The holidays are fast approaching, and while they can be exciting and fun, they can also cause chaos and panic. This is especially true for those who are newly sober or those in recovery. After all, you will find that your social calendar is filling up with dinner, parties, and so much more. When you do not want to give up the holiday fun, reach out to your trusted drug and alcohol treatment center for sober holiday tips.
Westwind Recovery® Center, your top resource for sober living in Los Angeles, can help you enjoy a sober holiday season without missing out on the things that matter most. With a combination of holistic and evidence-based therapies, we will have you ready for a merry and bright holiday season that does not interfere with your recovery. Call us at 855.340.8832 to learn more.
Here are some sober holiday tips to help you get through the season with your sobriety intact.
1. This Holiday Season, Take Care of Yourself
Feeling overtired, hungry, or going overboard on holiday treats can leave you feeling less than par. You will want to feel your very best to face the holiday season, so take extra special care of yourself:
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Limit sweets and sugary baked goods.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
Practicing self-care will keep you feeling strong and secure, ready to face anything that comes your way.
2. Make a Plan to Stay Sober at Holiday Parties
Attending parties is not necessarily recommended for those new to sobriety, but some of them may be unavoidable. If you must attend, have a plan in place to keep you sober. Decide what you will drink before you arrive. Once there, find yourself a nice cozy spot away from any temptations.
3. Identify and Avoid Triggers
Knowing your triggers is crucial so you can jump headfirst into survival mode if they arise. Contact your sponsor, your sober buddy, a member of your support group, or anyone you can talk to when you feel yourself slipping. It is best to have this plan solidly put together in advance, so you can ensure a sober holiday season.
4. Continue Your Recovery Meetings
Whether your holidays take you out of town or keep you local, you need to continue your meetings. If you are traveling, be proactive and find local meetings at your destination. If you are staying home, make sure to plan your social engagements around your meetings, as they should be the greater priority in a social situation.
5. Know That It’s Okay to Say No
It is okay to decline invites to social gatherings, and you do not have to give a reason why you cannot attend. It is not necessary to attend every party, dinner, or function that arises during the holidays. Everyone knows that the holidays are the busiest social time of the year, and fitting everything in can stress out even the most organized person. Do not wear yourself too thin and risk relapse. Instead, be discerning about which invites you to accept, and drop any guilt about saying no.
6. Have a Sober Buddy
A sober buddy is someone who you can count on to remain sober with you, whether at a family or friend’s party or a company function. It is important not to feel so alone while everyone else is indulging in adult beverages. Should you feel tempted, a sober buddy can be there to give you some level-headed support.
7. Be a Helper
Giving back and helping others is a great way to feel good this holiday season. Instead of spending all of your time on edge at parties, spend some time doing something good. Volunteer at soup kitchens, put together bags for the homeless, collect donations for children’s charities, or spend time walking furry friends at an animal shelter. Doing this will boost your self-worth and leave you feeling empowered.
8. Remain Positive
Each morning, read, recite, or listen to daily positive affirmations and remind yourself why you are sober and how good it feels. Place positive affirmations on your mirror, your door, in your car, or even written on your hand. Read them throughout the day to keep up your strength.
9. Be prepared for pushy people.
It does not matter whether it is a friend, family member, or stranger. When people are drinking at a party, they will get pushy with someone who is not. Be prepared for these pushy people, and know how to walk away without confrontation or succumbing to peer pressure.
10. Have an Escape Plan
Before you arrive at any social engagements, have a plan in place for when your triggers are too intense to manage. You will want to excuse yourself from the party as soon as possible. Where will you go? What will you tell the other people? Know the escape plan and follow it. Do not ever leave yourself in a place where you feel vulnerable or weak.
11. Stay in the Moment
Holidays are often a time of nostalgia, and it is easy to get lost in the days gone by. But, as a newly sober individual, you cannot let yourself get pulled into this daydreaming. Instead, it is important that you stay in the present moment. Focus on today and all that it brings – and leave your past behind.
Westwind Recovery®: Your Trusted Rehab Center in Los Angeles
The holidays can be full of fun if you are prepared. Being sober can be rewarding, but it takes a lot of work. Westwind Recovery® Center is here to support you when sobriety gets tough. Our treatment programs will prepare you for a sober holiday season to remember. Call us today at 855.340.8832 to get started.
Dr. Deena is the Chief Clinical Officer of Westwind Recovery®, an award-winning outpatient treatment center in Los Angeles where she oversees the clinical and administrative program and treatment methods. Dr. Deena is a doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker since 1993. LCSW #20628. Originally from the East Coast, Dr. Deena has worked running treatment centers, worked as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals as well as school settings and currently has a thriving private practice in the LA area. Dr. Deena has appeared regularly on the Dr. Phil Show as an expert since 2003. She has also been featured on many other TV shows, podcasts and has contributed to written publications as well as podcasts.