No icy lager, no sundowners: could you handle a sober holiday? Travel

In times like these, it’s probably best to remove yourself from the situation altogether. Remember, the disease of addiction is as powerful the day after a holiday as it is the day of and the day before. As we learn during addiction rehab and in the meeting rooms, recovery is a one-day-at-a-time endeavor, no matter the season. If you were anything like me then traditionally, travelling and holidaying would go hand-in-hand with booze – and quite a lot of it too. So It doesn’t matter how much you love travelling, doing it sober might be quite scary to imagine, especially if your next trip is going to be your first one without booze.

In that case, you’re inadvertently putting a sober loved one into an awkward position where they feel like they’re only drinking to appease you. So, even if it’s with all the best intentions, avoid extending an alcoholic drink to any friend on contact. One of the most uncomfortable parts about not drinking at holiday parties is constantly being offered a drink. If you are struggling to turn people down still as someone who is newly sober, always hold a non-alcoholic drink in your hand where possible.

Find your community this holiday season

Proper nutrition, gentle exercise and restorative sleep can do wonders for your well-being. The better you feel physically, the stronger you will be emotionally. Nourish your spirit, too, through personal reflection and connection with those you love. Find some quiet time each day for relaxation and meditation—if only for a few minutes, no matter how busy you are. If you know Cousin Sadie is going to grill you about rehab, avoid her. If Uncle Brian is going to mix you a stiff drink, stay away from him.

sober holidays

The blog garnered an international following, allowing Marilyn to communicate with thousands of folks in all stages of recovery. Marilyn is Sanford’s Director of Marketing and serves as Editor-In-Chief for the Sanford online magazine, Excursions. She also developed and hosts the podcast Anatomy of Addiction and is Vice President of the Board, JACK Mental Health Advocacy. Maybe you cannot give material gifts—but this year, you can give love. Oftentimes, drug addicts are completely unaware of the devastation they are causing in the lives of those around them, especially within their own families. Family members themselves will yell, scream, withdraw, cajole, rant, criticize, understand, n … If you steer the conversation in the direction you want it to go in, you won’t ever have to worry about people asking about the drink in your hand.

Get your sobriety toolbox ready.

Just because something is a party doesn’t make it abnormal for someone to abstain from alcohol—in the same way that, again, it isn’t strange to abstain on any given day. Graduating from rehab is no easy feat, and it’s one to be proud of, but if you’re struggling to adapt to the lack of intensive care and support, that’s okay, it’s completely normal. One of the best ways you can take care of your mental health and your sobriety during these months is to practice and establish the habit of self-awareness. Know your mental and emotional limits, both for when you’re in social settings and when you’re by yourself. Know what your biggest triggers are so that you can steer clear of them and not enable unnecessary temptations. Learn to recognize when your social energy is tapped out so that you can leave while your mental resolve is still clear and strong. If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health or substance abuse, we can help.

sober holidays

You can tell them the truth, explaining that you had a problem with alcohol and have decided to stop drinking. Why do people become addicted to alcohol and other drugs?

Spirited Sober Gifts! Alcohol-Free Cocktails! 100 Fun Ideas! The Best of Excursions Magazine

This holiday season, focus on your relationships and the support system you have around you. Take the time to catch up with friends you’ve not seen in a while and enjoy great conversations while sober. Whether you’re struggling with your sobriety or just want to make sure that you stay on track this holiday season, don’t sober holidays be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to a friend, call a hotline, or talk with your doctor. Even if you’re not ready to go cold turkey on alcohol consumption—which is totally fine! —you can still get some guidance from people who know the ins and outs of staying sober while celebrating the holidays in a healthy way.

Attending a 12-step meeting or connecting with a sponsor both before and after an event will provide you with the resources to navigate the whole experience successfully. Defense is the first act of war.Don’t engage and remember your safety lies in your defenselessness. And so it goes, that if you find yourself letting someone push your buttons, or find yourself defending something, you are perpetuating the problem. The best way to handle a situation that tends to get your goat is to simply remove your energy from the situation. I imagine their energy floating right past me, and them tiring themselves out when the punches they are throwing aren’t landing. Don’t defend, don’t swing back, and find POWER in your ability to not engage and perpetuate bad energy.

Know your triggers and have support on standby.

And it doesn’t get more human, or more recovery, than that. If you come prepared to protect your sobriety, you should be able to outmaneuver addiction and avoid any potential relapses. Family members expect holiday perfection, and they often demand every ounce of your time and energy—and patience. The family menu is a constant carb-load, and traveling puts a strain on your wallet. Packed airports, tight schedules, liquid lunch for Aunt Sally. Everyone is running on empty, and the annual fight is just waiting to happen.

  • On top of that, you can’t attend your home group meeting, and you haven’t heard from your sponsor in two days.
  • No matter what’s causing you to have a less than stellar time, find a way to change it.
  • If possible, drive separately to an event so that you don’t feel trapped.
  • Vacations are meant to help you reset and recalibrate.

Take the time this sober holiday to meditate, exercise, sleep and eat. Arrange to take newcomers to meetings, answer the phones at a clubhouse or central office, speak, help with dishes, or visit the alcoholic ward at a hospital. Recognize when it’s time for you to excuse yourself, or pull someone aside and talk to them about how you’re feeling. That’s how you can keep yourself healthy and safe. Local charities are usually in need of an extra hand during the holidays when they hand out food, sort clothing or provide support systems to those in need.

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