Staying Sober During the Holidays


Although the holiday season is all about family, giving, and the Christmas spirit, for a recovering alcoholic the holidays can be a very stressful time. Remaining sober during the holidays can be an exceptionally difficult task especially when family get-togethers, holiday parties, and crazy family threatens your recovery. To help you stay sober this holiday season, follow these 10 sober holiday tips.

10 Sober Holiday Tips

1. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends

Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you through the holidays. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and share what you are going through with them.

2. Limit time with family

Let’s be honest, family can drive us all CRAZY. Some family can create extra stress, so it is OK to limit the time you spend with them. Plan ahead on staying for a quiet Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and leaving when the festivities are over. This way the obnoxious uncle or nagging mom won’t become a trigger for you to relapse.

3. Avoid H.A.L.T.

Avoid being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. When you are hungry get a snack, when you are angry talk to someone about it, if you are feeling lonely go to a meeting or call a supportive friend, and lastly if you are tired get a good night’s sleep.


4. Create a “Plan B”

If you are planning on spending time at an event that serves alcohol plan an escape or alternative place to go when you start to feel uncomfortable or don’t think you can handle it. Go to a movie, drive around and see the lights, or plan a trip to an ice rink.

5. It’s OK to just say NO

Yep, it is a cliche but it’s true! If you know that a situation is going to make you uncomfortable and you don’t feel confident that you can handle being around an open bar, or people drinking then don’t go.

6. Find a meeting in your area

No matter where you are traveling, you can always find a meeting in your area. This will help give you the support you need and the opportunity to share your experience, what overwhelms you, and what drives you to drink. Find a meeting here.

12 step meetings

7. Get involved and volunteer

There are so many great opportunities during the holidays to help make a difference not to mention they don’t involve drinking. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, shovel snow for a neighbor, or visit a local nursing home!

8. Plan Activities

The holidays don’t have to be about sitting around and drinking. Plan some holiday activities like baking cookies, going to holiday concerts or museums, sledding, skating or game night.

staying sober during the holidays

9. Practice T.A.M.E.R.S.

  • Think about recovery, Talk about recovery
  • Act on recovery, connect with others
  • Meditate and Minimize stress
  • Exercise and Eat well
  • Relax
  • Sleep

10. Live one day at a time

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Stay in the moment and live one day at a time. Enjoy today and celebrate your sobriety!

If you need support or treatment, contact Bridgeway Behavioral Health today at 866-758-1152 or visit us at Remember you’re not alone and we can help.

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