Holidays of many kinds have been celebrated throughout the ages. In today’s society, common celebrations commemorate or honor a day, an event, or a season, each with its own special meaning and reason for the festivities. Traditionally, celebrations are a joyous occasion in many cultures and communities, causing revelers to drink alcohol to enhance or prolong the merrymaking.
While drinking alcohol may be a normal part of a celebration or holiday for many, for those who struggle with addiction or are new to a life in recovery, enjoying a sober celebration may be more difficult. For many, holiday celebrations may be when loved ones recognize signs of alcohol misuse or substance use disorders as they witness unusual behaviors or consumption at these events.
A Treatment Connection, an online resource to help those who need help and those in recovery, recognizes that family get-togethers around holiday celebrations may peel back the layers revealing when a loved one struggles with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Find a treatment facility that can get your or a loved one on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety through the online portal.
According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, people are more likely to drink more than usual at special celebrations than at other times of the year or other events. Unfortunately, this may become uncomfortable, if not debilitating, environment triggering old behavior patterns and causing high-stress levels for a person new to sobriety. Summer celebrations can be especially challenging when the days are longer, most people have more free time, and have moved into “vacation mode.”
With some planning, there are many ways to have a sober celebration without succumbing to drugs and alcohol and enjoying the festivities.
If you aim to remain sober as summer celebrations kick off, the obvious way to do so is to avoid events where alcohol may be present. This is likely the best option if this is your first sober summer or event. However, it is unrealistic to think that you will always steer clear of being around alcohol. Part of the recovery journey is managing and utilizing coping mechanisms when temptations arise.
Several ideas for sober activities that may help you resist the urges and yet still enjoy a sober celebration include:
- Plan an activity that involves physical exercise
- Begin your day with yoga or meditation
- Plan a sober celebration of your own with friends and family who support you
- Start your day with a 12-step meeting
- Do a movie marathon at a drive-in theatre
- Go camping with sober friends
- Find other events that do not encourage alcohol
- Enjoy many activities and local events where alcohol is prohibited, such as the zoo, aquarium, public park, or museum
Just because you have been invited to a celebration where alcohol will be present, it does not mean that you must participate in this activity if it will risk your sobriety or threaten a relapse. Whether you attend or create an alternate plan, friends and family who love you will support you in your journey.
Create an Exit Strategy
While planning sober activities may be a great way to manage the temptations or avoid them, if you plan to attend a party or celebration that includes alcohol or drugs, always be prepared to leave. Your intent with attending the celebration may have been to spend time with family and friends and enjoy yourself. However, if the socializing rely on alcohol or drugs for partygoers to have fun, be ready to make your exit with no apologies needed.
You may also want to consider bringing a friend who understands the journey that you are on and your desire to remain sober. Your friend can help you depart on your terms and hold you accountable not to use drugs or alcohol.
Discover More Resources Online at Treatment Connection
No matter what stage you are at in recovery, holidays and upcoming summer celebrations can present challenges. Choosing to live a life of sobriety does not mean forgoing a life of fun but rather that you will be able to remember all of the fun times.
If you or a loved one needs help and guidance to start down the road to recovery or would like more tips for enjoying celebrations responsibly, why not find a treatment option best suited to meet your needs? The online portal of Treatment Connection will point you in the right direction to receiving the help you need today.