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Your Game Plan for Staying Sober This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us and is often represented as a time of joy, magic, and all things fun and exciting. However, if you are trying to remain sober throughout this joyful time, it might also become a challenging and somewhat depressing time of year.

Trying to recover from alcohol dependency is not easy, and staying sober when people around you are ringing in the New Year or Christmas dinner with libations can be particularly difficult. Making sure that you are utilizing recovery-focused strategies as much as possible to stay sober during the holidays can ensure that the season stays joyful, bright, and exciting for you just the same.

Avoid Holiday Events Where Heavy Drinking Will Occur

You don't have to skip the holidays entirely, but it is a smart idea to be thoughtful about the events that you will actually attend. For example, you might decide to avoid a Christmas party for work or at a friend's place because it's going to be difficult for you to stay sober.

You should be aware of not making recovery any more difficult for yourself; avoiding parties where you know lots of alcohol will be consumed can help. It can help you protect yourself and remove the possibility of temptation from entering your mind.

Ask Friends and Family for Support

Asking your friends and your family for as much support as possible is important when you are trying to stay sober through the holidays. You can gain some accountability and get some encouragement from those who are closest to you.

When you ask for their support, you can ensure that you are getting exactly what you need without having to panic that you're going to slip. Keeping yourself with somebody at all times and not being left to your own devices is important. Your friends and your family should be more than happy to support you through this time, so allow them to help you and get them on board with your plan to stay sober.

Enjoy Alcohol-Free Holiday Festivities

Attending alcohol-free events is a great way to celebrate the holidays. If you know you're going to attend holiday parties with your best friends and your family, you can ask them ahead of time to offer some non-alcoholic drinks and soft drinks, as well as coffees or seasonal favorites like hot chocolate. Ideally, everybody will have a non-alcoholic option, but if you ask people ahead of time and you are open about your sobriety, you'll probably find that people are more likely to be supportive. 

Don't skirt around the issue. If you are asked why you are not drinking, explain that you’ve struggled with alcohol before and that you would like to remain sober, but thank them for their support. A non-alcoholic punch allows you to feel festive without the harmful side effects, or you could also try a non-alcoholic eggnog. Alcohol-free holiday festivities can additionally include things like looking at Christmas lights, going sledding, and enjoying the colder, snowy weather.

Make Sobriety a Key Goal for the New Year

Work with your therapist, doctor, friends, and family to make a sobriety plan for the new year. While you are keeping an eye on sobriety for the holiday season, look beyond Christmas and into the new year. New Year’s celebrations are often toasted with champagne at midnight, but if you develop a plan to help you stay sober when you might be tempted to drink at those times, you're going to be more likely to stick to it. 

Instead of justice focusing on sobriety, look beyond that. Focus on embracing physical fitness and good healthy eating habits. If you are a smoker, look to drop smoking because transfer addiction is very real. You can stop transferring that addiction from alcohol into something else by making sure that you are also signed up for regular sessions with a therapist and attending Alcoholics Anonymous. When you surround yourself with proactive things to do to keep yourself supported, you can make sobriety a clear, key goal for your new year. 

Have an Escape Plan

While you can have all the good intentions in the world to stay sober throughout the Christmas season, you should make sure that you have an out if you need one. This might include bringing a friend with you who might also stay sober. Or, even if you have a friend who is going to be drinking, make sure that you have somebody who can advocate for you and prevent you from spiraling back into alcohol misuse.

If you are at a party and things become too rowdy, make a plan to leave early enough to avoid the chaos but not so early that it feels rude. Ensure that you are staying sober whenever you might be tempted to drink, and always have a caveat that you will leave early if you are having difficulty abstaining.

Visit a Recovery Center

Jackson House Recovery Centers offer addiction treatment programs that can enable you on your journey of sobriety. Supporting you to stay sober is the goal, as is ensuring that you avoid any alcoholic temptations. Rehabilitation may not have been something you've ever felt comfortable with before, but you are on a journey of feeling sober and happy with yourself once again. At Jackson House Recovery Centers, we can offer you the support that you need.

The key is to trust yourself that you are able and capable enough to break free and finally find some support and sobriety in your future. You need to have a game plan in place to make sure that you stick to it, and when you do, you'll be well on your way to an improved life. Contact us today for more information about how we can help.

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