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7 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

It’s only a sip, and it doesn’t mean you’ve relapsed—or that you should entertain the thought of relapsing now. A study on college students specifically found that they consumed significantly higher levels of alcohol during holidays and celebrations (Glindemann, Wiegand & Geller, 2007). These trends of heavy intoxication were also true for other holidays such as Halloween and St. Patrick’s day.

staying sober over the holidays

As the holidays roll around, it might help to write down a daily gratitude list to remind you why you aregrateful for your sobrietyand why recovery is worth it to you. If you’re in recovery, the holidays can pose serious challenges to your sobriety and sanity. For many, family interaction plays a big part in this holiday pressure.


Know what your triggers are and know where the exit is. Plan at what point you will leave if things get tough. Here’s how to stay sober during the holidays as you continue your recovery journey. Now is the perfect time to start your new life – a life free from dependence on drugs and alcohol.

Remember that every sober day brings your next accomplishment. Have a Sober Buddy join you at events and/or family functions, especially if alcohol is present. It is at these holiday situations your sobriety becomes the most vulnerable, a support system is crucial. The hardest sober holidays step is admitting you need help with your substance abuse. But before committing to addiction treatment, make sure you find the best… During these challenging times amidst holidays and recovery, it is critical to maintain connections with other individuals in sobriety.

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It’s important to remember that your abstinence did not teach you how to control your drinking because abstinence does not rewire your brain to become unaddicted. It’s essential to be able to recognize your triggers and limit them whether that be certain people or the environment. There is also the importance to be able to take care of your basic needs such as sleep, food, and mood to properly manage your triggers. Once you can identify your addiction triggers, begin to take notice of your warning signs when you start seeking out unhealthy situations and thinking patterns. For someone in recovery from addiction, holidays can be a tempting trial that brings those in recovery to the brink of relapsing.

  • If you do accidentally take a sip of an alcoholic beverage, do not panic.
  • Ensuring that you have a plan for the holiday will not only help to clear your own mind, but focusing on helping others will also create fulfillment and positivity.
  • Take time every day to be the healthiest version of yourself.
  • These emotions, thoughts or memories may remind a person of drinking or drugs and prompt the urge to use.
  • You can read more about how social support can relieve stress in Mission 6.3 of the app.
  • Then, for anyone who is sober , the holidays can be full of multiple emotions both good and bad.

The holidays can be especially stressful for those recovering from an alcohol use disorder because alcohol is such a central part of many celebrations. If you expect to be offered a drink, think about how you will respond. A simple yet firm “no, thank you” is often enough, especially since long explanations and vague excuses can give you more opportunity to give in. The holiday season is in full swing, and as fun as this festive time of year can be, the holidays can also create challenges for many people — especially those inrecovery. Find out about the special holiday parties, meetings, or other celebrations given by groups in your area, and go. Here are some tips for having an all-round ball without a drop of alcohol.

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No celebration will be the picture-perfect example of what a sober holiday should be. The holidays are not a time to hold on to resentment. Don’t allow someone you dislike or have a hard time seeing get in your head. Holding onto grudges can hold us back from making true progress and enjoying what’s supposed to be a time of love and selfless giving. Recovery during the holidays, individuals celebrate in various ways. It is okay and acceptable for you to say, “No, thank you” to customs, practices, and invitations that are detrimental to you.

Holiday Season – Texas Department of Transportation

Holiday Season.

Posted: Tue, 30 Aug 2022 06:36:35 GMT [source]

Thousands of others just like you have faced the holidays with the same trepidations and not only survived but stayed sober. Often the first holiday and holiday season sober is the most challenging. If you feel lonely, make phone calls to friends and family. Stay close with helpful family and friends and those you have met during your recovery journey. The holidays can be tough for those just out of alcohol and drug rehab. There may be parties for hosting and marshmallows for toasting, but the holidays can be a hardship for those in recovery.

Rewrite the Holiday Story in Your Head

The holiday season can be a triggering time for many reasons. Knowing your potential holiday relapse triggers is of utmost importance in any stage of recovery. For many of us, the holidays are wrapped up in traditions and memories – some great, others not so great. Don’t lose sight that your recovery is a precious gift, not just for you, but for those who love you. To help you protect that gift, we’ve compiled a list of seven time-tested tips to help you avoid relapse and enjoy the season. In other words, “this too shall pass.” There’s no reason to stress over one holiday season in your lifetime — it’s just another 24 hours of working on your recovery.

staying sober over the holidays

In society today, we tend to overindulge in everything. Simplifying things will help to relieve some of the pressure around the holidays and gift-giving. Be prepared and set a plan for each event or celebration you will attend. It is often suggested to plan to be at an event for a set, short amount of time. For example, if you’re attending an office party, you can get there on time and stay for an hour. It’s okay to make up an excuse ahead of time as to why you have to leave. It’s vital to put your sobriety first, especially in these vulnerable situations.

By regularly visiting with those who can help us get through the most challenging times, we’re more likely to feel comfortable when they aren’t there. Talk to others who understand and ask for their tips for a sober holiday. When you’re faced with a question on whether to have a drink later in the week, think back on those conversations.

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