If your holiday tradition has always included getting high or drunk, being sober this year may feel unnatural, but you can do it. Starting new traditions, remembering what the old ones cost you, and treating yourself well are key to your success. Incorporate the following ideas into your new holiday life and sobriety.
Slow Down: You don't have to say yes to every invitation. Attend the events that most interest you and don't worry about the others. Take time to breathe deeply and relax.
Avoid Triggers: Identify your holiday triggers and stay away from them. If this means missing a party, or not going to a celebration with certain friends and family members, so be it. Your sobriety is more important than any holiday event.
Stay Healthy: Getting run down during the holidays puts you in a bad mindset for sobriety. Get enough sleep, eat well and exercise. Keeping your endorphins up and your fatigue down will benefit you.
New Traditions: Change things this year. If you have never attended a holiday show, get tickets and go, even if it’s a simple event at a local school, these can be uplifting. Invite friends and family to your house and make it a holiday board game night. Decorate as if you want to win a contest! Anything you do will be building new memories to reflect on for years to come. Enjoy it.
For Tough Times: Call a friend, a sponsor or a hotline. Keep your cell phone on you so if you need it, you don't waste time trying to find it. Invite a friend or sponsor to meet you for coffee and make yourself go. Being alone is not good during tempting times. Get active and get social to protect yourself. This too shall pass and you can get back to the business of sober holiday celebrations.
Volunteer: Helping others reminds you that you have value and that society can benefit from your sober efforts. Whether you volunteer in a soup kitchen, an animal shelter, put forth your best effort and do what you can to improve the lives of others.
Pamper Yourself: Maintaining sobriety takes work and you have a lot to be proud of. Be good to yourself. Give yourself a special gift like a healthy massage, a spa treatment or a pair of new shoes that will make you feel more confident. Celebrate sailing through the holidays sober.