Navigating the holidays sober can be challenge. The holidays can be stressful. For many of us, stress can be a strong trigger. We have parties to attend, people to see, places to travel, and gifts to buy. This means managing this stress can be a wonderful first step in staying sober through this season. Invited to a party you don’t feel like attending? It’s ok to say no thank you to the invite. Feeling the pressure to be around people who drink/use? It may help to think about how you can set boundaries around the interaction. Maybe this means limiting the time you spend around these people. It could also mean suggesting activities where people may be less likely to use substances.
It can also be helpful to let people know what you are doing prior to all the holiday celebrations. Of course, it is important to think about how to go about this and what situations it may be helpful to do this in, but letting people know ahead of time your desire to stay sober can help set expectations beforehand. This can help give the people you care about a heads-up, so they are less likely to offer you something. Although this certainly isn’t always the case, oftentimes the people we care about really do want to support us, but aren’t sure how. If we can give them some information about why we are doing what we are doing and let them know how they can support us, often they will surprise us with how helpful and supportive they are.
Self care gets talked about so much it can almost start to feel corny, but it really is important to keep in mind especially during the holiday season. This can be such a busy time for many of us that we don’t take the time we need to take care of ourselves. Making sure we set aside time to take care of ourselves can make all the difference both in terms of how we feel emotionally throughout the holidays, but also in whether we remain sober or not during this time.
Questions about addiction/recovery? Feel free to get in touch!