How to Stay Sober During the Holidays Mental & Emotional Alcoholics Anonymous Cleveland

Being sober delivered almost everything drinking promised. Loved ones can create a safe and comforting environment to talk about your struggles. In fact, they may be easier to talk to because they already know you and care about you. Suggest taking different cars so that you can leave when you’re ready and others can stay if they choose.

how to stay sober during the holidays

Boundaries can be tricky, but the work is so rewarding. If you are a people-pleaser or someone who has trouble expressing yourself, you might struggle to tell others what your needs are. If you do manage to establish and communicate your boundaries, you might still find that sticking to them is difficult. If you feel that you are wavering in expressing or upholding boundaries, remind yourself why you established them in the first place. Boundaries exist to keep us feeling safe, secure, and confident. If others cannot respect them, that is a problem with those people and not with us or our boundaries.

The Ultimate Guide to Get Through the Holidays Sober

Maybe you find yourself binging on Internet browsing or simply ignoring phone calls from family members. This is a process best done in a calm and quiet state. When you can take some time to yourself, take stock of your triggers. This is not a perfect process; you may not identify all triggers, and you may not realize how strong one is until you are in a high-stakes moment.

Planes don’t have “no alcohol” sections, so the person right next to you might order something alcoholic. Ideally, fly with someone you know, someone who knows you are in recovery and will avoid drinking during the trip. If you’re flying alone and feeling vulnerable, explain your situation to the flight attendant. Ask if he can help you change your seat if anyone next to you orders anything stronger than tomato juice. If you do get stuck next to a drinker, close your eyes and meditate. Put your headphones on and zone out to music or a meditation recording, or watch the movie.

Post Sober Holiday Quotes

Whether it be last-minute gift giving or stressful relationships within the family, you may know these anxieties as well. In the past, you may have channeled these stresses through drinking and drug use.

  • This is a time of year where nostalgia runs high, increasing any feelings of loneliness or isolation that we already struggle with.
  • When holiday stresses activate and exacerbate feelings, the temptation to cope with that stress by using substances increases.
  • You don’t have to stay late for every holiday party or gathering.
  • She attends Al-Anon while her husband is in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous.

This may be an ideal time to let go of past hurts and recriminations so you can move forward with a more positive outlook. That includes after-care programs where our team walks alongside you on your road to recovery. Here are some of our suggestions for how to stay sober so you innately experience the joy and peace of the Christmas season. Alcohol, like many substances that cause addiction, can take more than one attempt to find sobriety. And if this isn’t your first attempt at enjoying a sober holiday, you’re not alone. Don’t get bogged down by attempts that didn’t work for you in the past.

Identify And Avoid Personal Triggers

Mark the days off on the calendar or make lists of the good things you accomplished. In your mind, you might think it’s blaringly obvious to the people around you that you’re choosing to be sober and that it’s a big deal for you. No celebration will be the picture-perfect example of what a sober holiday should be. Try to be prepared for whatever may come, even if that means your holiday bird burns in the oven or you have trouble putting down the money needed to fulfill your kids’ wish lists.

How to Get Through the Holidays With Alcohol Use Disorder – Everyday Health

How to Get Through the Holidays With Alcohol Use Disorder.

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Family members expect holiday perfection, and they often demand every ounce of your time and energy—and patience. The family menu is a constant carb-load, and traveling puts a strain on your wallet. Packed airports, tight schedules, liquid lunch for Aunt Sally. Everyone is running on empty, and the annual fight is just waiting to happen. RecoveryGo virtual outpatient addiction and mental health treatment directly to you. Talked to loved ones after holiday festivities to decompress and check in with yourself.

Step 2: Have a plan

For the most part, however, you should have an idea for yourself that is greater than avoiding drugs and alcohol and let that be your motivation. When you arrive at a party, immediately get a non-alcoholic beverage and keep it in your hand. Whether it’s sparkling water or soda, others won’t be inclined to push drinks on you constantly. And, the truth of the matter is, people never really notice or pay attention to what’s in your glass. Online learning opportunities on substance use disorders, alcohol and drug prevention, violence prevention, behavioral health issues, and more. The range of emotions that you experience during the holidays can feel overwhelming.

how to stay sober during the holidays

Focus not only on what you want to avoid but what you can do instead. Create a positive goal for each potential negative situation, and give yourself space to struggle with your triggers without being down on yourself. As a part of your recovery plan, it is important to know how to properly cope with the relapse triggers that the holidays so often bring. Manage them as they arise so that you do not find yourself face-to-face with relapse. If you encounter a familiar, dangerous situation, walk away. If you feel yourself getting frustrated or lonely in your sobriety, talk to someone you trust.

The holidays are already a difficult time to stay sober for some and 2020 really isn’t cutting us any slack. Many families mistakenly think the holidays are an inappropriate time for treatment, when actually it’s the best time. Their logic is that holidays are a happy time when everyone should be together, even if in reality this is not the case. Substance abuse problems generally ramp up over the holidays. The holidays more likely are an emotionally stressful time when use of alcohol or other drugs is prevalent, making it difficult for someone with addiction to avoid use. Treatment initiated during the holidays could be the best gift you give to your family.

  • Remember, the disease of addiction is as powerful the day after a holiday as it is the day of and the day before.
  • You may find yourself white-knuckling through some tense moments in order to hold on to your sobriety, and those are okay here and there.
  • Lastly, it can also be helpful to have a non-alcoholic beverage in hand to avoid people offering you a drink.
  • These feelings can evoke anxiousness and depression if not properly supported during the holidays.
  • By being open about it, you will likely gain more support and encouragement than you’d ever imagined from family and friends.
  • Also, if you notice that your willpower for maintaining sobriety is waning, leaving may be a smart choice.

Because you are in recovery, you have already demonstrated the capacity for tremendous courage and change. While these are effective alternatives to AA and NA, they are also newer programs and offer fewer meetings. For many people, participating in Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous is a vital part of their recovery. During the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, many places that host meetings will have meeting marathons, where they hold meetings every hour on the hour. Getting sober doesn’t mean life is instantly perfect. Other people in your life probably haven’t changed, and many of the conflicts that crop up at family reunions will doubtless crop up again. Accept it, roll with the punches, and rein in the urge to manipulate everything and everyone.

These are suggestions each of us need to keep in mind because they really work. Having a strong body and mind before stepping into a stressful situation sober holidays is one way of setting yourself up for success. Even when the holidays are over and a new year has started, you can find your own way to celebrate.

  • If you’re in early recovery, the Red Zone, you are bound to be a bit shaky.
  • Therefore, feeling like an outsider or left out is a huge threat to our core need for belonging.
  • The holidays can exacerbate those pre-existing conditions, which can make the season more difficult to navigate without the right mental health support.
  • Start planning your strategy now, with these #soberholidays tips from The Recovery Bookand the workbook companionMy Life in Recovery.
  • If you feel that you are wavering in expressing or upholding boundaries, remind yourself why you established them in the first place.

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