‘Tis the Season to Celebrate
The fall season brings months of crisp weather, nights of family gatherings, and the notorious holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving are followed by the winter holidays, and then the New Year begins. Within that time, friends host parties, and family members host dinners and celebrations.
While some people look forward to the holiday season all year long, for others, it can bring feelings of dread and anxiety. For those that have completed alcohol addiction treatment and are in recovery, it can also be a triggering time of year.
Many of the parties and celebrations you are invited to may serve alcohol. It can be uncomfortable remaining sober when you are surrounded by people who are drinking socially. It may even make you feel inclined to reach for a beverage. However, there are ways to successfully make it through the holiday season while maintaining your sobriety and still enjoying yourself.
Here are a few ways you can stay sober while still having fun through the holidays:
Have a Plan
It is likely that the dinners and gatherings you attend will serve alcohol. Those who aren’t aware of your sobriety may even offer you a drink. Creating a plan ahead of time for this scenario will help you feel less pressured to accept the drink on the spot. One solution in this situation is to keep a glass of water, juice, or soda in your hand. People will be less inclined to offer you a drink if they see you already have one.
Practice Saying No
There are a number of ways to refuse alcohol respectfully. Being proactive and rehearsing these answers will create a sense of confidence and prepare you for an enjoyable evening. Keep in mind that you don’t owe anyone an explanation for why you aren’t drinking. If you do not feel like discussing your situation with others, you don’t have to! You can simply say you are the designated driver for the evening, or you have to be up early.
Designate a Trusted Friend
Attending holiday gatherings with a friend will not only lessen any potential social anxiety but will also help hold you accountable. Before the party, discuss your concerns with your friend and let them know about situations that may make you feel uncomfortable. You can also create a signal for when you are ready to leave.
Having someone you know and trust at the party will bring an additional level of comfort and valuable support in ensuring you do not drink.
Know When to Leave
Holiday parties can be extremely triggering. At the beginning of a party, people may just be settling in and chatting, but more and more drinks are typically poured as the night goes on. Later into the evening, the environment may become louder or more uncomfortable.
Plan a specific time to leave the party before even arriving. This will hold you to your sobriety and help you avoid any discomfort as people continue to indulge in food and alcohol. By picking this time in advance, you will be able to enjoy the event more and experience less stress.
The holiday season is an exceptionally busy time of year. But that doesn’t mean you can forget about taking care of yourself. Continue practicing whatever methods of self-care work best for you. Whether you like to exercise, go for walks, journal, do yoga, or take bubble baths, don’t stop participating in those activities that bring you the most joy.
Routine is essential for people in recovery. By taking care of yourself, you will feel more dedicated to yourself, your health, and your sobriety.
Lean on Tennessee Wellness Center for Support
Throughout the process at Tennessee Wellness Center, you will receive the continued support and guidance you need. Our facility offers various therapy options from individual therapy to group therapy, support group meetings, and aftercare programs once treatment is completed.