There are different levels of sobriety, and what counts as “sober” can vary from person to person. By the next Christmas, it was easier, and by the next, I had zero desire to drink — although I know not everyone’s experience will look like mine. But for me, I couldn’t imagine wanting to tarnish the holidays with another drunken episode — or a hangover.

Give yourself props every time you make an outreach call, head to a meeting, read recovery literature, say a slogan and rest. Her mother-in-law makes hateful comments in Julie’s direction regarding everything from her parenting to her weight. Julie is often criticized for her husband’s mistakes within his family.

Know your triggers and have support on standby.

When the next holiday season rolled around, on the eve of my one year of sobriety, I attended parties and carried on the way I had the previous year, minus the booze, which I wouldn’t recommend. Not drinking was still too new, and I found myself miserable and white-knuckling instead of actually enjoying anything. One of the best ways you can take care of your mental health and your sobriety during these months is to practice and establish the habit of self-awareness. Know your mental and emotional limits, both for when you’re in social settings and when you’re by yourself. Know what your biggest triggers are (whether people, situations or environments) so that you can steer clear of them and not enable unnecessary temptations.

At family gatherings and social events, tote around your favorite non-alcoholic drink. People won’t feel so inclined to offer you a drink, and they won’t get the chance to pester you about your sobriety. While you enjoy holiday gatherings, it’s important to keep the needs of your body and mind first. These are suggestions each of us need to keep in mind because they really work.

How pandemic drinking is affecting women’s health

Either way, most addiction recovery agencies, treatment centers, and domestic violence resources increase efforts during the holidays. Call a local treatment center like Into Action Recovery Centers or a local crisis line. Make this holiday the last unsafe holiday for you and your family.

  • For people in recovery, it can be hard to resist the temptation of alcohol when it’s present at the dinner table.
  • Properly taking care of yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally – can help you avoid a relapse.
  • HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries,  and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute.
  • Instead, be honest about your triggers and your ability to handle them.
  • Just like certain people and places can trigger a craving for drugs or alcohol, certain foods and drinks can also be triggers.

If you drove yourself to the function, you can leave whenever you’d like. If you don’t drive, you may want to contact a trusted friend and ask if they could pick you up if you need out. You could also look at the bus or subway schedule ahead of time to plan a route. Ride share apps like Uber or Lyft are also an option for leaving a situation when you are ready. Whatever it may be, make sure you’ve figured out a way to leave to avoid feeling trapped in an overwhelming situation.

How To Navigate Sober Holidays

I was at the tail end of my final attempt to control my alcohol use and it wasn’t going well. I had set out to get through the holidays without booze, but the more I attempted to restrict, make rules and monitor my use, the more obsessed with the idea of drinking I became. The holiday happy hours and beer advent calendars were too tempting to avoid. If you aren’t feeling ready to be around alcohol-infused parties or have already gone to a few and have recognized you’ve reached your limit, you can always host your own sober party.

  • Attending a 12-step meeting or connecting with a sponsor both before and after an event will provide you with the resources to navigate the whole experience successfully.
  • Whatever it may be, make sure you’ve figured out a way to leave to avoid feeling trapped in an overwhelming situation.
  • Talk to your sober friends or sponsors about planning a sober-friendly get-together, whether it’s a pot-luck style dinner or a special activity.
  • This offers some convenience because people can attend meetings from their home, while others prefer being in person because they feel more connected.

After the stress, cost and hassle of arranging the break, I was grumpier, fatter and more tired than when I’d gone away. For many, returning to work is a chance to restore some sober order. But as a food and drink writer, there was no shortage of sober holidays opportunities, bordering on obligations, to get sozzled in the name of professional advancement. Then, when you’re ready to depart, or if you become worried about a relapse if you stay longer than you are comfortable, permit yourself to leave.

dos and don’ts of celebrating the holidays with sober friends and family members

“But saying ‘no’ might be hard for a person who’s not drinking, and some people, depending on the nature of their sober journey, may just agree to drink out of politeness,” says Bodkins. In that case, you’re inadvertently putting a sober loved one into an awkward position where they feel like they’re only drinking to appease you. So, even if it’s with all the best intentions, avoid extending an alcoholic drink to any friend on contact. To avoid holiday temptations, start each waking day with a plan to keep sober. This means thinking ahead about all the possible triggers and situations that may come your way during the holiday season.

  • I used to drink through the stress of the holidays, and when I stopped, the stress actually decreased.
  • You can eat & sleep on the fabulous Celebrity Infinity, and wake up in a historic gorgeous new European port each day.
  • When you take the opportunity to connect with others—to see, value and honor their experience—you exercise empathy.
  • Once those are identified, it can be helpful to have someone supportive and sober with you to rely on during those moments of temptation.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and other 12-step recovery groups put extra meetings into place either in person or over the phone during the holidays.

It can feel as if everyone around is celebrating–often with drinks. The holidays have a way of magnifying the emotions of people who are recovering from addiction or even mental illness. You aren’t alone if you’re wondering how to stay sober during the holidays. This can be a challenging time for most people who are struggling to maintain their sobriety and recovery progress. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stay sober and find enjoyment during this festive time of year.