The holidays are usually filled with time spent with family and friends. People often look forward to the food they’ll be eating when the new season rolls around, as well as their favorite drinks. For someone recovering from alcohol addiction, staying sober through the holidays can be tough. Being surrounded by things that may trigger cravings can be overwhelming. At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we know how tempting it can be to fall back into your old habits while celebrating with others. That’s why we want to remind you that your sobriety is worth more than any drink. Here are some tips on how to stay sober over the holidays.
How to Stay Sober During the Holidays
Individuals recovering from alcoholism may not know how to avoid drinking over the holidays. For some, sheer will won’t cut it. Luckily, our rehab center in Florida has provided some tips on how to enjoy the holidays with your loved ones without risking your sobriety.
Take Your Own Vehicle
Relying on someone else to drive you to and from any holiday celebrations can easily lead to a long night of exposure to alcohol. Taking your own vehicle or finding your own way of getting to and from any holiday parties is a great way of staying clean and sober during the holidays. By giving yourself the option to leave whenever you want, you can avoid staying at a party long enough to feel hungry and tired, which can leave you vulnerable to cravings. By having your own form of transportation, you can also avoid hitching a ride with someone who is under the influence of alcohol.
Have an Accountability Partner
An accountability partner is someone who checks up on you to keep you accountable for your behavior. This person can be a friend, family member, coworker, anyone who can support you and help you stay focused on your recovery. You can arrange different ways of checking up with your partner. You could agree to speak on the phone or video chat once every hour to ensure you’re okay and to vent about any cravings you may experience.
Staying sober during the holidays is made easier when you’re monitoring your feelings. Accountability partners are a great way to hold yourself responsible, stay focused, and vent about any possible temptations without giving into them. People in recovery can also undergo our relapse prevention program to learn more about how to avoid drinking during the holidays.
Be Mindful of Who You Surround Yourself With
Some of us may have a relative who will criticize our choices or will try to convince us “it’s just one drink.” Although we love them, we must be careful around them. Surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family is important when you’re learning how to stay sober during the holidays. If you go to one huge celebration with all of your family members present, politely keep your distance from those who can trigger cravings. It may be tricky, but it’s worth it.
Eating healthy plays a big role in how we feel physically and emotionally. When we feel good, we’re happier, more energized, and less likely to turn to other things, like alcohol, in an attempt to feel better. People recovering from addiction can understand how bingeing anything isn’t healthy. There’s usually lots of delicious food at holiday celebrations, but it’s important to remember that bingeing on food is not healthy. Eat well so you can feel good and have fun celebrating rather than feeling guilty about the three servings of apple pie you ate.
Focus on Relationships
The holidays are not about food or alcohol, but about giving, gratitude, and celebrating your relationships with family and friends. Being cautious does not mean you have to approach the holidays with a negative state of mind. While you’re getting the hang of how to avoid drinking over the holidays, keep in mind alcohol is not necessary for you to enjoy spending the holidays with your loved ones.
It’s Okay to Say No
It can be hard to say no to the annual family Christmas party, but only you know your limits. If you feel unsure about how this activity can affect your recovery, it’s okay to not go. It’s perfectly acceptable and even welcomed, to decline an invitation to a celebration if you feel it can hurt your recovery. Instead, you can make plans to meet with the host or any other family members on a different day. Your sobriety is important every day no matter what time of the year it is. For those recovering from alcohol addiction, it’s important to stay focused on your sobriety.
Even if you’ve relapsed, your journey isn’t over. Don’t let addiction control your life. In our partial hospitalization program, patients can be guided through the transition to everyday life during recovery.
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse or has relapsed, call us now at 888-280-4763 to get help.