Surviving the Holidays Without a Drink in Hand

surviving holiday sober

Despite being pegged as the most wonderful time of the year, the holiday season oftentimes comes with unique stressors, complicated emotions and a host of social situations. For anyone returning to regular life following drug or alcohol recovery, the holiday season can be overwhelming, not to mention tempting to return to old habits.

Stay strong and resist the urge to drink alcohol with these helpful tips for handling the holiday season sober:

1 | Devise a Sobriety Game Plan Ahead of Time

No fighter enters into battle without a battle plan. Likewise, no one in recovery for alcoholism should enter the holiday season without a sobriety game plan. Talk to a counselor or trusted loved one about the best ways to avoid temptation to start drinking and stay healthy and sober during the holidays. We recommend keeping a strong sober community via the 12-Step Program or our alumni activities.

2 | Give Back to Those in Need

Devote some time to charitable efforts this holiday season. Not only will it take your mind off the stresses of the holidays and drinking, but it will also renew your sense of purpose and help you feel fulfilled as you make a difference in the lives of others. Research local charities and ask about volunteer opportunities.

3 | Take Time to Care for Yourself

Self-care looks different for everyone – meditation, outdoor therapy, creative therapy, etc. We encourage you set aside ample time to engage in whatever helps you recharge and relieve stress in a positive, healthy way. You deserve some “me time” to counter the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and January you will be extremely appreciative.

4 | Avoid Situations That Involve Pressures to Drink

It’s okay to say no to social engagements if you know they will come with pressures to consume alcohol. This doesn’t mean cutting out your social life by any means. Rather than attend your friend’s annual holiday party where the boozy eggnog and cocktails will be plentiful, ask to meet up with them one-on-one instead in a non-alcohol setting.

5 | Prepare a Script Before Social Functions

If you’re worried about how certain social functions will play out, take the stress off by rehearsing what you will should sensitive subjects come up. If you have a nosy relative who is bound to ask about your time at an addiction treatment center, come up with a generic response you feel comfortable with and steer the conversation in the other direction. For example, “Thanks for your concern, Aunt Cheryl! I’m really optimistic about the career path I’m pursuing and my new-found passion for snowboarding. Now, tell me how your cats are doing!”

Even though they can certainly be stressful, the holidays are filled with many sober joys that you deserve to experience. Need some advice on devising a sober game plan for the holiday season? Talk to our admissions team today: 720-577-4422 or