The holidays are here, and that means many festive gatherings with food and drink. But for those who are sober and don't drink, it can be a challenging time. Alcohol is often a staple during holiday celebrations, which can leave little room for non-drinkers to feel comfortable or enjoy.
Whatever your holiday plans are, it's still possible to enjoy the holidays and honor your sobriety. In this blog, we gathered a few tips to help you protect your sobriety while celebrating the holidays.
1. Be mindful of the events you attend.
You know yourself better than anyone. If you have second thoughts about attending an event or gathering you know where alcohol will be present, consider not going. If you feel you'll be uncomfortable or tempted, don't go. Avoid any gatherings that are clearly alcohol-centered -- like cocktail parties or wine tasting. Your friends and family who care about you will understand and respect your decision. And even if they don't -- it's still your choice to not attend.
2. Have a sober buddy.
Having a sober friend attend events with you can make it easier to be around alcohol and those drinking. With a sober friend, you have someone to lean on and talk to in person about any struggles or emotions you may be having.
3. Have a back-up plan.
Always have a plan B. It's possible that you attend an event where alcohol is present, and you decide you can no longer be there. Having an exit and backup plan figured out ahead of time is great way to avoid extra stress and help protect your wellbeing.
4. Be ready to say "no."
Not everyone may be aware of your sobriety, and may offer you an alcoholic drink. This is a possibility you should prepare for. So, it may be a good idea to have a prepared response to when someone offers you alcohol.
5. Stay connected with your sobriety community.
Reaching out to folks in your sobriety community, like your sponsor if you have one, can help you get through the holidays. Be sure that you have someone you can call or text if you find yourself going through a rough patch.
6. Plan out and attend meetings.
Attending an AA meeting is also an option to consider. While not everyone attends AA, if you do it's a good idea to plan out attending meetings. Especially if you're traveling, look up meeting times and locations ahead of time so you can get what you need.
7. BYOB: Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage
Bringing your own drink can help diffuse any discomfort you might have. At events like holiday parties, you can never be certain if there will be a non-alcoholic beverage available for you. So bring your favorite bubbly seltzer or sparking apple juice.
8. Practice self care.
The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Make sure you're taking care of yourself and your mental health. Whether that's exercise, therapy, or a warm cup of tea -- make sure you know what works for you.
How Apicha CHC can help you
If you struggle with substance abuse and addiction, Apicha CHC can help. Talking about substance abuse and, when necessary, working together to create an action plan is part of standard care at Apicha CHC. If you'd like to schedule an appointment, click the link below.
All of Apicha CHC's staff has been trained in opioid overdose prevention, including the use of naloxone for the purpose of preventing death from an opioid overdose, and received New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Overdose Rescue Kits with naloxone.