5 Tips To Stay Sober During The Holidays

December 20, 2021 | recovery

The holiday season doesn't need to be hard on people in recovery. There are countless ways to enjoy the season and indulge in healthy ways to occupy yourself.

As someone in recovery, you may struggle to remain sober during the holidays.

All those social gatherings and traditions may pressure you to use again, regardless of whether you’re recovering from an illegal substance, over-the-counter medication, and/or alcohol.

But there are ways to stay the sober course. You can even take advantage of the many wonderful things going on this time of year to help build strength to propel yourself to true recovery.

Following are some ways you can sober during the holidays and use your time wisely to lay the foundation you need to achieve recovery.

The holiday season doesn't need to be hard on people in recovery. There are countless ways to enjoy the season and indulge in healthy ways to occupy yourself.

5 tips to stay sober for the holidays


1. Map out the holidays

Think about where the holidays may take you before you go into the holidays firing off the hip like all is normal. It’s no secret that some traditions involve a little bit of substance use for many holiday events.

Make sure to leave those situations out of the plans. Instead, figure out a course of action that’ll subject you to only the suitable environments to remain sober.

2. Avoid “those” people

If you stick to the first tip, you’re not going to go into the holidays with the plan to stay sober and link back up with your old drinking pals or anyone who will encourage you to use. They aren’t the only sources of relapse triggers, though.

There’s always someone in the family that does their best to look down on everyone else. If they give your sister a hard time for the linen she uses, they’ll surely put you on the spot for going to rehab as they indulge in an alcoholic beverage. Avoid them.

As hard as it can be to turn your back on family during the holidays, you should accept that they’re no good for your current state of mind, and you need to put your well-being first.

3. Attend the meetings

You’re not the only person struggling to stay sober during the holidays. Everyone in your group is going through the same thing. You should attend the meetings and work together to provide each other with the positive reinforcement you all need to get through these times.

Keep in mind that someone further along than you can even provide sound advice on mapping out your holiday plans to avoid relapse.

4. Give back

Developing a heightened sense of self-worth is a great way to help yourself remain sober during the holidays.

Doing things to help others out during these times can work wonders for you in this way. It’s also a great way to keep yourself busy and mind off substance use.

You can do things as simple as shoveling sidewalks and driveways in the neighborhood, hanging decorations, or even preparing meals.

You can also head down to give a hand at many of the local charity events going on this time of year. The point is that there is no shortage of ways to contribute during this season, and you can take advantage of that.

5. Rethink your definition of enjoying the holidays

This time of year can be tough to get through if using has been something of a tradition. Years of use to celebrate the occasion makes it hard to think of any other way to enjoy it. You need to change that if you intend to avoid relapsing.

Take the time to do some soul searching to find a new season’s meaning for you. Considering the highly-spiritual themes of the meetings and the core of the 12 steps you’ve been taking, that can be much easier to do than you think.

How do I get sober for the holidays?

The best way to get sober for the holidays is to make getting clean seriously. Seek professional help, start attending 12-step meetings, and avoid any situations that might change your mind about the goal to achieve sobriety.

That is easier said than done, especially during the time of year that’s all about major celebrations. But remember, you’re not the only one suffering a substance abuse disorder, and countless people are willing to help.

There’s no time better than now to make a resolution to change your ways for the better.

How do I get sober and still have fun?

There are many ways to get sober and still have fun. The only way to really get there, though, is by applying the fundamental theme of tip number 5 from the list above. You need to rethink what the idea of having fun is.

Maybe fun to you used to be getting high or drunk and enjoying the holiday festivities. That’s no longer an option, and that’s a good thing.

The only problem is that the many social gatherings and events can be relapse triggers. You don’t need to attend them, whether they are substance-free or not until you feel strong enough to.

You can still have fun creating, volunteering, building, crafting, or taking up a number of different hobbies during the holiday season. You don’t need to pressure yourself into having fun the way everyone else is this time of year. Focus on what makes you happy and what’ll help you reach a healthier and stronger state of being.

The holiday season doesn’t need to be hard on people in recovery. There are countless ways to enjoy the season and indulge in healthy ways to occupy yourself.

However, there’s no shame in admitting that you are struggling to stay sober. Remember, you’ve already come this far and have resources to power through, such as your counselor and group meetings.