stop drinking

Tis the Season! 8 Ways to Avoid Drinking this Season if You’re a Recovering Alcoholic

In Long-Term Recovery by Michael West

Christmas is fast approaching, meaning it’s time for parties and get-togethers. It’s an amazing time of year filled with love and laughter. But it can be hard if you’re a recovering alcoholic.

Christmas and New Years leads to an increase in levels of binge drinking. With so much booze flowing, it can make staying sober a challenge. Temptation is all around you, but you are strong enough to resist.

All you need is some strong willpower and the ability to say no. Here are eight ways to stop drinking this holiday season.

1. Say No

It’s the time of year when party invitations are thrust upon you by almost everyone you know. When pretty much everyone around you is drinking, it can put pressure on you to drink.

Remember that you can say no. There’s no shame in turning down an invitation and saying no if you’re triggered. If you can’t face being around alcohol or drunk people, you can bow out of the situation.

It may seem rude to not attend, but there are so many parties happening they’ll be too busy to notice! If they do ask why you can’t attend, you could say that you have other plans instead. You don’t need to tell anyone if you don’t want to.

2. Talk It Out

Talking about these kinds of things can do wonders for you. It helps lift the burden from your shoulders and people will be supportive of you.

This is a time of year where it’s important to reach out to your support network. Whether it’s your sponsor or a loved one you trust, if you’re struggling, let them know.

They say a problem shared is a problem halved. Be honest about your feelings and emotions during this time. This kind of support network can help you prevent a relapse.

3. Stay Away From Triggers

When there’s so much alcohol everywhere you turn, it’s easy for it to trigger you. You need to be aware of what your triggers are and how to avoid them.

If this means you need to avoid the biggest party of the year or turn down lots of party invitations, then so be it. As long as you are looking out for yourself and your sobriety, that’s all that matters.

Tell hosts that you can’t make it along this year and and leave it at that. You don’t owe anyone an explanation when it comes to staying sober and healthy.

4. Know When to Go Home

If you do end up going to a party, that’s great! You know your triggers and you know how to handle them. But it’s important to know when it’s time to leave.

When the party starts to get out of hand or when people start pressuring you to drink, that’s your cue to go. When you’re one of the few sober people present, you’ll know when the time has come.

Don’t rely on anyone else for a ride home or you could be stuck at the party for hours. Use your own car or leave while public transport is still running. Plus, you won’t have the stinking hangover when the morning comes!

5. Stay Busy

Holiday pressure can be overwhelming, so try to keep yourself busy. Get involved with clubs or indulge in your hobbies more. Keeping your mind off drinking is key.

Exercise more often or try to learn a new skill. It will leave you feeling motivated in other areas of your life too and keep you from wanting to drink.

Try to read some inspirational books or watch some inspirational movies. There’s lots you can do and it can make your life a lot more meaningful.

6. Drink Something Non-Alcoholic

When you’re at the office party or family gathering, there’s going to be booze all around. If you know what non-alcoholic drink you’ll be sipping on, it makes it easier to deal with.

Stick to soft drinks or non-alcoholic cocktails. When you have a drink in your hand, alcoholic or not, people won’t ask why you aren’t drinking.

If they do ask though, you only have to say you don’t feel like it. Also, make sure you keep ahold of your drink throughout the night. It’s easy to forget and pick up someone else’s that could have alcohol in it.

7. Create Your Own Traditions

When past Christmases involved heavy drinking, this time of year can be difficult. When all your memories involve alcohol, you are always reminded of it.

But now is a great opportunity to create new memories without alcohol involved. Make your own Christmas traditions that you can look back on with fond memories. Do things like throwing an alcohol-free dinner party or Christmas movie night.

These are things everyone loves to get invited to and are always a great time. They also pave the way for great memories and great Christmases in years to come.

8. Try to Stay Strong

Christmas and New Year is a very tough time to stay sober and stop drinking. It isn’t going to be easy, but you are strong enough to do this.

Remind yourself each day why you’re sober now and how it is improving your life. Stay in touch with your support system and keep them close, they are here to help you through it.

Don’t set huge expectations for yourself and take each day as it comes. Before you know it, Christmas and New Years will be over and you will have conquered it without touching a drop!

These Tips Will Help You Stop Drinking This Holiday Season

If you’re looking to stay sober and stop drinking over the holiday season, these tips will help you. Keep them in mind as the season progresses and know that you don’t need to succumb to the pressure. In no time, it’ll all be over for another year and you can congratulate yourself on staying strong.

Are you struggling with an alcohol addiction? Check out our website to see how you can you can overcome addiction.