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How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

Emily Lynn Paulson is an author, speaker and the founder of Sober Mom Squad. She has given two TEDx talks, both challenging the status quo of parenting, alcohol use and feminism as we know it. Whie parties like this may not be as crazy as the ones from your past, or be chalk full of guests, just know the ones who are there support you the most. Whatever is truly driving you, make it the background of your phone screen, stick a note on your bathroom mirror, put a picture on your desk and keep it at the forefront of your mind every day.

sober holidays

For others, it may mean avoiding certain substances or using them only in moderation. And for some people, sobriety is less about avoiding substances altogether and more about being mindful of how they use them. If you’re trying to get through the holidays without drinking, I’ll share a few things that helped me. 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. November through January is the most holiday-condensed period of the year.

) Create a game plan

Having someone to talk it out with (e.g., a therapist, sponsor or close trusted friend) is important. Yet there are a few ways you can self-soothe and remain calm in the face of chaos. Start planning your strategy now, with these #soberholidays tips from The Recovery Book and the workbook companion My Life in Recovery. Instead of standing around twiddling your fingers at parties; grab your favorite alcohol-free beverage. Sip a seltzer, ginger ale, Shirley Temple, or mocktail. You might as well enjoy yourself, and it can help alleviate people offering you drinks.

  • Now I see the holidays through my kids’ eyes and remind myself what Christmas was like as a child.
  • Whether you’re looking for advice on what to do if you slip up, incorporating some self-care into your holiday season, or how to cope if you’re spending the holidays alone, we’ve got you covered.
  • By following these tips, you can stay sober and enjoy all the season offers.
  • 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.
  • Vacations are meant to help you reset and recalibrate.

I was able to drive everyone back from long lunches at the beach. In the mornings, I became unrecognisably perky, advocating tennis “before the sun hits the court”. Her mother-in-law makes hateful comments in Julie’s direction regarding everything from her parenting to her weight. sober holidays Julie is often criticized for her husband’s mistakes within his family. She’s seen as the reason he drinks and gets in trouble. While we all aspire to have a harmonious table with all our loved ones, no one enjoys a perfect family holiday—not even Norman Rockwell himself.

) Identify your triggers and have coping mechanisms in place

While this is a chance to spend quality time with friends and loved ones, there is often an increased expectation to participate in social drinking, pushing the limits of a person’s sobriety. These tips may help you or someone you love to stay on track with recovery while enjoying the holidays with your loved ones. It’s important to avoid triggers that can lead to alcohol and drug consumption, especially early in recovery. New Year’s Eve with friends, Friendsgiving, family gatherings, office parties, and neighborhood celebrations are some of the events that can lead to alcohol consumption during the holiday season. Sometimes the easiest method to maintain your sobriety is to simply avoid gatherings where drinking will be prevalent, especially if you are new to recovery.

Research has proven that experiences are more valuable to children than objects. If you can’t afford to buy each child the latest tech gadget, think of a Christmas experience you can manage within your budget. So deep, in fact, that when he does ask for juice, his parents give him lectures on how it’s unhealthy and full of sugar.

Appreciate those overprotective family and friends.

Whatever you do, don’t continue to use alcohol or drugs. A single relapse doesn’t have to result in a renewed pattern of abuse. Prop yourself up by re-embracing your strategies to cope with your triggers to use. The more we focus on helping others, the better we feel about ourselves. Seek out ways to help and serve others this holiday season. Pull out one of your favorite family recipes and make a meal or seasonal treat to take to a friend.

sober holidays

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