Though many people look forward to the holiday season all year, others get anxious, lonely or depressed around this time of year. Special occasions like family get-togethers can be triggering for various reasons, especially if you are trying to stay on a sober path and your loved ones’ celebrations tend to revolve around alcohol. Here are some tips to enjoy the season without drinking or falling short of your goals.
1. Treat Yourself
Sobriety brings newfound freedom and meaning in life. Commemorate your accomplishment by pampering yourself with a massage, a favorite meal or an overnight stay in an upscale hotel. Without alcohol in the picture, you will remember every moment in much sharper detail than you would have before you chose to make a fresh start.
2. Start a New Holiday Tradition
If your holidays have typically involved drinking and your loved ones automatically associate celebrations with alcohol, it may be time for a clean slate. Organize a day of volunteering for a community organization, or consider hosting a holiday movie marathon or a potluck where everyone brings their favorite healthy dish to share with the group. Be sure to state on the invitation that this event is alcohol-free.
3. Attend Recovery Meetings
Though you might feel obligated to attend holiday events hosted by your friends, work colleagues or family members, don’t let your schedule get so packed that you run out of time to attend your recovery group meetings. You may need the extra support and accountability more than ever during the holiday season. Fellow members with more sobriety experience under their belts can provide you with invaluable advice about how they’ve successfully navigated the holidays without drinking.
4. Keep a Non-Alcoholic Beverage on Hand
If you have a large extended family with members you only see a few times a year, they might not know you’re in recovery, and you might not yet feel 100% comfortable explaining why you aren’t drinking. To avoid awkward moments with anyone who might ask prying questions or pressure you to have a drink, you can bring a non-alcoholic beverage like water or club soda and hold it as you circulate throughout the gathering. That way, you can enjoy the get-together without worrying about anyone insisting that you try their homemade holiday punch or spiked eggnog recipe.
5. Plan a Getaway
Changing your surroundings can be highly inspiring if you are feeling stuck and want to break out of a rut. If you are worried that going on vacation will tempt you to drink, consider getaways to alcohol-free locations like a campground or yoga retreat.
6. Practice Gratitude
Many of us associate the holiday season with counting our blessings and being thankful for the little things in life. You can keep this tradition going beyond the holidays by developing a year-round “attitude of gratitude.” You can find something to be thankful for every day, no matter how small it may seem. Whether you write these in a gratitude journal or use them to inspire a daily meditation, this practice will help you feel more confident and optimistic.
Your Recovery Refuge
Breaking the chains of addiction can be challenging to accomplish alone. At Pillars Recovery, we have helped many young men and women reclaim their potential and begin walking a healthy, fulfilling path through life. Our single-gender recovery centers are on the beautiful, sunny beaches of Southern California. To learn more about how we can guide you to lifelong sobriety, please get in touch with us today.