Tips To Survive The Holidays Without Drinking

Last Updated: Tue, January 23, 2024

With the holidays fast approaching, you are no doubt preparing for all of the upcoming celebrations with your family and friends. If you are worried about struggling with sobriety during the festive period, keep reading as we share our top tips for surviving the holidays without drinking.

Plan in Advance for Events

Before heading to an event this holiday season, make sure you know in advance what will be happening. Know where and when the party will take place and who else will be there. We encourage you to always have a backup plan for leaving early if you need to, and know how and when you will get home otherwise. The more you can prepare yourself for any situation, the easier it will be to focus on your sobriety during the holidays.

Always Have a Drink in Your Hand

One of the most uncomfortable parts about not drinking at holiday parties is constantly being offered a drink. If you are struggling to turn people down still as someone who is newly sober, always hold a non-alcoholic drink in your hand where possible. This will make people much less likely to offer you a drink, and you’ll find that you have full control over the situation. Remember, you can still enjoy fun mocktails or your favorite soda during a holiday party, and you can always bring your favorite non-alcoholic drink if you are worried about what will be on offer.

Know When You Will Leave

We all know how some holiday parties get after a few hours of socializing. We recommend that you set a time limit on any event you are attending. You’ll find that after a few hours of a work or family party, other people start to get a bit carried away. While it’s great to show your face and catch up with your friends and family, know when it’s time for you to leave. By setting a time limit on the party, you can escape before putting your sobriety at risk.

Visualize Yourself Not Drinking

Visualization is an incredible tool for a wide variety of situations in our lives. Before heading to an event or meal this holiday season, take a few moments to visualize yourself already there. You’ll see yourself having a great time without having to rely on alcohol. By putting your mind into the place you are visiting ahead of time, your body will be more likely to follow and stick to your plans when you arrive.

Have a Support System in Place

During the most challenging moments, we always recommend having someone you trust on hand to reach out to. If you find yourself struggling during a family gathering, texting or calling this person could make a huge difference. The holidays are tough for anyone, but especially when you are trying to avoid alcohol, you might need reassurance at times to remember you are on the right path. Talk to your support system a week or two before the holiday season and share your concerns about the upcoming weeks. Good friends and family members will be here to support you through everything, so keep this in mind if you ever feel alone in your sobriety journey.

Put Yourself First

Your recovery should still be your number one priority this holiday season. While you might think you have to put on a brave face and stay all night at parties, you shouldn’t sacrifice your wellbeing to impress other people. If you are in the early stages of your journey to sobriety, focus on yourself more than everything else around you. It can be so easy to get distracted during the holidays, but addiction requires you to keep your environment as stable as possible. You’ll feel much better about yourself if you pull yourself out of triggering situations, and your real friends and family should understand. An addiction requires energy and patience to overcome, so be kind to yourself on this journey and take care of your mind and body.

Factor in Rest Time

The holiday season is overwhelming for everyone, but when you are focusing on your sobriety, it can be even more of a challenge. You’ll find that by factoring in some rest time to your holiday socializing, you’ll feel better equipped to deal with any challenges that come your way. You don’t have to spend every hour of the holidays surrounded by people. Plan a few relaxed nights at home with a good movie or book, and you’ll find that you are physically and mentally rested to deal with anything that comes your way. With the busy lives we all lead nowadays, this is something we could all benefit from. You’ll go back to work after the holidays ready to tackle any challenges that come your way while still working on your sobriety.

Focus on Building Your Relationships

The best thing about the holiday season is that we get to spend time with the ones nearest and dearest to us. This holiday season, focus on your relationships and the support system you have around you. Take the time to catch up with friends you’ve not seen in a while and enjoy great conversations while sober. You’ll find that this is an excellent distraction for surviving the holidays without drinking, and by the end of the holiday season, you’ll be able to look back and think about the great times you shared with the ones you love.

The holiday season can be one of the toughest times for anyone working on their sobriety. If you need more support during this time, we highly recommend downloading our app. It will help to support you during this challenging time and ensure you stay on the path you’ve started down. Remember, you aren’t alone during the holidays, and we encourage you to lean on your friends and family members when needed to support your recovery. Take the time to reflect this holiday season on how far you’ve come, and you’ll continue to achieve great things in the upcoming year.

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