If you’re newly sober – or trying to be – then the chances are, you find this time of year a bit stressful. There are parties to navigate, family pressures to deal with and lots of boozy marketing messages all over the place. When you’re one of the few people not drinking, it’s easy to feel left out or as if you’re not celebrating ‘properly’.
Here are some top tips:
Decide you are not going to drink.
Seriously. There is no point waiting to see how you feel. You need to make sobriety a priority and go into this knowing that you aren’t going to drink.
Force yourself to be positive.
Sobriety is a mind game as much as anything else. Once you’ve decided to go for it, start feeling really good about it. You’re doing something really amazing right now! Stamp out any thoughts about being a sober loser or missing out. Alcohol does not have magic properties. It cannot transform a bad party into a good one. This stuff might feel hard right now, but you’re headed towards a much brighter, happier future.
Prepare a response.
Some people won’t notice that you’re not drinking, but it’s worth preparing a response for those who do ask about it. I think shorter answers are the best. I’m driving / I’m tired / I’m not feeling well are all good explanations. Respond confidently and then move the conversation on.
Act like a vegetarian.
Not drinking is a bit like deciding not to smoke or eat meat. It’s not really that big a deal. Keep some perspective and remember that this is your decision. No one else’s. Anyone who tries to convince you that being sober at Christmas is a crime needs to get out more.
Plan your drinks.
Nothing will make you feel more left out and self conscious than having to sip a glass of lukewarm water out of a plastic tumbler, because no one considered the alcohol-free options. You deserve to have nice drinks too. If you’re going to someone else’s house, take something with you – just like you would if you were on the booze. Stay in control of this.
Keep doing what works.
What’s been working for you so far? What are the things that help you stay on track, just as you’re about to lose it? Our daily routines tend to go out the window at this time of year and it’s easy to get run down. Make sure you keep in touch with your sober buddies. Don’t let your self care slide; be selfish and make time to do the things that keep you sane.
Fake it till you make it.
Buy something new to wear, get your nails done and do your hair. If you look good on the outside, it will help you feel more confident inside. Smile and force yourself to make an effort. Act like you’re having a fabulous time and who knows – it might just happen!
Always have an escape plan.
It’s fine to leave a party early. You came and now you’re going. It’s no big deal. Make sure you have a way of getting home (or someone who understands that you might want to exit early). If you’re the host, make sure you can escape for a break when you need it. Go to another room / go out for a walk / make a phone call. Do what you need to do and don’t feel bad about it.
Find an Outpatient Recovery Program
If you struggle during Christmas time, find an outpatient recovery program! It’s important to be honest and accepting of your needs and vulnerabilities. An outpatient recovery program can be a highly effective way to help you regain control over your cravings. They can help you build and maintain healthy coping strategies when you find it difficult to manage on your own. If you need a little extra support during the holiday season, we are here for you! We have alcohol recovery programs that fit your lifestyle. call or text us at Serene Rehabilitation Centre 0746460202 for a confidential assessment today.