7 Tips for Staying Sober Over the Holidays
The holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family and give thanks for everything you have. As great as the holidays are, there is another side of the holidays that can be more stressful. For a person in recovery, this can lead to difficulty staying sober.
With high expectations from friends and family, the potential of your sponsor traveling, and the possibility of holiday events conflicting with your scheduled support group meetings, the holidays can be overwhelming.
So what can you do over the holidays to help you stay sober? Here are seven tips to help you stay sober over the holidays so you can enjoy your time with friends, family, and most importantly, yourself!
1. Practice Self-Care
The holiday season is a busy time full of events with family and friends. As important as it is to spend time with loved ones, it is equally important to have some time to yourself and practice self-care.
Some great self-care tips to engage in are:
- Get the proper amount of sleep
- Eat healthy and nutritious
- Participate in exercise activities
- Take some quiet time for meditation or relaxation
Performing these self-care tasks will help you feel better physically, strengthen you emotionally, and help keep you on track during the holidays.
2. Help Others
Helping others is a great way to bring joy to people and keep your peace of mind. There are many ways you can be involved with helping others during the holidays, such as:
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
- Helping family or friends with event preparations
- Spending quality time with a loved one
Connecting with and helping others develops a sense of empathy that can continue strengthening your positive emotions to stay sober.
3. Avoid Triggers
Emotion is one of the most significant triggers encountered during the holiday season because it can be a stressful time of the year. Routine changes, added events and activities, and other disruptions can lead to stress, frustration, and anxiety.
If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, it is okay to say “no” and turn down an activity or invite. Do what is best for you, your mind, and your body.
4. Prepare for Gatherings
Being prepared for gatherings by bringing your own non-alcoholic beverages is a great way to stop or limit others from offering you drinks. Some great options to take to gatherings are water or soda. Most people won’t ask what is in your glass or pay attention to it anyway, so bringing your own drink can help ease some social pressure from the people around you.
5. Engage in Alternative Activities
During the holiday, it’s common for groups to gather at a bar or restaurant. Try exploring alternative activities that you could do with your friends and family, such as:
- Going to see a movie
- Attending a local play or musical
- Taking a baking or cooking class
Engaging in alternative activities is a great way to have fun and try new things!
6. Stay Connected
The holidays can be a tempting time to put off or cancel recovery group meetings, but sticking to your schedule is imperative. Continue attending your group meetings regularly and consistently.
For meetings with your sponsor, try scheduling them in advance during the holiday season so you can both adjust your schedules accordingly for any potential travel dates.
Staying connected, even if different than usual, is essential for remaining sober.
7. Create an Exit Strategy
All holiday events and gatherings are optional, and it is your choice whether to attend or not. If you do choose to attend, creating an exit strategy is a great way to help you stay sober.
Set a time limit for how long you plan on attending events, then stick to it. Only you know your limits and triggers. By creating a pre-planned exit strategy, you give yourself a way out and maintain control over the situation.
My Interventionist Services
If you are looking for a sober coach to help and guide you during the holiday season, look no further than My Interventionist. At My Interventionist, we understand how the holidays can affect your ability to remain sober, which is why we provide the services to help.
Let’s create your holiday plan now! We are based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and we can also offer services to you or your loved one nationwide. You can contact us or use our 24/7 phone line (833) 700-7759 to call or text so we can help you!