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Not every happy moment has to be celebrated with a glass of bubbly. One of the great things about the holiday season is that there are plenty of alternatives out there. Instead of waiting for all of your friends to invite you to their next mixer or cocktail party, invite them to your sober celebration of the holidays. It fills the glasses of our friends and family members at nearly every kind of celebration, whether for a promotion, new baby or in most cases, the esteemed holiday party. Remind yourself that just one drink usually leads to more. Think of all the work you’ve already accomplished to get to this point, whether you have gone through recovery or rehab or spent time away from your family. You’ve come so far and you have accomplished so much.

  • They too, are trying to stay sober and can relate to and support you.
  • Alcoholand the act of individuals offering you a drink.
  • For example, if certain people cause a lot of stress for you, limit your time with them.
  • Discuss with family and friends if alcohol will be present at the holiday gathering.
  • If you find yourself struggling with the upcoming holiday festivities, there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in other activities during the holidays.

If you’re in Al-anon, you obsess about your family member’s drinking. If you are in AA or NA, you begin to obsess about your drug of choice. Luckily, Into Action has options for dealing with your family holiday without sacrificing your sobriety or sanity. Reach out to us anytime for resources and support.

Step 3: Put your recovery first

You aren’t ruining the holidays by focusing on your health and those who care about you will understand why you’re unable to attend. AA’s and alcoholic anonymous can tell you that the holiday season is particularly hard for recovering addicts or alcoholics. Here are 8 science-backed ways to handle rehab and help loved ones stay sober during the holidays. No matter where you may be in your recovery, each event can have its traps as far as sucking you back into active use–so you need to plan accordingly. If you need to, arrive early and leave early–and if you can drive yourself you can leave at the first sign of trouble. You may also want to plan to get a supportive family member or someone in recovery with you. We are entering the holiday season, and as the old saying goes it is time to eat, drink and be merry.

  • Every day, 44 Americans die from overdoses involving prescription opioids.
  • You need recovery in order to remain successful in your everyday life, so you must treat it that way.
  • When all else fails, remember why you started this journey.
  • Even a few minutes of quiet time can be refreshing and help to quiet your mind and reduce anxiety.

These people also feel more satisfied with their family climate and feel less lonely. However, if they experience conflict during their holiday rituals, their satisfaction with family, life, and emotional health are significantly lower. A qualitative study analyzing holiday experiences asked 26 families to recall their fondest holiday memories and to describe their “successful” holiday . They found that families credited togetherness and support in truly creating their most “successful” holidays. This study stresses the importance of support towards those struggling with addictions or other problems especially during this time of the year. Of all the factors that can lead to relapse, remembering to eat may be the one that people can forget. For those who don’t eat, they will experience low blood sugar which can make them irritable and anxious.

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Fortunately, because this scenario is so predictable, much work has gone into finding tips for staying sober during the holidays. The key is to become familiar with this work and to take time to prepare for holiday events. Staying sober during the holidays can be challenging for people in recovery and particularly for those early in the process. There are many social events during the holidays, which provide many opportunities, and even pressure, to drink alcohol or use drugs. Our tips for staying sober take into account the stressors of the holiday season and give you ideas to create a manageable action plan for the busy weeks ahead. Both the holiday blues and SAD are temporary and usually go away after the season. However, many people are recovering not just from substance abuse but also a co-occurring mental health condition such as anxiety or depression.

Think about how you want to celebrate the season in a meaningful way while staying sober. When you personalize your holiday rituals to fit your new lifestyle, you’re less likely to feel the pressure of what Christmas “should” look like. In all the Christmas stories, Santa needs the help of his elves and reindeer to make the holidays a success, and you need a support team, too.

Holiday Season Internal Triggers

If you come prepared to protect your sobriety, you should be able to outmaneuver addiction and avoid any potential relapses. RecoveryGo virtual outpatient addiction and mental health treatment directly to you.

staying sober over the holidays

What if your relationship with your mother is shaky, at best? There’s nothing that says you must suck sober holidays it up and just hope for the best. You can drop off gifts, say a quick hello, and make a quick exit.

Silver Linings Recovery Center Opens 2nd Location in Mercer County, NJ

John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine.