The holiday season is a stressful time for everyone, but it’s especially stressful for someone trying to stay sober. The non-stop hustle and bustle of the holidays can leave people feeling frazzled, making them less likely to stay committed to their sobriety. Careful planning can be extremely helpful as you approach the holidays, giving you the structure necessary to get through the tough times. Below, we will discuss staying sober during the holiday season.
Creating a plan of action ahead of time is by far the most important thing you can do. If you figure out how you’re going to handle the stress of holiday events and family get-togethers, you’ll be ahead of the game. While it’s impossible to predict everything, you can stay one step ahead by putting the pieces in place to create a successful outcome.
Identify Sources for Help
It’s sometimes difficult to ask for help, especially during a time of year when everyone is preoccupied with their own holiday preparations, but it’s crucial to know where you can turn in the event that you’re struggling.(1) If your close friends or family members are away for the holidays, see if there’s someone else who will be around who can help. Don’t feel bad about taking time to go to meetings, as these can be especially useful amidst all the stress of the holidays.
Know Where Not To Go
Although it’s important to have your support system in place, it might be even more important to know what places and situations to avoid. For instance, if everyone is drinking at your office holiday party, it might not be the best place for you to be.(2) The holidays are stressful enough without dealing with the temptations that come from exposure to the activities you’re trying to avoid.
Take Care of Yourself
Everyone feels pressure to be constantly on the go during the holidays, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You’re not required to attend every party or do endless volunteer work. There’s nothing wrong with avoiding the holiday rush in the name of reading a book or watching TV. It’s far more important to keep your sanity than it is to try to please everyone else all the time.
Participate in Sober Activities
Many holiday functions are centered around food and drink. Indulging in activities that skip these areas, such as alcohol-free parties and outdoor events, will help keep you on the right path. If these types of activities aren’t available in your area, consider starting one of your own. It can be a new holiday tradition that will keep your mind focused on maintaining your sobriety.
Everyone has their own tricks for a sober living, but the holidays are so intense that it might take a little extra effort to keep yourself centered. Focus on what’s gotten you this far and on avoiding potentially triggering situations. As long as you have your support system and you know when to ask for help, you’ll stick it out through the holidays, maintain your sobriety and have a great time in the process.