The holidays can mean not only a turbulent time of emotions, but also endless parties, which can be a real challenge when you’ve made a goal to avoid alcohol. The heightened stress and occasional peer pressure don’t make it any easier, but maybe these seven tips will help you to find the willpower and courage to say no when the temptation of alcohol presents itself.
1. Be Choosy with Holiday Party Attendance
If you want to stay sober, you need to be careful about which parties you choose to attend. Try to stay away from parties that serve alcohol, but if that’s impossible, then only attend parties that you know will have plenty of other drink options and plenty of people there who know your goals and can offer you support.
2. Keep Up with Your Recovery Program
Your recovery program doesn’t take a vacation just because it’s the holiday season and neither should you. Be as diligent with your attendance as ever. It could be the key to your success over the next few months.
3. Keep a Healthy Diet
If you can maintain discipline in your diet, it will enhance your discipline in your sobriety as well. Likewise, if you let yourself overindulge in sweets, it will make it that much easier to slip up and allow a drink. Make goals for healthier meals and stick to them.
4. Lean on Your Support System
The holiday season is perhaps the most important time to lean on those who are supporting you through your time of need. The varied outside factors during the holidays can have a major influence on your resolve, so make sure you have a good network of people you trust nearby who are willing and able to help whenever you need it.
5. Make New Habits
As you probably know, one of the triggers for alcohol use is boredom, so in order to avoid facing that dilemma over the holidays when the temptation to drink is stronger than ever, find new habits and hobbies to fill your time. You might want to begin working out more regularly, playing golf, or crafting to fill the void.
6. Plan Your Escape
Since booze will be in abundance during this time of year, the odds that you’ll never find yourself in a bad place are slim. So, be prepared and have a strong escape plan if someone offers you a drink, or you find yourself at a party with more alcohol than you can resist.
7. Be Specific When Offered Drinks
If you’re at a party or event and someone asks you if you would like a drink, don’t simply say “Sure,” and let them bring you whatever. Tell them a specific type of drink, such as ginger ale, and don’t let them talk you into anything else.