6 Tips for Staying Sober Over the Holidays

Individuals in recovery for substance abuse problems know that clean and sober living can result in the greatest joy of their lives. Recovering alcoholics also knows they are always one bad decision away from a relapse. Alcoholics and addicts must develop a strategy that will not allow the fun and excitement of the holiday season to become a set up for failure.


Plan Ahead


Planning is the key to success in many areas of life. A plan of action is important if parties and other types of gatherings are part of your holiday celebrations. An important first step in this plan should be arranging your transportation. This precaution will allow you to leave if the temptation to drink threatens to grow stronger than what you can endure. Other factors party-goers in recovery should consider before attending a holiday party includes:


  • Attending the party with a sober partner
  • Making a mental note of possible triggers
  • Arrive at the party earlier
  • Leave the party well before it ends

Prioritize Self-Care


The holiday season is the perfect time to give yourself the gift of self-care. All things in your life will improve when you make it a point to take proper care of your mind, body, and soul. Nutrition and exercise will help strengthen your body and improve the way you feel. Prayer, meditation, and yoga are among the many options that will improve your mood and outlook on life.


Benefit From Support


The erratic nature of the holiday season can cause anyone to become overwhelmed. One way to protect your sobriety during this season is to lean on the support available through the 12-step program. Recovering alcoholics may find it helpful to reach out by phone to someone else in recovery before and after attending events. You may also benefit from attending an extra meeting or two in November and December.


Stay Mindful of Serving Others


Feelings of gratitude and joy are plentiful for people who concentrate their efforts on finding ways to serve others. You can ensure your spirits remain lifted during the holiday season by donating time to a food pantry, homeless shelter, or other organization created to help less fortunate individuals. The holiday season is also a great time to spread happiness by visiting older family members or neighbors confined to their homes.


New Traditions


The new life granted to you through your decision to live a clean and sober life is the greatest gift possible. You can celebrate this gift during the holiday season by starting new traditions for yourself and your loved ones. The endless list of ideas for new traditions includes hosting a sober holiday party and volunteering your services at a local support group.


Celebrate Relationships


Holiday events are a great time for making new friends or reestablishing connections with family and friends with whom you lost contact. But instead of allowing eating and drinking to become the focus as it may have in past years, you should make it a point to target people and relationships with your attention. This focus on real connections will not only help you to maintain your sobriety but will also make the holiday season more meaningful.


The Bottom Line


Many alcoholics and addicts suffer from memories of overindulging in their substance of choice during past holiday seasons. But these past failures do not mean the current holiday season cannot be a fun and meaningful experience for you. The 6 tips above will provide a great foundation for maintaining your sobriety while enjoying your holiday season.