Congrats! You made it through a sober Thanksgiving. Now starts the real challenge to stay sober for Christmas. This includes all those pesky holiday parties that circulate delicious hors d’oeuvres and tempting alcoholic beverages. Christmas can be an anxiety-ridden minefield of a sober holiday. You can make it a bit easier on yourself if you take the time to learn the best ways to maintain your sobriety during Christmas.
Know Your Downfalls and Triggers
Everyone has downfalls and triggers that lead to a potentially higher risk of slipping. You need to sit down and think about your own potential high-risk situations so that you can avoid them or have a plan to manage them to stay sober at Christmas. If there is a holiday party in a bar and you cannot go to a bar or you are not ready to be in a bar, do not go.
It is perfectly okay to turn down holiday party invitations where you know alcohol will be being served. Regardless of your downfalls and triggers, try to avoid them at all costs. And always have an exit strategy for when circumstances become uncomfortable or you feel ready to throw away your sobriety.
Prepare for THE Question
If you are not drinking at a holiday party or during Christmas dinner, it is inevitable that someone will want to know the reason you are not drinking. Some individuals are comfortable telling people they are sober and others are not. Both are perfectly normal and acceptable. If you are someone who is not yet ready to tell every inebriated individual or judgmental family member you encounter that you intend to stay sober at Christmas, prepare to answer the question. The way you answer is up to you and your comfort level.
Tools to Stay Sober for Christmas
Sober tools are an essential part to stay sober at Christmas. While you can avoid and say no to some situations, others are more complicated to avoid. A great sober tool is to take a sober friend along, preferably one who has been sober much longer than you. You might amaze yourself at the relief you will feel when you have a supportive person by your side in such tempting environments. You should also have your go-to support people on call at all times. When you have an urge or you begin to feel negative, give them a call.
You may really enjoy holiday parties and cannot live without them. If so, try to find sober holiday parties near you as they are growing in popularity. You can even find sober bars these days with delicious mocktails and like-minded people. It is also a good idea to set limitations and make small, attainable goals. This could include establishing time limits at parties and speaking to at least five new people at a party. And stay positive. Do anything it takes to stay positive, such as meditate, participate in rehab therapies, take a walk or listen to music. A positive attitude and mentality will do wonders for your sobriety during the holidays.
Meetings and Support Centers
Christmas is more than enough to drive even the strongest sober people in recovery into a downward spiral. One of the best ways to stay sober at Christmas is to attend meetings often. It doesn’t matter where you are over the holidays, there will be a meeting nearby. Every time you need some support over Christmas, go to a meeting. And if you have a slip or need even more support, call Liberty Bay Recovery at 855.607.8758 for a rehab center in Portland, Maine, to get back on track.