Dr. Cali Estes - The Addiction Coach ®

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3 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

staying sober during the holidays

3 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

When you’re in recovery, the holidays can be a challenging time. With all the parties and celebrations and the pressure of being around family members, staying sober during the holidays is no easy feat. The holidays are a trying time for most people living in recovery.

The good news is that you can do it. You can take steps ahead of time to ensure that you don’t pick up a drink this holiday season. Here are four tips for staying sober during the holidays.

1. Set a Time Limit

Know your limits. If people are going to be drinking at the Christmas gathering, then only stay for an hour. If you and your father can’t get along for more than a few hours without arguments or criticism, plan an exit before that situation happens. You must know your own limits. 

Also, if you are new in recovery, you may not be able to be around people who are drinking at all. If this is the case, ask your family members if they will wait until you leave before they start drinking. If they don’t want to accommodate you, skipping the holiday festivities this year may be a good idea. 

Your recovery must be more important than pleasing others. Sometimes, you may just have to miss an event. You may not always be triggered when others drink. Next year will be easier. Either way, know how long in advance you can stay somewhere and hold yourself to it. 

2. Try Addiction Coaching

You can hire a recovery coach. Addiction coaching is a great way to stay sober during the holidays. Chances are, if you have a sponsor, they won’t be available 24-7 during the holidays if you have any thoughts of drinking. 

However, A recovery coach can answer your calls anytime you need them to. An addiction coach has made it through the holidays sober themselves, so they can offer you some hints or just be there to listen to you. 

Some recovery and sober coaches may even be able to accompany you to your events so that you’re not alone. 

3. Avoid Triggers

While you should try to go to your families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, the New Year’s Eve party at the bar across from your house is not something you should attend. You want to spend time with the people who love you (even if they can trigger you after too long) during the holiday season. 

You can politely decline the office party that everyone will be drinking at. There’s no sense in putting yourself in a tempting situation when the holidays are already a vulnerable time for those in recovery.

If your sister triggers an emotional response when you are around her, try not to engage in potentially emotionally charged conversations. If you get triggered during the holidays, leave the event and work on self-care, or call a recovery coach or a sponsor. 

Get a Sober Coach for the Holiday Season

A great idea is to take a non-alcoholic drink to any party you visit. Then you keep that drink of water or tea, or whatever you choose, in your hand all evening long. If you have one already, people will be less likely to offer you a drink. Take a drink anytime you get tempted to pick up an alcoholic one. 

Maybe you’re still concerned about your sobriety this holiday. It would help if you considered hiring a sober coach. Addiction coaching is an ideal way to ensure that you can stay sober during this stressful and tempting time of year. At The Addictions Coach, we have sober coaches who have made it through the holidays more than once and would be happy to help you stay sober this year. 

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