During the holidays, you might find it a challenge to stay sober. Let us show you how to cope with being sober during this time of the year.

Holidays can be full of joy, wonder, and happiness.  While many people find this a time to socialize, celebrate, and party, these occasions often trigger recovering addicts. This is especially true for someone in early recovery.  For these people, holidays are very stressful or stress provoking.  You have to deal with friends and loved ones that you might have hurt and remain angry with you.  And there might be others who do not respect your decision to be sober.

It is vital to maintain your sobriety at all times, but especially during the holidays. Here are some steps to take to ensure that you remain sober:

1.  Make sure you have a way out.  If a holiday party becomes a trigger or is too overwhelming, have a plan on how to leave.  Arrange a ride if you need one.

2.  Ask your sponsor to be available for a call, or ask another sober person or a part of your 12 step program to be available if you need support.

3.  Talk to someone you trust and let them know you need support during the holidays.

4.  Identify a response to give when asked if you want a drink, or asked why you are not drinking. For example, you can say, “I am not drinking tonight,” or “No, I am sober.” Even “I’m the designated driver tonight” is a good response.  It is important to have a plan on what to say and how you to handle these questions at a party.

5.  You can say “no” to a party if you think it’s too challenging.  It is also OK to say “no” if you feel too overwhelmed or stressed.  Sometimes we think we have to say “yes” and commit to everything, but we forget, it is OK to say “no.”

6.  Take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually during the holidays.  Take extra care to eat right, sleep right, exercise. And if you believe in a higher power, take time to pray or meditate.

7.  Go to a meeting.  During the holidays, there are extra meetings available to provide the support you need to stay sober.

You deserve to enjoy the holidays, too. It’s just important you take the appropriate steps to enjoy them while you remain sober. Take care of yourself during this time and make use of the support system that helps you succeed.

Happy holidays!