Staying Sober? Here’s How to Maintain Your Resolve During the Holidays

Getting sober is an impressive feat for anyone. It’s a venture that takes resolve, tenacity, and more than a little time. Unfortunately, amidst the festive cheer of the holidays, there’s an insidious undercurrent that might threaten your ability to stay sober: alcohol.

The holidays can already be a rough time for recovering addicts. After all, this is a happy time of year, but it might bring back bad memories or past relationships that impact your ability to stay sober. On top of that, the alcohol readily flows from the tap when family gatherings occur. It’s hard to find any Thanksgiving meal devoid of red wine or a beer for the football game.

It’s only natural to get stressed once the holidays come around. If you’re a recovering addict or the loved one of someone in recovery, rely on these tips to stay sober.

Keep yourself accountable with responsibilities

One way to stay sober is to give yourself more responsibilities. If you drove yourself to your family member’s house, you’ll be more likely to steer clear of drugs and alcohol when you’re there. After all, you have to drive home. The chance of getting into a fatal accident, especially if you’re on a motorcycle, heightens considerably if you’re drunk behind the wheel. You might even have to invest in bail bonds if you get caught drunk driving and you’re arrested. Making the decision to drive yourself might help keep you accountable when you’re offered a drink.

You can also keep yourself accountable in other ways. Helping with the cooking and taking your role seriously can keep your hands busy, even if you’re chatting with loved ones that you haven’t seen for a while. You might also be the one leading activities for kids or setting up games for later. As long as you’re keeping your mind and body occupied with tasks for the holidays, you can avoid the threat of drinking alcohol again.

Bring recovery materials and reminders with you

If you notice your resolve start to slip, there’s no shame in pulling out your AA chip or your favorite recovery book. After all, many of the people you’ll see around the holidays don’t know how their language and behaviors might affect you. Reading a few sentences from your book or pamphlet can help ground you. This is essential if you’re around family members that don’t understand your journey toward recovery.

You can also step out to call a trusted friend or recovery helpline if you need it. Even a simple text that reminds you you’re doing great can make a world of difference during the holidays. Since more people need support at this time, your therapist, counselor, or representative might extend their hours to help. It’s worth reaching out to them and seeing if this is an available option.

Keep yourself comfortable

The holidays are a time of merriment, but they can also cause anxiety levels to skyrocket in some people. The best way to survive the holidays and stay sober? Get comfortable.

This can take many shapes and forms. For some, getting comfortable means wearing an outfit that you feel confident in. Turn up the heat in your home and set an ambiance that you enjoy. For others, it means bringing a significant other or a friend to those more awkward family gatherings. Finding ways to reduce your stress levels is key when you’re looking to stay sober. If you’re not feeling great, you might try to find comfort in bad habits, like drinking or drugs. Don’t let that happen: do a little planning ahead of time to ensure you’re comfortable in every situation. Having a back-up plan when things go wrong can also help you achieve comfort.

Be honest with your family

This isn’t always possible, so take this piece of advice with a grain of salt. When you want to stay sober around the holidays, being honest with your family members about your struggles can help modify their behavior. You don’t have to go into great detail about why you don’t want to drink — that’s why many people craft an elevator pitch for when they’re offered a flute of champagne. However, they might not pressure you to drink if they know you’re struggling with alcohol. Even if you can confide in one loved one, it helps to know that you have an ally that supports your sobriety.

Maintaining your sobriety can seem impossible when the holidays roll around. When you want to stay health any safe, rely on these tips to help make better decisions.

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