You don’t have to let unfulfilled expectations, stressful family dynamics, or crazy in-laws threaten your recovery. Celebrate the holiday season and the fullness of your sober life by taking time for yourself. Proper nutrition, gentle exercise and restorative sleep can do wonders for your well-being. The better you feel physically, the stronger you will be emotionally.

ways to stay sober during the holidays

You may limit how often you attend or with whom you choose to socialize. You may have set up a system for yourself where you won’t attend a party if you are feeling a certain way or have experienced specific triggers in the recent past. Whatever tools you are using to support yourself through recovery, they are probably undermined by this season. People get time off of work, travel to see their families, spend time preparing for the holidays, and often don’t adhere to their typical routines during the holiday season.

Tips on Staying Sober During the Holidays

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. The important thing is that you contemplate and have curiosity about what you have already observed about yourself. This is a time of year where nostalgia runs high, increasing any feelings of loneliness or isolation that we already struggle with. Oftentimes, drug addicts are completely unaware of the devastation they are causing in the lives of those around them, especially within their own families. Family members themselves will yell, scream, withdraw, cajole, rant, criticize, understand, n … If you have to go to a drinking party and can’t take an A.A.

ways to stay sober during the holidays

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. If you have a big family and many to buy for, consider suggesting doing a pollyanna or white elephant this year.


Like with depression, anxiety is also a struggle that can be unhealthily medicated with depressants like alcohol. For those with substance use disorder, drinking sober holidays or drug use can become a way to self-medicate depression and loneliness. Dealing with the “holiday blues” or sadness in sobriety can be challenging.

  • This will help you get into the holiday spirit and may even be a venue to meet new friends.
  • Many people who have a drinking or drug problem have mismanaged their finances.
  • If this is your first holiday season sober, the other members can offer some helpful tips.
  • As the holidays roll around, it might help to write down a daily gratitude list to remind you why you aregrateful for your sobrietyand why recovery is worth it to you.
  • Boundaries can be tricky, but the work is so rewarding.
  • As warmer days turn cold, don’t become stressed as you turn the calendar another month closer to the holiday season.

For many, family interaction plays a big part in this holiday pressure. Getting sober doesn’t mean life is instantly perfect.

Support Helplines And Chats For Addiction Recovery

The increased number of gatherings alone leaves us with many to choose from. Even if they don’t overlap, you might still feel unable to attend them all but guilty about whose you are declining. You might feel pressured to attend events that you know are going to be the worst for you. In the company of trusted loved ones who support your recovery, it is much easier to maintain it.

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You don’t have to be present for every dinner or gathering, especially if they might be damaging to your mental health or sobriety. The family members that know you and love you will understand. Reaching out for extra support during the holidays with a few extra meetings a month, a new course of therapy or extra sessions at your current therapy is a great option. End the year by revving up your recovery instead of allowing the holidays to pull you off track.

A Complete Guide on How to Stay Sober During the Holidays

Patient care and engagement are always top notch, and I know that I can always trust that the patient and their families will be in the best position to recover. Solid clinically, and more importantly these are good and genuinely caring people. I cannot recommend 12 Keys at the River enough for those struggling with addiction. One more day of living a sober life is one step closer to becoming stronger in your commitment to taking better care of yourself.

  • Don’t let negative thoughts live in your head in the meantime.
  • These are people you can go to when you need a lifeline.
  • Next, the first person randomly picks a gift and so on until all gifts are chosen.
  • But other times, you might feel like you’re missing out.

If Uncle Brian is going to mix you a stiff drink, stay away from him. If the office New Year’s party is really all about drinking or other drug use, make a brief appearance or don’t attend. It’s unrealistic in all of these scenarios to say, “I can soldier through it.” That’s what Step One of the Twelve Steps teaches us, right? So why put yourself in the position of having to “power through” an obstacle course of relapse triggers?

For others, it is a nice wintery mix of celebration and chaos. While holiday drinking in my youth felt purely hedonistic at the time, in hindsight it was one of the ways I measured becoming a grownup. Drinking has emboldened me linguistically, helped forge new friendships and papered over the cracks in old ones.

ways to stay sober during the holidays

If you do accidentally take a sip of an alcoholic beverage, don’t panic. It’s only a sip, and it doesn’t mean you’ve relapsed—or that you should entertain the thought of relapsing now. If you come prepared to protect your sobriety, you should be able to outmaneuver addiction and avoid any potential relapses. 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.