead us to rationalize and convince ourselves we are entitled to a drink. Instead, surround yourself with supportive loved ones that will help you follow the steps to staying clean and sober. For many of us, the holidays are a season of peace and joy, where we decorate our memories with calm and happy moments.

Step #2. Be Prepared for Temptation

Family members expect holiday perfection, and they often demand every ounce of your time and energy—and patience. The family menu is a constant carb-load, and traveling puts a strain on your wallet. Packed airports, tight schedules, liquid lunch for Aunt Sally.