You may have mixed feelings about the idea of a sober holiday season. On the one hand, you deserve to feel tremendous pride in having achieved sobriety after all of your hard work and rightly look forward to reconnecting with friends and loved ones. On the other hand, you may associate many familiar faces, places, and nostalgic activities with prior alcohol use. You may ever fear that all of the sights, sounds, and even smells of the season hold the potential to trigger a relapse.
At Clearhaven Recovery, we understand that sober living is not only about abstinence but also about finding new sources of sincere joy, moving forward, and discovering a happier existence living in sobriety. Call our team today at 833.970.2054 to learn how alcohol addiction rehab can help you enjoy your life to the fullest.
3 Tips for Enjoying a Sober Holiday Season
You may feel dubious that sober celebrations can be fun or rewarding. However, if you reframe the problem, “How can I stop drinking at ____” as “How can I substitute consuming alcohol with other activities I love at ______,” you open yourself to new experiences, perhaps even more enjoyable than those spent under the influence.
Here are three tips to maximize your enjoyment (and minimize stress) over the holiday season:
1. Practice Proactive Stress Reduction
Think of your willpower as being a fixed resource that you don’t want to spend down unnecessarily. The trick is to anticipate as many minor stressors as possible, so you have a large balance of discipline at the ready when you need it.
Some ways you can reduce your stress load this holiday season:
- Do not be afraid to decline certain invitations, especially those that are the least important to you
- Respect your boundaries, and say “no” to unnecessary commitments
- If appropriate, when going to a party or event, share with your host that you have just completed alcohol rehab, allowing them to work non-alcoholic beverages and activities into the festivities.
At the same time, you can actually increase your resolve by entering the holiday season as mentally and physically strong as possible. This is an excellent time to:
- Make sure you are practicing good sleep hygiene
- Exercising regularly
- Eating a balanced diet
- Scheduling massages, yoga classes, beauty treatments, or any other pampering activity that feels enjoyable
2. Stay Busy
Think about your other hobbies or pastimes, even from childhood. What were the things you enjoyed doing over the holidays the most? Decorating the house? Cooking and baking? Attending holiday concerts? Volunteering?
Fill your schedule with those sorts of activities once again, especially those that demand your complete focus or attention, and that will leave you more refreshed than spent. For example, you might offer to bring a group of young relatives to a holiday event or to take on making desserts for an upcoming party. This is an excellent opportunity to experience the upside of sobriety: greater enjoyment of the world around you.
3. Always Have a Plan
Finally, make sure that you are equipped with a comprehensive emergency plan every time you attend an event. Talk to your therapist, counselor, or support group for tips and ideas to navigate certain scenarios safely.
Rather than assume that you won’t take a drink, it’s better to have a plan in place of who to call and exactly what to do if you accidentally imbibe. If you attend a party or event, make sure you know how to access transportation home if you need it. In fact, you might discover that having plans at the ready is in and of itself a stress reliever, actually making it easier to turn down alcoholic drinks.
Alcohol Addiction Rehab at Clearhaven Recovery
Participants in our programs know that recovery is a process that requires many different resources. At Clearhaven Recovery, we offer access to a number of aftercare supports, including outside community connections and membership in our growing alumni network. Make your first step towards permanent healing by calling 833.970.2054 today.