The holiday season is certainly joyous, but does come with a lot of stress. Trying to juggle the shopping, busy schedules, and visiting with friends and family that can charge emotions, and it’s not unusual for those who are battling addiction disorder to feel the urge to use alcohol or drugs as a way to cope. Add to that the fact all of the social events that occur, the temptation to use can increase. The bottom line: whether you have just gotten sober or you have been in recovery for years, maintaining your sobriety over the holidays can be a challenge.

Sobriety and the Holidays

If you are worried about your sobriety this holiday season, rest assured that it is absolutely possible to enjoy the festivities without relapsing. Here are some tips to help you successfully navigate your sobriety and the holidays without putting your recovery at risk.

Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

One of the most important parts of maintaining your sobriety involves understanding what triggers your desire to use. By identifying the things that can make you more prone to drink or use drugs, you can create a relapse prevention plan that you can use to help guide you through the season.

Your relapse prevention plan could include things like attending a meeting before you go to a party, making sure that your sponsor is available if you need support, or completely avoiding those triggers that you have a really difficult time controlling.

Invite a Sober Friend

If you’re afraid that you’ll be the only one at a party, dinner, or any other social gathering that won’t be imbibing and you’re concerned about your ability to abstain, ask a sober friend to come along. Having someone in your corner will help you avoid the temptation and keep you on the right track. Plus, you’ll have a lot more fun when you are spending time with someone who you know will be sober, just like you.

Have an Escape Route

If you can’t bring along a sober buddy, make sure you have an escape plan before you go to an event. Never rely on someone else for transportation; always have a way that you can safely leave when you need to. Don’t feel bad or ashamed about leaving early, either; it’s far better to leave an event when you are feeling strong urges than it is to stay and risk using.

Remember Why Your Sobriety is Important

Why did you decide to stop using? Remind yourself of these reasons by writing them down and tucking them in your pocket or wallet. If you feel the urge to use, pull out your list of reasons and read them over; doing so will help you remember why you stopped drinking or using drugs, and will help you abstain if you are tempted to use while you’re in the midst of a yuletide celebration.

Celebrate Your Recovery

There’s so much to celebrate during the holiday season, and your recovery is one of the biggest reasons. By following the above tips, you can successfully navigate your sobriety and enjoy this wonderful time of the year to the fullest.


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