How to Stay Sober During the Holidays?

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The holiday season can be a difficult time for anyone in recovery from alcohol or substance use disorder. It is a time of year when family gatherings, parties, and celebrations are held, many of which revolve around alcohol. This can make staying sober during the holidays an especially challenging process.

Why Does Sobriety Matter?

Sobriety matters because it leads to: 

● better physical health outcomes due to decreased risk of diseases caused by drug/alcohol use,

● improved mental health outcomes due to decreased feelings of depression/anxiety,

● improved financial stability due to less money spent on drugs/alcohol,

● improved relationships due to increased communication skills,

● increased clarity regarding one’s purpose in life due to improved focus,

● increased motivation due to decreased reliance on drugs/alcohol,

● improved quality of life overall due to increased satisfaction with oneself and one’s choices in life, among many other reasons why sobriety matters! 

Ultimately, living a sober life is about taking control of your own destiny—and understanding what sobriety means will help you make informed decisions about your future well-being! 

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you remain successful in your recovery journey throughout this festive period.

Plan Ahead

Before the holidays arrive, it is important to plan ahead by thinking about potential triggers or situations that could lead to relapse. Identifying any potential stressors early on will give you more control over them as well as more time to prepare strategies for handling them if they arise.


This could include avoiding certain people or places where drinking may be encouraged or finding alternative activities that don’t involve drinking such as going to the movies or taking part in outdoor activities like hiking. It also helps to have a plan of action ready should anyone offer you an alcoholic beverage; politely refuse and have a non-alcoholic drink on hand ready as an alternative.  

Surround Yourself with Supportive People

The holidays can be an especially lonely time if you don’t have supportive people around you who understand your situation and are willing to help you stay on track with your recovery goals. If possible, surround yourself with friends and family members who genuinely care about your well-being and will provide you with emotional support during this period. 

It might also help to join a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) so that you can speak openly about how you are feeling without fear of judgment or criticism. Having other people who are in similar situations can help remind you why sobriety is important and why it’s worth fighting for even during times of struggle and temptation.  

Take Time for Self-Care  

It is important not to overextend yourself during the holidays by taking on too many commitments at once and forgetting to look after yourself in the process. Make sure to carve out some ‘me-time’ each day where you practice self-care activities such as meditation, reading, exercise, or journaling – anything that helps clear your mind and refocus your energy back into yourself rather than external sources like alcohol or drugs. 

Taking care of yourself physically is also important; eating nutritious foods regularly throughout the day will help keep energy levels up while avoiding sugary snacks which can lead to mood swings due to their effects on blood sugar levels.   

Staying sober during the holidays does not have to be impossible; it just requires careful planning and preparation beforehand as well as plenty of self-care throughout this festive period. By following these tips, it is possible not only to survive but thrive during this unique time of year without relying on substances like alcohol or drugs! 

With focus, determination, and resilience it is entirely possible for anyone in recovery from substance use disorder to stay sober – even during the most challenging times such as the holiday season!