top of page

Tips for Staying Sober During the Holiday Season

"For many of us, the holidays are a season of peace and joy, where we decorate our memories with calm and happy moments. But the reality often looks quite different, and the holiday stressors quickly pile up for the person in recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, making it a difficult time of year to stay sober.

Family members expect holiday perfection, and they often demand every ounce of your time and energy—and patience. The family menu is a constant carb-load, and traveling puts a strain on your wallet. Packed airports, tight schedules, liquid lunch for Aunt Sally. Everyone is running on empty, and the annual fight is just waiting to happen.

On top of that, you can't attend your home group meeting, and you haven't heard from your sponsor in two days. How does anyone stay sober during the holidays? Here are seven tried-and-true tips and strategies that will prepare you for the holidays, help you avoid relapse and protect you from any uncomfortable situations.

1. Hatch a holiday escape plan, and plan to protect your sobriety

The first tip sounds like a no-brainer, but plan ahead. Holiday-themed parties and family gatherings are often soaked in alcohol, and people are likely to offer you a drink—and they might be dumbstruck when you prefer to be sober. Plan ahead for uncomfortable situations and triggering environments. What might your holiday plan involve?

  • Attend a Twelve-Step meeting beforehand, or invite a sober friend to tag along

  • Make plans to meet up with your sponsor or talk on the phone

  • Find your own transportation, or hitch a ride with someone in your support system

  • Limit your time around stressful situations and difficult people

  • Prepare to politely refuse alcohol or other drugs

  • Have an escape plan if things go south

Don't be surprised by a trigger. If you come prepared to protect your sobriety, you should be able to outmaneuver addiction and avoid any potential relapses."

(click photo for full article)


bottom of page