10 Ways to Help You Stay Sober During the Holidays

Stay Sober During Holidays - Freedom From Addiction

The holiday season can be a challenging time for many in recovery. However it is possible to stay sober during the holidays and continue your sobriety through to the New Year and beyond. Here are 10 ways to help you stay sober during the holiday season.

  1. Acknowledge yourself every day for the work you have done and how far you have come. It is important to acknowledge all the hard work and dedication you have invested into your recovery. Be proud of yourself, you've earned it.
  2. Limit the time you spend in high stress situations. The holiday season brings families and friends together. However, certain relationships can also lead to stress or triggers. It's okay to be present and share those precious moments with your family and friends, but if things start to get uncomfortable or are triggering you in any way, choose to call it a night.
  3. Beware of glamorizing drinking or drug use. It's so easy to reminisce about the "good ole days," but be careful of the way you are thinking about or remembering things. Be sure to also remember the repercussions of using or drinking and why you decided to get sober in the first place. If anything, you can glamorize your recovery and dwell on how good it feels to still be sober.
  4. Plan ahead for cravings and triggers. Have a plan in place for moments when you have cravings or triggers that tempt you to use. Your plan can consist of a list of support people you can call or visit, the closest locations of 12 step meetings, or other things to do to distract yourself.
  5. Use the S.O.B.E.R technique (developed in the Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention Program) to protect your sobriety:
  • Stop: pause wherever you are. Step away from the situation.
  • Observe: what is happening in your body and mind and be self-reflective.
  • Breath: bring focus to your breath to help you focus and stay present.
  • Expand awareness: to your whole body and surroundings.
  • Respond: mindfully and by choice.
  1. Practice S. M.A. R.T. E. every day for recovery maintenance.
  • Sleep
  • Meditate and Minimize Stress
  • Act on recovery, connect with others
  • Relax
  • Think about recovery, Talk about recovery
  • Exercise and eat well
  1. Create a plan for staying sober at parties. Perhaps invite a sober buddy to go with you. A sober buddy will help provide support at times when you feel tempted to use. While at the party, serve yourself instead of letting others serve you to decrease the chances of you getting an alcoholic beverage. You can also offer to be the designated driver to get everyone home safely.
  2. Focus on gratitude. Make a list of everything you are grateful for in recovery. Review your list both in moments of despair and when you are celebrating. Gratitude brings your focus to the positive things that are going on in your life.
  3. Reach out to those who are new to recovery. As stated earlier, the holiday season is challenging for many people in recovery, especially newcomers. Being supportive to people in need can be encouraging and uplifting.
  4. Focus on yourself. Be kind to yourself always, but especially during the holidays. Take it easy, find time to relax and enjoy the things that make you happy. Take this time to reconnect with yourself, watch your favorite movies, listen to your favorite songs, get a massage, or start a new hobby. Self-care is essential to your recovery.

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